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Getting Camera-Ready for Your Bridal Portraits

Tips from a professional photographer to alleviate any pre-wedding bridal portrait jitters.

Written By:  Abigail Bobo

Photographers:  Abigail Bobo

The words “bridal portrait” can conjure up images of stiff, over-posed glamour shotsit’s easy to see why not all brides choose to have one made. However, there are several compelling reasons to consider a bridal session, and even more ways to make them beautiful and relaxed. Bridal portraits do not have to be traditional. They can be staged anywhere that makes you feel beautiful; sessions can be scheduled before or after the wedding; and you can even bring your groom along. There are no rules!

What’s more, a portrait session allows you to spend time wearing the most expensive and custom gown you’ll likely ever wear. Considering how much time goes into selecting the perfect dress, why not take advantage of an extra opportunity to wear it? Plus, this is a great time to test drive your hair and makeup, make sure that your shoes don’t rub, and experiment with accessories—making it a wonderful way to prepare yourself for what’s to come.

Tips for planning a bridal session:

Conversation: What is the goal of your bridal session? Is it a gift for your parents? A way to relax before the wedding and feel glamorous? What does your dream shoot look like in your mind? Communicate this with your photographer so that they can art direct the shots to match your vision.

Location: Work alongside your photographer to find a stunning venue. Whether it’s your wedding site, a studio, or simply a spot in town that you love, the location will set the tone.

Preparation: This is the best time for you to test-drive your look, so schedule your trial hair and makeup run for the day of the shoot. This way, if your hair doesn’t want to cooperate with a certain style, you’ll know in advance. Ask your florist to make up a sample bouquet; this will give you an idea if you need to make alterations and you’ll get used to carrying it perfectly.

Decoration: Bring a basket of props. This could include your invitation, jewelry, rings, and any heirlooms or special details that you want shot. You and your photographer can work together to style these special details to perfection without being interrupted.

Relaxation: This is your time to feel beautiful. Don’t rush and don’t feel nervous. Savor the movement of your dress and celebrate the creative process. Portraits are about showing the world your best qualities, inside and out.

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