1. Get to know your bride
It goes without saying that you must know your camera if you would like to capture awesome bridal portraits. However, it is just as important for you to know your bride. Know what she likes about herself and which parts of her wedding day ensemble are most important. Let her know that she is not just another photograph for you but a unique personality and a unique image.
2. Make your bride comfortable
Do your best to make your bride feel comfortable. Give her a compliment on her dress, her hair, her shoes, her jewelry, or her figure. If you tell her that she looks good or looks confident, she just might feel good and feel confident. Having a relaxed and comfortable bride goes a long way when you are trying to achieve a strong bridal portrait.
3. Create a moment
It may help to talk your bride through her emotions and what you want to achieve in your photo. Are you trying to create a soft and moody portrait? Ask your bride to close her eyes and take a moment to reflect. It’s very rare for a bride to have an actual moment of quiet reflection on her wedding day, but if you set it up it becomes much easier to get the photo you want.
4. Shoot down
Try to avoid shooting up at a bride. If you are shorter than your bride, get a ladder or a chair to stand on. This is very important if you are shooting from up close. When you shoot down at your bride and she is looking up at your camera you can avoid those awkward shots with double chins, large chins, and prominent nostrils.
5. Capture the details
Many brides are spending a ton of money so that EVERY detail is perfect for their wedding. Make sure to photograph these things. Your brides will thank you. Ask them about the details: the hairpieces, the necklaces, the earrings, the rings, the dress, the shoes, or anything else they have as a part of their wedding wardrobe.
6. Find a quiet space
Along with using your words to make a bride feel comfortable, finding a quiet space can also help. It is OK to bring along one or two people that she is already comfortable with. But do not allow a crowd to gather while you are trying to take portraits. People become very self-conscious when a large group of people is watching them. Look for a secluded space where you can focus on making great photos.
7. Find flattering poses
All brides will want to look their best. Avoid straight on poses, but instead turn your bride a quarter turn to the right or left. This angle will give you a more flattering profile. Work to find angles that show the best possible side of your bride’s figure.