Tag Archives: Bride

Getting Ready Shots and Why They are Important



Getting Ready


The Guys

Getting Ready Shots and Why They are Important

They are an important series of shots that the couple will love.

Getting into the dress is a ritual and it is the threshold moment of the day-  it is the moment when everyone knows it’s game on.  Or in the words of a brides maid at a recent wedding-  ” The s***ts about to get real”  to which everyone bust into hysterical laughter.

Things I do to document the moment is to control the event.

For example, I ask the groom to put the jacket on in a certain spot-  natural light and clean background.  Never have them look at the camera-  always out the window.  Ask them to play with their cuffs or lapels.  They need to look cool and James Bondish.


For the Bride there are many options and I try to get a sense of the flow of the dress and the people around them.  One of my favorites is the mother applying the final touches of the dress.  This is a timeless ritual and it shows a link to the past

I photograph it at the mothers level,  Never from above because it looks poor,  and always with a backlight behind her.  It creates a nice glow around the mother.

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Photographing the Bride and Making her Look Amazing

Photographing the Bride so she looks amazing


The Bride


The Bride


The Bride

Photographing the Bride and Making her Look Great

Your photographer must take exceptional breathtaking kickass Holy Molly drop dead amazing pictures of the bride –  PERIOD!

It’s her day and she is going to look incredible so you better have a plan on how to capture her in all her glory.  This is one of those shots that you must get.

Here’s what I do:

1- Best case place to photograph her-  Photograph her in the location she is getting ready in-  I have no idea what the space she will get ready will look like.  But I know I can control in a lot more than say the church which will most likely be dark and cluttered.   Control is the key word.  I search for house or hotel room to find a room that I can clear of all the stuff and has good lighting.

The above is the spare room.  I took pictures off the wall and moved everything.  If something gets damaged?  Be careful and nothing will.  If it does?  That’s why you have liability insurance.

I like to do the first set of many pictures of her at her location because she still looks fresh and bright.  Fatigue has not set in.  Also, there is something magical about the bride when she is wearing her dress for the first time.  It’s in her eyes and body language and it lasts about 1 hour before the hectic flow of the day starts.

2-  Get the lighting right-  Open blinds, turn on lights,  bounce flash … do what ever to get the space bright.  Ideally you know something about light and how it falls and moves-  both natural and flash.  That’s what a professional means-  you know your stuff and make magic happen.  If you don’t know how to make it happen, give them their money back and stop booking weddings until you know.

I knew instantly this room was going to be it.  The white walls, large windows and blinds made for perfect lighting.  She would be backlit and I am bouncing light off the front wall the light her face a touch.  I over exposed by a 1/3 to blow out the light even more.  I wanted an airy feel to the shot.

How long did I plan this?  Days, weeks, hours?

It took  one  30 second look in the room and I knew.  The whole session in this space took 4 minutes after I moved everything.

3-  Posing-  Study fashion magazines.  I do it while I am waiting to checkout at Schnucks.  Other people pick the shortest line.  I take the longest line or even better the trainee cashier.  I want time to do my homework by scanning Cosmopolitan and Vogue.

For a woman, any woman, curves are appealing.

These are my instructions:

a-  push top of your head to the ceiling to elongate the body.

b-  pull your tummy or core in the show curves up top

c-  arch the lower back to create curves in the behind area.

d-  relax shoulders and pull them back to emphasize curves.

e-  Put all your weight on foot closest to me to create curves in behind area.

f-  Relax hand on hips or thighs and relax elbows away from body.  Hands are gentle in posture.

g-  Twist at waist a fraction to slim the waist down.

h- chin forward and down, relax the eyes.

I-  look over shoulder and down and then over shoulder at me.  And BAM!

All the above happens in about 3 seconds in a calm series of instructions.

I know the pose and picture before I take it and it’s just a matter of being VERY clear in posing instructions.



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Bridesmaids and their Photographs


Bridesmaids and their Photographs




Their Photographs

BridesMaids BridesMaids Bridesmaids and their Photographs

Some Photographers do not spend enough time on the bridesmaids.

They have just spent the morning getting ready and looking amazing.  Their makeup is spot on, their hair is looking amazing, and they have a lovely uniformity because of their dresses.  This is probably the most exciting group of ladies that are demanding to be photographed.

I usually will do a headshot set before we leave the location where they are getting ready.  I always feel that this a sanctuary and once we leave it it will be game on in terms of the pressures of the day.  Here they are at least somewhat relaxed.

I like to position them in a way that keeps the background lighter than their hair.  I try to place a lamp with a soft warm bulb in it behind them.  This is the ideal, but too many places now use the efficiency bulb which are much cooler in temperature.

Posing is really simple-

  • head is tall to lengthen the body,
  • chin is down and pushed forward to lengthen the neck,
  • head is turned slightly to camera so the nose is made smaller or less pronounced by their cheek,
  • Eyes are either at the camera or down
  • lips are slightly parted for a sultry look
  • and occasionally they can smile:)

I always give them a preview on the back of the camera.  They love this!  And more importantly I have now gained their trust and will totally work with me through the day.



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London Bride


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