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The SA Weddings Team shares some helpful tips for looking natural and comfortable in your wedding photographs!

If the idea of taking thousands of photos on your wedding day seems daunting to you, you're not alone. After all, unless you're a professional model, you're probably not accustomed to being in front of the camera for hours on end. So how do you pose for your wedding photographs to guarantee shots that you'll actually want to frame or put in your wedding album?

Your Best Side

No one's face is perfectly symmetrical and while we're sure that both sides of your face are gorgeous, you probably have one side that you like a bit better (even if you don't yet know it!) Take some selfies (or ask your BFF to help you out) and practice posing with your face tilted in each direction. Once you know your 'best side,' always pose to put your best face forward.

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Chin Up

To make a round or oval face look slimmer, angle your chin down ever so slightly (careful not to create a double chin in the process!). If you have a pronounced forehead, lift your chin up just a bit to create more balance. Regardless of your face shape and chin angle, push your entire face forward a little to avoid that 'hunched' look. Alternatively, you can ask the photographer to shoot you from a slightly overhead angle to create the angles without you having to do anything.

All Smiles

The key is to smile like you do in real life—and not as big as possible. When you smile largely, your cheeks puff out and your eyes generally close, which isn't the most flattering of poses. Instead, practice relaxing your face, opening your mouth ever so slightly, and thinking of something that makes you inwardly happy—like spending the rest of your life with your significant other.

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Smize

Tyra Banks popularised the term as shorthand for smiling with your eyes—and it works! You know when you smile how the corners of your eyes turn up? Well, when you pose, try to replicate that look, even in non-smiling shots. The result will be a more approachable, happy-look, even when you're not actually smiling.

Your Arms

The key to posing your arms is to keep them away from your body so they're not smushed against your torso, causing them to photograph wider than they actually are. One of the most flattering poses is to put the arm closest to the camera on your hip to accentuate your waist and slim your arm. Just be sure to tuck your elbow so it's pointing behind you and not out to the side. Feeling too posed? Just make sure your arms are lifted ever so slightly off your body or hold the person's back next to you to conceal your arm altogether.

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Lean Legs

Even if you're wearing a gown that completely conceals your legs, don't forget to pay attention to them. Either bend one knee (even the littlest bit) so you don't look stiff or cross your ankles at your calves to elongate your legs and make your hips appear narrower.

Your Body

Turn your body so it's at a 45-degree angle or so you're facing the person you're standing next to in order to put your body's depth (not width) on display, which, for most women, is more flattering.

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Standing Straight

Great posture goes a long way in making you look happier, healthier, more fit and more confident. It also affects how you feel: giving you more energy, which you'll need!

Have fun, laugh and just be you! You want your pictures to capture the essence of the occasion, not to look posed. Feeling stuck and uptight with all eyes on you? Look away from the camera, or have a moment with the love of your life and then come back to it. Or when all else fails, dance around a bit or sip some bubbles to loosen up and feel more like you!