Avoid the Alec Baldwin unless you are in fact a Baldwin.



Couples often tell me they are shy and ask me to just make them look good. Some say “oh can you just Photoshop me later to make me look good?” Photoshop has its limitations and it can’t save bad posture or an awkward facial expression. It’s not easy to model and to look natural while you are having your picture taken. It’s my job as a photographer to make you feel at ease and to make you look natural.  It takes two to tango though, so myself and the Mott Visuals team created this little guide to enhance your modeling skills with some do’s and don’ts on posing that apply for men and for women.  Don’t be fooled by my good looks, I was a never a professional model. Okay I was being facetious .  Use this guide for your pre-wedding, wedding day, or anytime you are having your photo taken.




This is one of my biggest pet peeves, I’d say 1 in 3 people have this problem but it can easily be fixed, here’s how.  Stand in front of the mirror and smile. Or better yet grab your phone look right into the camera and smile. How do you look? Do you look fake or awkward?   Do you like the results? If not try some different smiles. Maybe you are showing too much of your teeth, not enough, or maybe you have an obvious fake smile like or just an awkward look like me here. What you think you look like and what you actually look like are often at odds.  It’s not a natural thing to smile on command. Take some time in front of the mirror or in front of your phone and as silly as you might feel doing so, practice. If you can’t find your signature look, browse advertisements in your favorite magazines.  Find a look you like and work on mimicking that. It doesn’t have to be over the top just find what works for you. You will eventually find the look you are happy with and you will learn how to do it without much thought.

Gross I know, but often when I ask people to smile and this is what they do.


Trying Too Hard (The Zoolander)

Okay the Baldwin family has that natural model face but you might not so don’t force it. Men are guiltier of this then women so men pay attention. If you are being goofy no problem, it can make for a fun portrait. For the more formal stuff lose the The Blue Steel and find a natural look.

Ridiculous , but people actually think they look good doing this expression. I almost pull it off but not quite.


Too Stiff

No you perverts I’m not talking about that and if you have that problem I’d prefer not to photograph it. Keep good posture but relax your cheeks and loosen up your stance. Again the photographer will direct you but find a posture that is flattering to your body and one that feels natural to you, relax.





I have a gut and the best solution would be to drink less beer but for now avoiding unflattering poses like this one that accentuate my stomach is a good solution.


Too Worried

Unless your photographer is holding an ax, you shouldn’t look worried or scared.

What are you afraid of?

Too Cute (For Women)

Pouty lips, holding up the peace sign, or just trying really hard to look cute is  acceptable for teenagers but not for your wedding shots. If you are cute it will show up in the images naturally so don’t try too hard.

Sorry, I had to model for both the men’s and women’s poses to remain consistant.


Too Cool (For Men)

You know what I’m talking about, that look like “hey I’m having my picture taken but I couldn’t care less, I’m just doing this for the misses so fire away but lets get this over with.”


It’s close to the too tough pose and equally as awful.


Too Tough

Just like you might regret that tattoo when you are older you might regret that tough guy look in all your wedding photos as well. A few of these can be fine but don’t go overboard.


Seriously, take it easy tough guy.


Strive to be more natural.

I’m no Brad Pitt but for me this works and feels more natural.



A few other small things to remember:

-Iron your shirt men, that is extremely hard and time consuming to fix in Photoshop and most photographers won’t do that for you.

-Add a pocket square

-Get your facial hair in order, lose the 5 O’Clock shadow. Same goes for the men too :).

-Browse your Facebook photos as a reminder of what face you were making when you liked or hated a photo of yourself.

-Dress with clothes that hold up over time, think classic.

-Empty your pockets to avoid awkward looking bulges, let the photographer’s assistant carry your things.

-Men, get a suit that fits you properly. I’m not saying it has to be skin tight but lean towards tighter fits than baggy. Baggy will make you look sloppy. Even if your a bigger guy like me, baggy clothes will only make you look larger. Read this guide here for more info.

-If you sweat a lot bring your anti-persprant with you and reapply.

-Don’t be afraid to tell the photographer if you like a certain pose more than others or if you just flat out don’t like a certain pose. The shoot should be a collaborative process so don’t be shy voicing your opinion.

-Men, pick up an issue of GQ, and thumb through it.  Their photographers and stylists do a great job coming up with different poses.

-Women, do the same with your favorite fashion magazine.


For the most part the photographer will direct you so don’t stress about all these do’s and don’ts, this is just a helpful guide for enhancing your session.  Good luck finding your inner model and remember the most important part of having your photo taken is to have fun.

Thanks from the whole team at Mott Visuals Weddings.  http://www.mottvisualweddings.com

Credit to Photographer: Trung Del

Stylist: Ngoc Nguyen

Model(if you can call me that):  Justin Mott


Ridiculous Outtakes that I probably shouldn’t post on the internet but oh well.








  1. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  2. Grace Jebara says:

    Hi Justin,
    Kelly Nyugen, a good friend, recommended you to be the photographer for my upcoming wedding. You wedding photography is so unique. It would be absolutely amazing to have you an artistic photographer shoot my wedding. The cheesy standard stuff is very uninteresting. The wedding will be in NYC on February 15th. Kelly told me you live in Vietnam…so I am not sure if it is possible for you to travel such a far distance. I would be so excited…
    Look forward to hearing from you,
    (917) 443-0211

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *