10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #9

9. Hair Up or Down

Many brides, especially Italian brides choose to have their hair down, loose and flowing. But it not something I recommend, unless your ears are big and stick out like mine. The reason being that by the time everybody is done hugging and grabbing you, it’s all going to go flop and look stringy and messy. Basically, anything but pretty. I love simple buns (very high to low) and I have developed a fetish for plaits and retro styles. Just have a peep at what Prada and McQueen have been suggesting. And unless you want to be cheeky, ironic and a little pulp forget ringlets. Yes, especially for your bridesmaids if you ever want them to talk to you again.

Have to say that I love love love hats. Feathered, netted, big or small, Philip Tracey rocks my boat . One of his master pieces can turn a damsel into a diva.

Be seriously careful when considering glitter sprays and gel. And horror of horrors the silver foil some Italian hairdressers like to sprinkle in trusting brides hair. NO no no!

Lastly don’t do anything really drastic colour or cut wise just before your wedding. You may end up hating your wedding pictures just because you thought you could look like the model in the photo if you had her hair. Be realistic and remember to work with what you have.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #8

8. Eye drops.

We all know those nasty burny eye drops are no good for your eyes but for just one day in your life keep some handy. Often brides have blood shot eyes from exhaustion, stress and of course tears. Making them white, realistically can be difficult. So with just a little pain on your part, your eyes can sparkle for the day. Hey no one said it would be easy.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #7

7. The security of Touching up

Now I don’t recommend completely changing the way you look. But I see no reason why brides should not enjoy the advantages supermodels have enjoyed for years. Just take a look at some of these before and after images to get an idea of what I mean.

So if you choose me to be your photographer, I recommend that you discuss with me any complexes or insecurities you have. The touching-up I do to your wedding photos is subtle, so you can’t recognise the changes unless you compare them to the original image. If you want me to do anything above or beyond this, e.g. removing the bump on the bridge of your nose, you need to let me know!

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #6

6. Shoes, shoes, shoes… glorious shoes

Practise walking in the shoes you plan to wear on your wedding day. Especially if you are getting married in a little European village, otherwise you may find you’ll resort to being bare foot on your wedding day. Wear your shoes while you do housework, you can wrap them in cling film to avoid damage. Besides, you do realise very few people will actually see your shoes (yeah sorry about that) but they will notice how you are walking and whether you are still dancing at the end of the night. Though you would be quite entitled to kick off your shoes by the end of the night.

I have a terrible shoe fetish. I salivate and the mere sight of a pair of peep toe pumps so I understand your desire for the sexist shoes possible. But some sexy shoes can make a girl look very “unsexy” if they are going to put her in immense pain on her wedding day.

Consider having handy, a pair of comfortable shoes. (Sorry these won’t fit in my camera bag, but bridesmaids can come in extra handy here.) This way, if you want to walk around a city, up a steep hill or dance the night away at the reception, you have the option to do so in comfort and without risking falling over!

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #5

5. To tan or not to tan

“Why are models so pale?” is a question I often get asked. The answer is simple, if you are pale and you fake tan.. your skin tone will be uneven, you will get blotchy, wrinkly and it just won’t look good.

So –n o fake tan! It may seem a good idea to have a nice tan on your wedding day, but using fake tan leaves your skin looking streaky and orange, even when applied by a professional. Not to mention the risk you run of having your fake tan rub-off and stain your beautiful white wedding gown…

If you can’t resist, use sun beds a week before and make it just a blush. Italian girls really tend to over tan themselves and can look a little leathery in pictures. But I repeat, stay away from fake tan. The paler you are, the more yellow you will become. Your hands will look like you smoke funny stuff in pipes and your feet will always look dirty.

However if you are already quite dark and want to add a little gold, I love the Dior shimmering self tan on dark skins.

