It can be hard to get those beautiful, well-lit shots of the bride getting her dress on, her girls fluffing it out, and the bride putting her jewelry on! Sometimes there isn’t good light at all where these things are actually happening, but don’t worry!! There’s a super easy solution to this since we don’t always have a getting ready room that’s full of light and white walls!! Simply move the bride to the best light after she’s ready!
How to capture gorgeous getting ready shots in amazing light after the bride is ready:
Have the bride put her dress almost completely on.
I have my bride get in her dress wherever is easiest and most comfortable for her, and either leave it a little unzipped so mom can finish the zip in the spot we go for the best light, or have it completely fastened and mom will just pretend later! This is also great since it can sometimes be a strategy to get the dress buttoned just right, so it’s easy to forget to smile!
This way I’m able to get the bride her beautiful portraits in amazing light to match my style, they’re able to relax and have genuine, joyful expressions since it’s mostly already on, but I can also tell the story of the day from start to finish! While I often still take shots when mom is actually zipping it for her to have even if the lighting isn’t ideal, the ones I blog and share are always the ones in the great light we move to!
Find natural light!
To get these beautiful shots, look for natural light! Find an area nearby a window, or if there aren’t any indoor options or natural light available, I’ve also taken brides outside for this! This goes back to the first point- the bride doesn’t want to walk outside in an un-fastened dress! But once she feels secure and if she put it on in another area, have her come to the area with the best light!
Clear the clutter!
If you find an area with beautiful light inside, move any clutter and furniture if possible away to get a beautiful, clean background and open area for the best portraits! I’m constantly moving furniture around (and people think I JUST take pictures ;)) and it’s always SO worth it! And I let my bride know that while this seems crazy to move the hotel lamp, chair, etc, it WILL be worth it!
Have the bride’s mom and bridesmaids completely dressed.
The bride and her mom will love and treasure those moments of getting the dress on, and they’ll love it even more if Mom is in the dress she spent weeks picking out, and has her hair and makeup are done! The same goes to bridesmaids! While I love getting groups shots of the bridesmaids in matching robes or shirts, have them change into their bridesmaids dresses for the shots of them around the bride when her dress is on! I always remind the bridesmaids they’ll have plenty of time to touch up hair and makeup while the bride is having her first look!
Explain your plan to the bride and her mom!
They aren’t all photographers eagerly searching for natural light, and might not realize that getting all of the shots of her dress being fastened in a yellow closet isn’t the only option! Let your bride and her mom know that you’re going to have her get her dress completely on before heading going to a spot with amazing light so she has just INCREDIBLE portraits of this time in gorgeous light!
I hope this post was helpful in taking stronger getting ready shots!! Along with these tips, be confident in your decisions! They hired YOU because of your skill and expertise!! So don’t be afraid to tell them where to go for the most amazing pictures- that’s why they hired you!! Be sure to check out recent educational blog posts for photographers!