I'm SO glad you're here! I'm a Colorado-based photographer who left her heart in Wisconsin and has a passion for human connection. If you're ready to be yourself, and maybe even get a little silly, I'll bring my Midwestern charm and work ethic, and we can share an adventure you'll never forget!
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!
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.
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:
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!
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.
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:
Taking stunning bridal portraits is doable for everyone, even the most camera-shy brides. All it takes is some planning, preparation and JOY!
This year I had the privilege of spending the school year with nine amazing seniors, working with them through senior photos, individual and group portrait sessions, and fun social gatherings throughout the semester. As members of my 2023 Senior Rep Team, these students applied to take part in a one-of-a-kind opportunity throughout their senior year, taking part in unique, styled photo shoots and plenty of team adventures. Of course, we documented every moment together, creating a truly unforgettable experience… and incredible galleries of senior photos to show for it! But don’t take my word for it. Let’s hear from the Reps themselves!
“Being part of the rep program has been even more fun than I imagined it to be, because I have been able to grow closer to some incredible people as we have spent time together taking pictures and hanging out. We have made some incredible memories, and have amazing senior photos to memorialize them. At our holiday party this year, eight girls went from practically strangers to wonderful friends in a matter of hours, and we were able to not only get amazing pictures out of the experience, but also great relationships. We are a group of people who would never have another reason to meet, much less hang out, yet we have discovered an awesome community through this program.”
Advice for future program applicants: “Juniors, you are currently finishing one of the hardest years of high school, and I know the idea of graduation, and all the life changes that come with it, seem so far away. But it’s closer than you think! The new experiences and chances that I have embraced during my senior year, like being a senior rep, have resulted in amazing memories and incredible opportunities, and this is no different. I have become friends with eight other seniors from across the city, and we have had an incredible time hanging out together! Being part of the rep program is an opportunity that has been so impactful for me, and I encourage you to do it (while you can)!”
“I wanted to become a senior rep to meet new people from across all parts of Colorado Springs. It’s really important to meet new people who don’t live in the same area as you to broaden your horizons. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with all the other senior reps! They’re all super kind, sweet, and welcoming. I think we all have a common goal of meeting new people, and this was a great way to foster that curiosity.”
Advice for future program applicants: “There’s really no downside! Meeting new people, having fun, and supporting a small business is a great way to get active in the community. I’ve gained so many new friendships from this experience. I can’t say enough about how positive of an experience this has been. Going to Cheyenne (Mountain HS), it’s very easy to be stuck in a bubble and only make friends with the people around you. As a senior rep, you make friends with people from all over.
By posing and getting physically close with one another, it’s very easy to become emotionally close with the people around you as well. I think this is also a great skill to have for when you go off to college. Not everyone is where you’re from, so having the experience of making friends with people that don’t come from where you do is definitely advantageous.”
“I have enjoyed working with Sarah. It has been an amazing experience, and I have also enjoyed the friendships I have made!“
Advice for future program applicants: “I would say: You’re only a senior once! Enjoy it while it lasts. I would totally encourage anyone to be a senior rep because it is so fun and the people are amazing! I have made some of the most incredible friendships with people through the senior rep program and also got to reconnect with some amazing people! Every shoot of senior photos has been so fun and just something so cool to be a part of!”
“I wanted to be a senior rep because it was something new and fun that I wanted to be a part of. I’m always ready and up for new opportunities that are presented to me. I got to meet a lot of great and fun people. Some of them I’ve been friends with for years, some go to my school, and I got to learn more about them and see them outside of a school setting. Others I found out I have a lot in common with, even if I have never met them before.”
Advice for future program applicants: “It’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and meet people who are in the same class as you. From fun hangouts to tiny little road trips, I’ve had so much fun this year, and with each senior photos session, there came lots of fun memories that have been captured. We’ve all become such a close group, and it’s been really great to be a part of.”
“I love the passion and story behind Sarah’s photos, and how she loves learning about people. I also love learning about people, and human nature, being part of this, and inspiring others!”
“I wanted to be a senior rep because it seemed like a great way to get professional photos without the same price tag. It seemed like a good way to meet people, and as a guy, I knew there were going to be pretty girls, so that was a plus. I really enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know them. I already knew one of them, so we were able to become better friends.
It was also great to see how the senior photos turned out. Every single time I was amazed by how good she made us look. Sarah is really fun to work with, she has great ideas, and works with your ideas as well to get the best pictures. Also the group picture session(s) were a lot of fun, and I had never done one of those so it was a new experience for me.”
“I wanted to be a senior rep because of the amazing experience of meeting new people. I also wanted to work with Sarah, and of course, get beautiful pictures to capture my senior year. I’ve had so much fun this year working with the other reps. I went into this not really knowing anyone and I have been able to make great connections. No one else from my school was a rep this year, so I’ve been able to meet people from many different schools, and we’ve been able to bond over the shared experiences we have at our different schools and extracurricular activities.”
Advice for future program applicants: “I think being a senior rep is a great way to capture your senior year as well as make more friends who are there to support you in all your senior year adventures.”
“I have had a great time being a senior rep. I think the best part has been the friendships I’ve built with other seniors. Also going on photo shoots is very fun with Sarah. She makes me feel comfortable and it feels easy to take senior photos. After getting them back it’s so much fun to look through the gallery.”
Advice for future program applicants: “I would encourage others to sign up because you’re only a senior once. Being a senior rep is super unique. I have loved the opportunity to take pictures as a group. I think this has helped me open up and build relationships with people. The best memory so far has been carpooling with a group of girls to a photo shoot and having a ton of fun there and after stopping to get ice cream.”
“I wanted to be a senior rep to meet other seniors in the same stage of life. Others who I wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to meet. It’s also a very unique experience as I’m only a senior once. I felt I needed to jump on the opportunity and I’m so glad I did! I have enjoyed the relationships I’ve formed getting to know such a kind group of people and making memories together. I’ve also enjoyed getting to grow into myself and find new confidence through being a senior rep. I’ve had so many fun experiences that I will treasure for years to come.”
Advice for future program applicants: “I would absolutely recommend the senior rep program because you get to work with such amazing people, all with different stories and aspirations. You also get the chance to preserve the memories in beautiful photographs forever. I’ve met friends through the senior rep program that I may have never come into contact with otherwise. We are all coming from different schools and communities. It’s been amazing to gain different perspectives on what senior year looks like. But also realize that we are all sharing in this collective experience of moving into the next stage in our lives, whatever that may look like. I’ve been so grateful for and inspired by everyone I’ve met through this program.”
Sarah Arnold Photography is currently booking slots for Class of 2024 high school senior portraits for summer and fall 2023! Limited spots available! Ready to learn more? Snag a spot for Class of 2024 senior portraits today!