· Bright Ideas · Advice · Tips For Looking Great In Your Wedding Photos!

Tips For Looking Great In Your Wedding Photos!

wedding photos 1c

Welcome back to Day 6 of WEDDING WEEK!  TODAY is the BIG DAY at our house! I can’t believe it has finally arrived….and I can’t believe it’s already here! :-)  So much work and anticipation for one day! It just goes to show what a special day it is when two people decide to commit to a lifetime together. I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be happier with the beautiful, intelligent and kind person that my Britta Marie has grown up to be…and I couldn’t be happier with the man she has chosen to marry who demonstrates often how much he cares for and adores my daughter. That is a wonderful thing for a mother to see. It puts my mind and heart at ease as my husband and I prepare to let our “little girl” go. *gulp*

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have left “best wishes” in the comments this past week. I am truly in awe of your kindness and feel like I have another “family” by my side helping us celebrate this very special day. So thank you for that…and thank you to all the wonderful guest bloggers who have helped me out this week. If you have missed any of the Wedding Week posts, be sure to go back and check them out. There is a treasure trove of information for anyone planning, or helping to plan a wedding in the future.


Which leads me to our guest blogger today….my friend Anna of Anna Gleave Photography. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Anna once a week for the last couple of months on photography for my blog. But I am just her “side gig,” because on the weekends she turns into Wedding Photographer Extraordinaire! This woman flies all over the world photographing weddings! I think she’s the hardest working photographer in the biz. :-)

Anna is sharing her best “professional secrets” for looking great in your wedding photos!  Listen up…this is GOOD information!

Take it away Anna………………

Planning a wedding is stressful. You spend hours upon hours planning every detail beautifully, and you want each of those details (not to mention the excitement, emotion, and romance of the day) to be captured perfectly. As a professional wedding photographer, it’s important to focus on the details and pay attention to the moments that matter most on a wedding day… sometimes little details that may not seem so important end up being terribly important—and making or breaking a set of wedding photographs! Nearly four years in the industry and hundreds of clients later, I’ve learned a thing or two about the ins and outs of weddings! And I’m excited to share with you a few insider tips about how to have the most photogenic wedding today!

wedding photos Photo by Anna Gleave Photography

Let’s talk about lighting

Lighting is single-handedly the most important part of a photo. But one thing that many people don’t consider when planning the timing of their wedding is what the lighting will look like at the time of their ceremony or the time allotted for wedding portraits. While your photographer should guide you through the process and suggest the best timing for portraits according to the natural lighting, if you plan your wedding around your photos, you’re guaranteed to have beautiful images!

The timing of your wedding isn’t as important if you’re getting married indoors, but many choose to take advantage of the natural beauty of the outdoors. Although an afternoon garden wedding in July might sound utterly romantic, the best time of day for natural-light photographs is within an hour of sunrise and then within an hour or so of sunset. The worst time for natural light photos is near noon. You don’t believe me? Go take your camera and photograph someone at noon, and then photograph them again an hour before dusk! You’ll notice the difference.

If you can avoid the squinty-ness, brightness, and extra shadows produced by midday sun, your photographer (and your photographs!) will thank you. But I do realize that this is not always possible. So if you must plan your wedding in the middle of the day, I would advise to consider some alternative wedding portrait opportunities.

wedding photos Photo by Anna Gleave Photography

I recommend taking advantage of a stress-free “groomals” session within a week or so of your wedding. This way, you can control the lighting and background of the images (you know those to-die-for shots of a couple out in a field?… yeah, most likely the product of a groomals session!) and ensure that you have a ton of gorgeous images before your wedding date even arrives! It’s also a perfect opportunity to test-run your entire wedding-day outfit—your bridal updo and makeup, the way your dress is tailored, etc. You can also use it as an opportunity to do two different hairstyles (have your hair down for your bridals and up for your wedding day) or throw on some fun accessories. Shooting groomals ahead of time also decreases the stress of the wedding day because you’ll have the security of knowing you already have great photos… and it’s one less event to squeeze into your already-busy wedding day!

