Valeskca recently asked me if I would contribute to her blog from “his” perspective. After looking around on-line for a bit, I realized there really isn’t much out there by way of advice for the guy about to walk down the aisle, so I’ve decided to share my two bits…
I was once abducted by a team of international spies (for no apparent reason, really), and I was tortured for what seemed like weeks… Fortunately my years of psychological resiliency training paid off, and I survived the ordeal, mostly unscathed. Part of their evil tactic was to force me to watch America’s Next Top Model; a whole season’s worth…. Little did they know, I had already watched it (forced by my wife, of course ;) )! As some guys may already know, the show is full of useful tips and advice for the man that will soon find himself at the glassy end of a wedding photographer’s camera…
Now, as you may have already figured out, your bride-to-be probably spent her early years pretending to be a princess, her teen years followed with her practicing her kick ass poses, embracing the idea that she was just one mall trip away from becoming a famous model/signer/actress. She rehearsed for mock interviews and recited her acceptance speech for the Oscar’s in front of her bedroom mirror, clutching her hand-painted, gold trophy made from an empty roll of paper towel. By now, she knows her best angles, she is cognoscente of her hottest features and she knows exactly how to stand to hide whatever it is she hates about herself!
In comparison, your years of playing in the mud, perfecting armpit farts and generally goofing off left you unprepared to look you best on your big day. Trust me pal, you do not want to be the weak link bringing down the couple on your wedding day, not to mention that oh so very expensive wedding album you just agreed you absolutely needed!
It’s the light stupid…
75% of a photographer’s job is to understand and work with light. Your wedding photographer could probably help you out with posing ideas, but you should probably do your homework and understand at least a little so you don’t look like an uncomfortable oaf when it’s time to strike a pose. It’s even more important to understand light if you decide to hire cousin Sally, who’s insisted she can shoot your wedding day, since she just bought a new “fancy camera”… that is, just as soon as she figures out how to turn it on!
First off, pray for a cloudy day. Clouds diffuse the light so it comes from everywhere as oppose to one tiny bright yellow orb in the clear blue sky. This is why shadows on an overcast day are barely perceptible, not to mention why you big nose doesn’t cast a dark streak across you face.
Should your big day be a bright one, beware of a few things, if the sun is behind you, you would hope to see your photographer using a BIG flash. This will illuminate your face so it does not look like a dark shadow of unknown ethnic origin against a washed background.
The opposite problem occurs when the sun lights you straight on. Your face will be well lit but every crows feet line will appear in full bloom as you squint against the glare. Arguably, on such days, your pictures should be taken in the shade of a large tree so the camera feeds on ambient light as opposed to full sunlight. Again, even if it sounds counterintuitive, you would hope to see your photographer using a flash on these sunny days.
Tyra Banks always gives the same advice to all of her would-be models. Seek the light like a moth! As you may already know, the best way to inspect your car, after lending it to a careless friend, is to bring your eye close to the surface and look down the length of the car. At such an angle, all flaws will be easily spotted. When your picture is taken, you should face the main source of light as much as possible. Your nose won’t cast a shadow; your wrinkles will not be as visible. You will look better, period.
Now, I don’t know how you plan to dress, whether you intend to splurge on a fancy tux or go casual, but all guys should know that posture is key. Good posture will actually make you taller, you will look more confident, and dare I say, more powerful. 90% of people are slouchers; chances are you are too! Stand back up against the wall with you head touching it. Next bring your shoulder blades together and look at yourself. Wow, you look like you could be the CEO of Budweiser or something. Practice your posture every time you walk through a doorway until it becomes a permanent habit. Don’t worry, you can let yourself go again after the wedding. While we are on the posture thing, it is believed that men look better when their head is tilted up slightly and women look better with a slight downward tilt. It is great if you photographer is shorter than you, but if it is not the case, bring your nose up just a bit; think “snooty French sommelier”. Don’t exaggerate and practice in front of the mirror when there is no one at home.
Tyra always tell her girls to smize!!! WT… ! This is supposed to mean smile with your eyes. If you manage to pull this off, please send me a picture.
Don’t forget to cheat! Look in men’s fashion magazines and study how the good-looking people stand, sit and walk. Be observant, look at feet position, do their bodies lean forward or back? Are their feet parallel or skewed? What do they do with their hands?
Elbows in or out? While I know the answers, it will be far more useful on your wedding day if you go through the exercise yourself.
Lastly, make up for men…just kidding. Wash your face and apply some face moisturizer. The good stuff is just around 45 bucks, but it is money well spent if you are over 30. 9$ will get you an electric nose hair trimmer – with digital photography what it is today, you can zoom in on everything… just saying…
At the end of the day, enjoy yourself and have the confidence to realize she’s chosen to marry you…
Blogger and husband extraordinaire- telling it like it is from his side of the aisle,