Now I know a whole bunch of you will ignore my advice and give me loads to touch up. But PLEASE do not get sunburnt before your wedding (especially bikini straps if you are wearing a strapless dress). You will be uncomfortable and look ridiculous.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #4

4. Taking care of yourself

Look after yourself in the days leading up to the wedding. Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. In particular, ensure that you do not stay up late the night before your wedding. Resting both physically and mentally in the days leading up to your wedding will make a big difference to your appearance and particularly your complexion. Taking “Rescue remedy” can also be a great way to calm your nerves before the ceremony.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #3

3. Posing

Now I know this is a swear word in the wedding world, but if you want to look nearly as good as the girls in magazines, you’ve got to do a little posing. This is usually a very embarrassing concept for most brides, who have often never even had their picture taken professionally. While one is finding the perfect pose, one wastes a little time and often we have to go through one or two that don’t work and make you feel silly.

But, I find plain, classic wedding photographs dull. So whilst I love reportage, I also like making you look gorgeous, so think that something must be said for half an hours worth of funky flattering posing.

So we want posed pictures but we find posing embarrassing. Why? Probably because the first time we ever try it is in front of a complete stranger on our wedding day. So here’s a little tip. I often ask brides who are very good in front of the camera “where did you learn to do that?” they nearly always reply. “I have been practising for years in front of the mirror”

Still not convinced. Let me help you out here. I have big ears and I hate them. But I know when I am having my picture taken, to turn my head a little to the side, so you only see one ear. This way you can hardly see how my ears stick out. If you shoot me head on… well that is a whole other story….

Right I feel you are with me now. The thing to do is to go through some mags and collect a whole bunch of poses you adore. Practise, practise, practise… even as a couple. You will save a whole lot of time on the day and you will naturally look amazing.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #2

2. Posture

Stand up straight and you instantly loose 5kgs. I find the sexiest posture is a little left of the one suggested in finishing school. I prefer the stripper approach… bum out (therefore legs extended upwards), boobs out, lower back gently arched, shoulders dropped back and down. Your head should float up from the base of your neck.

This takes a little practise and no doubt not possible the whole day, but during important moments (portraits) try and ‘extend thy self’. Nothing worse than a slouching bride, and few things are as embarrassing as your wedding photographer telling you to tuck your tummy in.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #1


Okay, so you don’t want to hear it, but there is no product or service in the whole world which will make you look and feel better. Even if you have never exercised before in your whole life, just 40 minutes, three times a week, a few months before your wedding will change everything. Exercise is a fantastic out for stress. So firstly, you will be less likely to turn into a horrid and stressed bridezilla. Then as an added bonus you will look a whole lot better. Less bloated, tighter, harder, smoother and your skin will glow. Forget drastic diets, they make you tired, irritable, saggy, yellow faced and quite unlovable. Eat! Eat! Eat! And include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. It gives you all the energy and stamina that you need. Especially on the big day! Eat something decent (and if possible before hair and make up).

On the morning of your big day, do a light work out. The ideal is gym because there is nothing like weights to tighten muscles instantly. But anything will do, even a brisk walk or swim in the sea. You will relieve stress, freshen the mind and be a blushing bride with rosy cheeks.

Reportage’ or ‘Photojournalistic’ Wedding photography explained.

Reportage or ‘candid’ wedding photography has become hugely popular over the past ten years. It is a natural and modern photography style, whereby the photographer depicts the whole wedding as it unfolds, with minimal interference or scene manipulation.

The only rule of reportage photography is to expect the unexpected. This allows the photographer to catch the dynamic nature of a wedding—the constantly changing light, settings and events. Nothing will be missed with this intimate account of your day.

Because of its spontaneous nature, reportage photography is best shot in natural light—to the ‘purist’, even using a flash means overstepping the bounds of the genre. Many photographers also shoot their reportage images in black and white, as it can give better results in changing, or difficult light.

