Bridal portraits are not just an excuse for the bride to wear her gown before the wedding. For some brides, it’s the day they get to be a model for a day and pamper themselves, and for others, the session is simply about the joy of taking beautiful photographs, which they can then share with their families and friends. As the wedding photographer, the bridal portraits session is a great chance for you to interact and establish a relationship with the bride. These portraits usually happen a month or two in advance, so that gives you plenty of time to help your bride get comfortable in front of the camera and with you. Every bride deserves some gorgeous portraits of herself, and we are here to help you deliver the best! In this blog, we share some stunning photographs of brides by some amazing ShootDotEdit customers and offer you some tips on preparing for the session.
Stellar Bridal Portraits by ShootDotEdit Customers
1. Trevor Hooper Photography
ShootDotEdit customer Trevor Hooper beautifully captures the easy, breezy, boho-chic bride in this light and airy composition. People usually get awkward and don’t know what to do with their hands when posing for the camera. If you ever come across such an instance, let your bride hold her bouquet in one hand and rest the other on her waist or head, like in this image. It is a brilliant trick to help brides feel less awkward and also bring in more elements. To see more of Trevor’s brides, check out his Instagram and Facebook.
2. Infinite Loop Photography
It’s important to highlight unique cultural elements in bridal portraits. From the traditional jewelry and dress to the henna tattoos, ShootDotEdit customer Jerry Cantave perfectly captures all that is special about this bride. To see more bridal portraits by Jerry, check out his Instagram and Facebook.
3. IQ Photo
A solid background that naturally creates a contrast with the bride’s dress is a great way to highlight your bride. We love how ShootDotEdit customer Joseph Kohn and his bride let the wind take its course and found a perfect moment in between. Sometimes, you can really capture a perfect moment when you just let nature do its thing! To see more of Joseph’s amazing photographs, head to his Instagram and Facebook.
4. Kristen Honeycutt Photo Co
Bridal portraits are all about letting the bride be the star of the day! As you take detail photos of the wedding dress, don’t forget to add some detail photographs of the hair and makeup. In this photograph, ShootDotEdit customer Kristen Honeycutt offers a stunning example of how and what to photograph beyond the wedding dress during the bridal portrait session. To see more of Kristen’s work, check out her Instagram and Facebook.
How to Conduct a Bridal Portraits Session
1. Discuss Location Preferences
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @olsondesignphotography
Your bride might already have a location in mind for her bridal portrait session. It could be the house she grew up in or a garden she used to visit as a child – it’s important to discuss the venue for the session before moving to the other steps. If your bride has no preferences, you could also suggest some tried and tested locations that fit her requirements and could be great for taking her portraits. However, if you are zeroing in on an outdoor location, keep in mind that the weather could betray you on the day. So, always have a backup or methods to deal with unexpected weather conditions.
Suggested Read: Top 5 Tips: Photography Lighting Basics For Any Location
2. Prepare a Shot List
Preparing a basic shot list with all the classic bridal portrait poses can help you manage your time and guide you during the session. If your bride is camera shy, then it’s your responsibility to help her relax as you take stunning portraits of her. Include some classic and easy poses in your shot list and help her ease into the process. Try to direct her through these poses in ways that will help her feel comfortable and gain more confidence in front of the camera.
Suggested Read: Creating a Wedding Day Shot List
3. Get to Know Your Bride
Any wedding photographer would tell you that the bridal portrait session is a great chance for you to get to know your bride, who would otherwise be busy and surrounded by guests on the wedding day. So if your bride is opting to get bridal portraits, it’s time for you to build your relationship with her. Ask her about the groom, bridesmaids, and any family secrets you should know. Talking about her career, childhood memories, or future plans could also be topics worth considering. However, don’t be pushy. There’s a fine line between trying to get to know your bride and pushing for answers, and crossing that boundary would be unprofessional.
4. Capture the Dress & Details
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @flavio_d_photography
This is the moment for the dress to shine! And it’s your job to show it in all its glory. The bride’s gown is one of the stars of the wedding, so dedicate some extra time to photographing it before everyone gets to see it. Your bride’s dress could have small details, and she would want them to be documented too, so make sure you pay extra attention to the details. You could also ask the bride whether she wants any particular parts of the dress to be highlighted. Try to get photos from every angle without having to move the bride too much. If the dress has a dramatic train, take images of that too. Additionally, get detail shots of her shoes, and a sentimental piece that she’s wearing, and her hair and makeup as well. And don’t forget the veil!
5. Have a Helper
Having a helper by your side during the bridal portrait session will make the whole process easier for you. The bride usually has her mother or a close friend by her side to help her get through the session, but if this isn’t the case with your bride, then enlist a friend to help you out during the session. They could help with things like holding the props, making sure the bride’s dress doesn’t get dirty, and with anything that the bride might need. This will save you the trouble from running around and help you focus on the photography.
6. Include the Groom
While not all brides will want to include their groom in the session, you could discuss the possibility of inviting the groom to the bridal portraits session too. Adding the groom to the session would mean you could take some beautiful photos of the couple together and document their love. Plus, you could also take the ‘first look’ photos of the groom when he gets to see his bride in her gown for the first time!
7. Add Props
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @klenoxphotography
Whether it’s a bridal bouquet or a sentimental item, if your bride has it, have her pose with the prop. Photographs with sentimental items will also be more meaningful for your bride since they will hold more emotional value for her. Most of the time, when people are getting photographed, they don’t really know what to do with their hands, so having props eliminates the chance of them feeling awkward about their empty hands. You could also ask your bride to grab her veil or part of her dress.
8. Work With Different Angles
To not make the bride move too much and risk spoiling her dress, you will have to do most of the moving during the bridal portraits session. So, have the bride stand in the spot where you want to photograph her and take photos from all the angles. To get those detailed shots, you will have to find those different parts of the dress and then figure out whether you need to change lenses or simply change positions.
As you prep for your next wedding, think about how you can use each of these techniques to create stunning bridal portraits. We hope that the above photographs and tips help you be better prepared for your next bridal portraits session. Remember that one of the easiest ways to ensure that you get the most amazing portraits is by making your bride comfortable and encouraging her to be natural. Having this extra time with the bride is all about making the day all about her and making her feel special. You can experiment with color schemes, angles, and even props to get creative. So, get ready to bond with your bride, take stunning bridal portraits and impress your bride before you even get to the wedding day!
Further Read: How To Edit Portraits In Photoshop
At ShootDotEdit, we go the extra mile to help you take the best photographs. Whether it’s photography tips and tricks or photo editing, we are here to make your life easier! To learn more about our photo editing services and how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our price plans.
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