Broadmoor Wedding Photography

5 Steps to Stunning Bridal Portraits

Let’s talk bridal portraits! I’ve already explained the benefits of taking them (if you need a refresher, click here). But anything worth doing is worth doing well! You don’t want just any old pictures, right? You want timeless images looking your best, showing off all the amazing details you so perfectly planned. Whether you’re a model with plenty of experience or you’ve never spent time in front of the lens, there’s a few things all brides can do to look amazing in their bridal portraits—and ensure it’s a great experience!

Step 1: Lay the Groundwork

Yes, the images are captured at the session itself, but there’s plenty of things you can do in advance that will make taking your bridal portraits more enjoyable—which actually makes for better photos! Schedule your hair and makeup in advance, and have photos and ideas of what style/look you’re going for. If you’re doing your own, practice beforehand, and try to make your makeup a bit darker than you normally would. It may seem exaggerated in person, but trust me when I say it will look great on camera. (Don’t go overboard, just make sure everything will show up well!) Get a good night’s sleep the day before your shoot, eat well and stay hydrated on portrait day. The more confident and refreshed you feel, the more confident and refreshed you’ll look in your photos. 

Step 2: Come Prepared

You know what they say: It’s better to have something and not need it than need something and not have it! I’m a big fan of checklists, so having one with everything you’ll need for your bridal portraits is essential. You’re getting married… you’ve got enough on your mind! This is an easy way to take the stress out of your experience, and a simple step to looking calm and well put together in your portraits. I’ll even get you started! You’ll need:

  • Wedding dress
  • Sweater or jacket if it’s chilly
  • Undergarments
  • Veil or hair accessories
  • Wedding shoes
  • Comfortable shoes for walking between locations
  • Jewelry
  • Touch up makeup and hair pins/hairspray
  • Bridal bouquet (or other props/accessories of your choosing)
  • Engagement ring (be sure to get it cleaned!)
  • A member of your family, wedding party or bridal squad

Step 3: Protect Your Time

Whether you’re scheduling a separate photo shoot (which I recommend) or incorporating bridal portraits into your wedding day itinerary, it’s important to protect your time. We’ve all got 100 things on our plates and a to-do list a mile long. Don’t let other errands, hard deadlines or other wedding festivities take over your time! The key to looking relaxed and natural is well… feeling relaxed and natural. And nothing ruins relaxation quite like rushing! Likewise, make sure your photographer isn’t multitasking or running to other obligations. Everyone should leave their phones silenced and put away. Simply focus on the experience and enjoy your time as a bride-to-be!

Step 4: Trust Your Photographer

The great thing about using your professional wedding photographer for bridal portraits? It’s in the name—We’re professionals! If your photographer gives you physical directions (like turn this way, chin up/chin down, etc.), trust them! Communicate with each other and build a relationship to relieve any portrait anxiety. Your comfort level will not only shine through your images, but allow the photographer to capture your radiant personality. Our job is to give you bridal portraits you’ll love, so trust the process and allow your photographer to suggest poses, adjust lighting or flyaway hair, and create complementary colors/composition.

Step 5: Have FUN

The biggest key to successful bridal portraits? Having FUN! It might be hard to feel like yourself in a wedding dress (especially if gowns and formalwear aren’t typically your thing), but it’s so important to laugh and have fun… in photos and in life! You only get to feel this glamorous so many times in your life, right? So enjoy it! Don’t pose in any way that makes you uncomfortable, and don’t take anything too seriously. In short, just be yourself! There’s only one you, and your portraits should reflect everything amazing that entails. Need some help? Give these tips a try:

  • Bring a speaker and your device of choice to play your favorite songs during your shoot
  • Talk to your photographer beforehand… they probably have some great tips!
  • Have some fun props handy 
  • Bring a close friend who can make you smile and feel at ease

Taking stunning bridal portraits is doable for everyone, even the most camera-shy brides. All it takes is some planning, preparation and JOY!

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