Shooting the perfect bridal portrait requires more than just a great photographer; the couple themselves need to be aware of their best poses and photogenic angles. 

Contributing Editor Steve Thio, who has styled celebrities and real couples for magazine spreads, shares five tips to get you prepared for your big shoot.

Photography Aik Chen; Styling Steve Thio, assisted by Jimmy Tan; Hair & Makeup Grego/HP 9826-2681; Model Tess Hamer/Mannequin; Shot on location at The Lake Palace, Udaipur, India.

1. Right Light
Never ever do a shoot under the noon light. In Singapore, shoots are best done from 7am – 8.30am or from 5pm to 6.30pm when the light is glowing and soft. Bridal portraits should be radiant and romantic. Any other time and the light is blazing bright and adds hard shadows to all your features, including the tiniest skin bumps and pimples.

2. Rest and Relax
To look your best, sleep early and well the night before the shoot. Don’t drink water after 9pm to avoid looking bloated. Apply a good face mask before bedtime but avoid facials or skin treatments at least a week before the shoot. I have had brides who had facials the day before the shoot and they ended up with red swellings or blotchy skin tones.

jadeseah3.jpgJade Seah and her husband Terence Lim strike a pose for the camera during our photoshoot in Mauritius. | Photography Winston Chuang; Styling Steve Thio, assisted by Evon Chng; Hair & Makeup Sha Shamsi, using Sebastian Professional & Burberry Beauty; Shot on location at The Residence Mauritius.

3. Get the Balance Right
Most couples agonise over looking slim during their shoot. But when I style a bridal shoot, I look more for the right proportion. The couple has to look proportionate rather than too short or top-heavy. You will need to know your best angles and this requires practice on your own in front of a mirror. You can also get your other half to shoot you from various angles to determine which is the best camera height and angle. It’s always best to work with your photographer and tell them your preferences so he can ensure the results are what you want.

VECL0906v1 hwplus.jpgPhotography Vee Chin, assisted by Angela Guo; Styling Steve Thio, assisted by Michelle Lee & Cheryl Ong; Hair & Makeup Grego/HP 9628-2681, using L’oreal Professionnel Techni.Art & Laneige; Model Wang Bei/Mannequin.

4. Easy Breezy
Get the right hair, makeup and grooming style to match the theme of your shoot. I have come across real life bridal shoots in outdoor locations where the bride is dressed to the nines with heavy makeup and stiff coffered hair – it just looks wrong. Light makeup, breezy curls and loose up-dos are perfect for outdoor locations. Get your references from the beautiful spreads in Her World Brides where we feature models, with the right hair and makeup, looking gorgeous in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations.

VT 26563_HR hwplus.jpgPhotography Veronica Tay, assisted by Mark Lee; Styling Steve Thio, assisted by Michelle Lee; Hair & Makeup Dily Wang/Face Bistro, using Redken Styling Products & Chanel; Model Lauren R/Upfront; Shot on location at the Datai Langkawi, Malaysia.

5. Take your time
Nothing looks worse than a stressed bride rushing to finish her shoot in time. If you want a more extensive wedding album, then do invest in more days/time to complete the shoot properly, without rushing through your outfit and makeup changes. I am always apprehensive about photographers who claim they can finish a wedding album of 10 or more pictures in one day – especially when it’s shot outdoors. Bearing in mind the ideal times to shoot outdoors, you would really need at least 2 days in the mornings and evenings to have an album of at least 14 great pictures. All you need is one to two great shots – it’s pointless to have 20 pictures when not even one is beautiful.

Got any wedding-related questions? We’re happy to help! Please drop us an e-mail at sthio@sph.com.sg should you wish to submit your queries. Please note that your queries and our responses may be featured in the magazine, or on the website.