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A Photographer Gives Her 5 Foolproof Tricks For Looking Good in Pictures

By Alexandra Macon

Lucy Cuneo Collage

It’s one of our favorite photographer’s wedding anniversary today! To celebrate, we look back at Lucy Cuneo’s best tips for taking a good photo and revisit her dreamy 2013 wedding in Martha’s Vineyard.

We love Lucy Cuneos photos! The Americana subject matter, the always magical light, and the many glasses of rosé that always seem to be on hand . . . . The images she creates are so pretty, we practically want to jump right in them! No wonder the lifestyle blogger is a professional photographer by training—with a masters degree from SCAD, no less.

We first became acquainted with Lucys work through her wedding pictures and have subsequently fallen in love with her fun, lively Instagram account—the Instagram Stories are an absolute hoot—so we asked her to look back at her own wedding photos as well as share some of her tips and tricks for how to look as effortlessly stunning as she does on camera. (Something we always struggle with!)

Lucy and her husband, fellow photographer (and Englishman), Will Sarsfield met on Martha’s Vineyard in August 2011, and after a two year courtship, they decided to marry in front of 60 people in her father’s backyard on the island. Lucy paired a Reem Acra dress embellished with floral details and pearl beading with wedge heels (so they wouldn’t sink in the grass) and is giving us major Kyra Sedgwick vibes in all of her gorgeous pics, shot by Michael Simon. The couple wrote their own vows and recited them in an intimate garden ceremony officiated by the bride’s uncle. Following English tradition, Will gave a speech and toasts were given at the end of cocktail hour, so that the meal was more like a lively dinner party with dancing to follow. “There was also lots of pink champagne and margaritas,” says Lucy. “My family likes to party! The police came at 8:30 P.M., but we managed to roll on till 1:00 A.M.”

Five years after marrying Will, Lucys now shot over 60 weddings and picked up more than a few tricks for getting people to look good on their big days. Here she shares, in her own words, her 5 surefire tips for rocking everything from your wedding pics to your selfies.

(1) Loosen up. Movement and action are your friends,” says Lucy. “A friend taught me that throwing your arms above your head totally relaxes your shoulders. I love this trick, I use it all the time. This isn’t realistic for brides necessarily but we can get walking, and I find that’s often when the best photographs are taken. Any kind of movement you can employ is great, it gets you to stop fixating on putting your arm on your hip, etc.

(2) “Wear bolder makeup. The camera washes out our features,” explains Lucy. “Filling in brows, a bolder, brighter lip, and curling your eyelashes with lots of mascara all help your features look more like they do in real life. I’m not suggesting that you totally over do it, but it doesn’t read the same way in real life. I also love lots of blush/bronzer and am constantly surprised by how pale I look. I recommend testing it out a few times at home. I have also been known to get an organic, vegan one hour spray tan (made from walnuts). I’m into it.”

3. “Find a great light source. If you’re taking a selfie or iPhoto, turn towards the light. If you’re inside, face the window and put the phone between you and it rather than having the window behind you,” explains Lucy. “If you’re outside (preferably late or early), you can face the sunset for a nice glow. Often times the greatest background doesn’t match up with the most flattering light. For example, you might wish to have the ocean in the background but the sunset is behind you. As a photographer, I will always favor the flattering light over the background, it’s often cropped out anyway. And of course when it lines up well, fantastic!”

4. “Shoulders back, elongate your neck, chin slightly forward but not up. These are three instructions I give to people behind the camera,” says Lucy. “If it feels funny, it’s usually working. The other old trick is to rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you’re smiling to avoid a wide grin. It works!”

5. “Shoot from slightly above. I find that shooting people from slightly above (especially if they’re sitting) is more flattering that straight on,” notes Lucy. “It slightly thins out the face. That’s why we hold our selfies slightly above when we’re taking them. Too much with a full body makes you look short, but for a tight shot it works wonders.”

Now go off and make beautiful pictures!