The morning of your wedding will be crazy! Between the hair/makeup artist coming in with her gear, to your girls running around excited, trying to figure out who’s bridesmaids dress is who’s and if anyone has seen the bobby-pins and deodorant, things get hectic! But for the BEST getting ready shots that will really showcase your day from start to finish, the MOST important thing to have nearby is natural light!
Natural light means light coming from outside- window light! This is important for many different reasons that I hope will be helpful as you prepare! Here’s why I prefer to shoot with natural light when you’re getting ready!
- Detail shots are way better! If the room a bride is in has no windows, I take the details to another area to shoot them, sometimes even outside! This isn’t a bad thing, as long as there are other areas where you’re getting ready where I can shoot the details! It makes the detail shots look bright, sparkly, and match the tone and lighting of your wedding day. I’ll never ever shoot details in a room with no natural light because it makes such a big difference!
- Natural light makes your getting ready shots with your girls so much prettier! Sometimes there’s an instance where the actual room you dress in has to be the church nursery, but if that’s the case I’ll often take you somewhere else to get the final touches and have your mom do the last few buttons of your dress where there’s natural light! But it’s way easier if your getting ready room already has the windows/natural light necessary! I had Melissa and her girls stand in front of an open door that led outside! It made their skin tones look perfect, and made for beautiful shots!Emily and her girls got ready in a place with a lot of windows and white walls- a photographer’s dream!! It made these shots so light and gorgeous!
- You can have more elegant bridal portraits inside right where you get ready! These always end up being some of my favorite if there’s enough natural light! I also get more outside too, these just add more variety to your gallery and are always so elegant and stunning!
There are a few tips to making sure you get the BEST pictures in your getting ready room!
- Keep clutter away from the windows! This can be SO hard, but is so important! It also allows me to shoot more since I’m spending less time moving things for those shots! It’s easier to decide before-hand and let your girls know the window area needs to stay clear, then to be moving several bags/makeup/shoes later!
- If there’s a clear background near the windows, keep that area clear too!! Even if the window in a hotel room has a chair/ugly picture on the wall near it, that’s ok! Still keep that area clear, and we move things around in hotel rooms ALL the time so we can get that pretty window light! Jill and her girls got ready in a hotel room, and originally there was a picture on the wall behind them and a couch against the wall! We pushed it aside for this shot and I’m so glad we did!
- Turn the lights around the windows off! This doesn’t have to be done until I’m shooting obviously, but don’t be worried if I start walking around to each lamp turning it off! It’s because lamps/overhead lights will leave a weird tint and create unwanted shadows on the photos! Here’s a side-by-side of two different lighting situations. The image on the left was taken a few years ago towards the beginning of my career, and I left the lights on and had her no where near a window. There’s a yellow cast from the lights, and the nursery bulletin board in the back. On the right, the image was taken in front of natural light with just a pretty mirror hanging in the background and a clutter-free couch! Look how much better the skin tones look on the right, and how much whiter her dress looks from the natural light! Part of that was me learning about lighting more, but also where the bride chose to get ready! If you can only get ready in an area like a church nursery, I’ll move you somewhere else where there’s beautiful window light so you can still have images like the one on the right!
I hope this is helpful for all you brides making decisions and preparing for your wedding day! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback, and any other areas of your wedding day I can help with! Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!