At JoAnne Dunn Photography, we will use whatever technique necessary to get the pictures looking amazing. In our experience, the most gorgeous reportage photos are usually shot in the moments before sunset. After that we have to get creative with flashes and tripods. We also offer to touch up your reportage images to make sure they have that magical glow you remember from the moment in which they were captured. SO because our number one goal is making you look good, we are not reportage purists.

JoAnne Dunn

Recent Awards on “The Artistic Guild of the wedding photographer’s Association” 2008 competition.

2nd Place: [AG]WPJA Q3 2008 – Reception Ambiance

Judge’s Comments: 1. Gorgeous, clean, great tone and great composition. If I had a copy in Photoshop, I’d kill the highlight coming from the tablecloth dead centre. Otherwise, it’s lovely. I’d put that print on my wall!

11th Place: [AG]WPJA Q3 2008 – Reception Ambiance

Judge’s Comments: 1. This image also had potential to be one of the best in the group. The colour is fantastic and I love the angle but it is missing a moment and seems static. I think movement or some feet in a better dance step would have greatly improved this image.

17th Place: [AG]WPJA Q3 2008 – Reception Ambiance

Judge’s Comments: 1. Who couldn’t delight in the composition and colour found in this image? The party is here, within this image. Enjoy.

Putting us in the top ten of the overall results. Seventh in the whole world is an honour since it’s very difficult to win anything at all on this site. Great pictures on this site which breach the gap between photojournalism and fusion photography.

JoAnne Dunn

Cape Town Fashion Scene Rocks

Shooting In Llundudno, Cape Town South Africa – January 2009

A gorgeous venue, a beautiful location and great team in place. Our shoot was ready. Cape Town has to be one of the easiest places in the world to organise a fashion shoot. With just a few emails everything can be arranged. That is if you are lucky enough to choose the right people.The evening of the shoot my Canon’s batteries decided they needed to be calibrated and well that takes twelve hours. Then they have to be charged which takes another ten. So they were not ready by the morning. One call to PhotoHire and batteries were delivered along with all the other equipment in Llundudno. Bascially these guys rock!

A special thanks goes out to Kim our stylist. She pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Other than being reassuringly calm and enthusiastic, she is purely brilliant at what she does. It is hardly surprising that she is one of the most sought after stylists in the Cape Town fashion world.

To everybody from Jade (make up and hair), to my three (yes three) faithful assistants, to the models, THANK YOU. You guys were amazing. I could not have done any of it without you.

I do have to have one little moan. Only because fair is fair. Whilst I know that it was not “Amazing Spaces’’ fault, but they cancelled my first choice, paid in full, contract signed, booked venue, a short three working days before the shoot. The money I had paid and contract I had signed was apparently worthless, because the Prince of Monaco was extending his stay. I considered hiring a lawyer and teaching everybody how to ‘play fair’, but since my clients include royalty (Tuscan and Belgium) and these guys all hang out together, I decided not to give myself a bad wrap. Lisa at Amazing Spaces fought a war for me, but lost against the owner of the house. Who claimed “How can I kick them out?.. They are royalty..”

So I would like to help out and answer his question;

“Dear owner of “Mwanzoleo “,73 Victoria Road, Bantry Bay,

Tell the prince that a big footed, hairy, rather insignificant wedding photographer has paid good money for THAT venue. She flew all the way from Italy (and is terrified of flying) to shoot in THAT venue. She may not be royalty, but she worked her buns off (literally) to earn every cent which went into paying for THAT venue (which cost more than she ever dreamed of earning in a month just seven short years ago). Tell him that he can stay in this amazing place again anytime he likes, but that she may never get another chance to shoot in this venue.

Lastly…on the off chance that the owner of 73 Victoria Road, Bantry Bay, reads this blog, I want to say in good faith, one good turn deserves another. And according to Karma he owes me a little favour. And with Royal friends he is in the position to return my favour of not causing a fuss. So, I leave it to him how to ‘return the favour sir.”

JoAnne Dunn