That being said, I know that a lot of brides are traditionalists and do not want their groom to see them in the gown before they’re married. You can still get sweet, beautiful “first-look” photos to capture the emotion of the groom’s first peek at his bride. Or, if you make sure that your reception venue/formal portrait location offers a lot of shade, you can still get great shots, even midday!

wedding photos Photo by Anna Gleave Photography

Teeth and Tans

A wedding day is a day full of smiles, so it’s a day that you’re going to want your pearly whites looking… well, just that—pearly white! Although we’re graced with incredible technologies these days (i.e. photoshop) that can make anyone look like a model, I always recommend doing a bit of pre-wedding tooth whitening, even if it’s just Crest white strips or whitening toothpaste. Take a few photos in good lighting a few months before your wedding, and decide if you like the way your teeth look. If they’re not quite as white as you’d like them, a quick trip to the drugstore or dentist can offer you a variety of easy whitening solutions! Not only do photoshopped whitened teeth look less natural, you bet that your great aunt, best friends, and even 13 year-old cousins are going be snapping photos of you with their cell phones to share all over social media, and you don’t want to ever be embarrassed about your smile!

Tans can be a touchy subject. Although most people feel more confident if they have a bit of a tan, and the sunkissed look can be gorgeous, I recommend staying as far away as possible from over exposure to the sun (both naturally and artificially). While a few trips to the lake several weeks before wedding doesn’t hurt anyone, I suggest avoiding spray tans and tanning beds, especially for the few days preceding the event. Too-tan skin next to the lightness of a wedding dress makes for an unnatural-looking combination and can set off the colors of the background of your photos.

wedding photos Photo by Anna Gleave Photography

The dress dilemma

When dress shopping there is so much to consider. What fits your personal style? What color looks best with your skin tone? What dress fits the season of your wedding and the feel you’re going for?

While shopping for your wedding dress, I urge you to look into how well your dress photographs. How does the fit flatter your body in images? How does the fabric show up in different lighting? Is the dress as beautiful in images as it is in real life?

Consider the quality of the fabric, and ask the shop owner if he/she knows how it photographs. I recommend avoiding pure white dresses, if possible, because pure white (in certain fabrics) can appear blue-ish or to have an unusual shine in images, it’s important to try to see how your dress photographs ahead of time.

I would also recommend seeing how your dress photographs from every angle. Look at the type of sleeve and how it flatters your arms (for the record: cap sleeves hardly flatter even the skinniest of us!), how the waistline looks, and how the neckline looks when you raise your arms, bend over, etc.

Make sure your dress is something that you feel beautiful and confident in… because confidence shines through in photos!

wedding photos Photo by Anna Gleave Photography

Follow these suggestions, and you’re bound to get beautiful wedding images! More wedding tips can be found at www.annagleave.com. Or feel free to contact me with questions at amgleave@gmail.com

Happy wedding planning (and photographing)!

Thank you Anna! For both this insightful guest post…and for the work you do on One Good Thing…you are appreciated more than you know!

One more day of WEDDING WEEK fun! Check back tomorrow to learn what every bride needs in her “Wedding Day Emergency Kit!”

wedding photos Photo by Anna Gleave Photography

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Yay! CONGRATS to Britta!! Such an exciting day! Can’t wait to hear all about it and see the images.

    And an extra yay for photo tips!! I’ve gotta keep these things in mind as I’m planning MY own wedding! ;)


  • Wedding Day Blessings to you all. My son got married to a beautiful and wonderful woman a couple weeks ago so I know how you feel. Theirs was a beautiful wedding in many ways and I know yours will be too. Congratulations!

  • I love you, my sweet daughter. This day takes me back to the day of your wedding. You were SO beautiful, full of love for David, and ready to spend a lifetime of comittment with him, and the children your love provided. It is difficult for me to comprehend how fast time has gone by. Now, here you are with your own beautiful daughter, Britta, having the same wonderful experience I had so long ago with you. Our prayers are with you this day, my sweet Jill, that it may be filled with beautiful memories for you and your sweet husband, David, and your entire family. May God bless this union. I love you. Mom

  • Congrats and have an awesome day. Don’t forget to get a ‘mother-daughter’ pic. I cherish the one of me and my mom, especially now that she is gone.

  • >