07/30/2015 03:56 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Photographers Share 7 Secrets to Looking Better in Your Wedding Pictures

by Elizabeth Mitchell, BRIDES

Courtesy of CNP Montrose

Wedding photos are pretty much the sole reason you signed up for that hot yoga class and decided to give up carbs for the next six months. After all, you want to look amazing in those snapshots! But how do you ensure you actually put your best face forward? Well, you can start by doing these seven things.

1. Don't sweat the small stuff
In other words, just let it go! New York-based wedding photographer Christian Oth says that when he shoots a genuinely happy couple that doesn't sweat the small details he gets far superior pictures than when photographing someone who is very self-conscious. "Fortunately, weddings are happy events with a lot of preparations and excitement leading up to it, but once you're there on the day, enjoy it," he urges. "Live it, be in the moment and stop worrying. The camera will pick up that happiness, that genuine smile, the emotions."

2. Practice your fake laugh
Speaking of being genuinely happy, a fake laugh can help cheer you up for real! "I find it often leads to a real laugh, and there is nothing more beautiful," reveals fine art wedding photographer KT Merry. If laughing in front of the camera makes you a bit nervous, she suggests practicing (snap some selfies!) and it will only get easier.

3. Remember to touch up
Planning on doing a first look? Then it might be a good idea to have your hair and makeup artist stick around for touch-ups later on. "This will ensure you're photo ready during the day and also allow for any adjustments as your hair and makeup wear off throughout the night," notes Merry.

4. Go for fake lashes
If you want your peepers to look extra pretty, Merry recommends wearing fake eyelashes. "They'll certainly photograph better than the real thing. With that said, I find individual lashes have a much more natural look and shoot the best," she explains.

5. Get your leg position right
Just because you're wearing a long dress doesn't mean your legs should be locked! "When wearing a gown you may feel that your leg position isn't important since the photographer can't see them, however it does affect the rest of your body," warns Merry. To give your entire body a more relaxed look, she advises standing as though you're wearing a short dress with a knee slightly bent and a little to the side.

6. Ditch the idea of a perfect pic
Because nothing's really perfect, right? "Don't overthink your pose. Instead, focus on how you feel and your emotions, and let that come forth in the photo," instructs Charleston-based wedding photographer Billy Hyer of Hyer Images. When you concentrate on the emotions of the day, as opposed to getting the perfect shot, your body language will be more genuine. And that genuineness is what makes a truly great photo.

7. Find a photographer you like
Whether it's business or romantic, chemistry is the key to success in pretty much any relationship. As Hyer puts it, "The more comfortable you feel with your photographer, the more you will be yourself, and your images will certainly display this as a result."

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