Just some of the most common mistakes that happen at the wedding and engagement sessions, which can be easily avoided.
Don't position your body straight to the camera. Often it's not very flattering and can make you look larger. Angle your body slightly towards the camera for a more flattering angle.
The left image shows how the frontal position makes the figures wider, turning them towards each other and sideways in relation to the camera as seen on the right image creates a much more flattering perspective.
The closer is a part of the body to the camera, the larger it looks. If you want to slim your hips, turn them away from the camera. I often use this to put focus onto the eyes of the subject by shooting slightly from above like on the left and right pictures.
Avoid symmetry. Don't position your arms or your legs symmetrically in relation to your body to avoid looking stiff and posed (image #1 on your left). For instance, if you place one hand on your waist, put another one on your hip, Legs: tiptoe one of the feet, this way it will be higher than another one and will look much more natural (photos 2 and 3 from left to right show more natural legs position andphoto4 on the right show how the asymmetrical position of hands can create a more relaxed pose).
The rule of thumb for your arms and legs is that if it bends, bend it. This will create a more relaxed and natural pose. Bending your arms will make them look slimmer and more natural (left photo), and bending one of your legs and kicking out one of the hips will accentuate some flattering curves (right photo).
Avoid stiffness by adding some movement in your poses. This doesn't mean you have to be jumping or waving your arms. Even standing still, you can rotate your hips as if you were doing some Zumba dancing (the photo on the right)
For couples photos of a simple walk, practicing your first dance or any other activity that reflects your relationship is a great way to make a photo more dynamic.
Hands are important. An awkward hand position can ruin even a good picture.
Keep your fingers together and slightly bent, not stiff. Place your hands on support if you feel awkward: the support can be your face, the back of the chair, your chin, your shoulder, your partner’s shoulder or neck (second, third and fourth photo from left to right). The common mistake is spreading your fingers with what I call a "shrimp hand" that will draw viewer attention to the fingers rather than to the ring or to your face (first photo on your left).
To get a natural expression while looking at the camera, try closing your eyes, counting to three, and then opening them. In the couple's pictures, especially close-ups where every detail of facial expression is clear, it's important to stay relaxed. There are a lot of tricks to reach the point where you both forget about the camera. I like to keep couples' minds busy with small scripts/assignments to perform, like whispering to each other, looking at each other rather than at the camera.
Avoid covering your neck. Make sure you're not hiding it with your hair, your arms, or by raising your shoulder. The left photo makes this beautiful couple's bodies look bulky and larger than they are, that is because their necks are hidden behind the hair and raised shoulders. Bringing your shoulders down and sweeping your long hair to the opposite side will open your jawline and elongate your body (right image).
The real kisses are far different from the perfect kisses we see in the movies:). In fact, the real kiss is not that photogenic. I try to catch the moment of "pre- kiss", right before the kiss happens (like on the second, third and fourth photos from left to right). To get the perfect close up kiss, do not stretch your lips (one of the most common mistakes I see, similar to the photo #1 on your left). Simply get really close and slightly open your lips, turn your heads slightly in opposite directions to create an X with your faces, and relax into the moment (images #2 and 3 from left to right).
In fact, the best photographic kiss is not lips to lips, but rather lips/cheek, lips/forehead, lips/temple etc. (image #4 from left to right.)