How to Photograph Wedding Details: Bridal Prep: Photographing wedding details, particularly bridal prep is one of my favourite elements to photograph at a wedding. It enables me to relive my still life art classes from school and college – art was my favourite subject. The way I see it, a bride has spent a lot of time and energy in choosing all the details for her wedding day, the day she’s been waiting for all her life. What’s more, some of those details may already have sentimental value, and if they don’t, they soon will because they are what she chose/used/had on her wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I want to capture beautiful images of all those bridal prep details for this one simple reason… when my brides reach the ripe old age of 80 and have been happily married for the past 50-60 years, I want them to sit with their wedding album and have all those memories come flooding back like it was just yesterday. As time passes and we age, no matter how good we think our memories are, certain memories fade. I don’t want my brides to forget what perfume they were wearing or what jewellery they wore. I don’t want them to just recall that they had a bouquet of cream roses, I want them to see exactly what that bouquet looked like.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to share some of my favourite bridal prep detail shots – all photographed at real weddings. For most detail shots I use a 60mm macro lens.
The most obvious detail to photograph during bridal prep is the wedding dress. I will always try and get a full length shot of the dress hanging up and I will ask the bride if I can move it for a photograph if needs be. I’m not about to go and hang the dress from a tree but often, the room where the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready can be a little cluttered so it may be better to move the dress to a less cluttered area. Just be careful with it. The dress in the image above was moved to the stair well just outside the bride’s room where there was a lovely red brick wall which provided a better back drop and also better lighting. As well as full length shots, I always make sure to photograph the detailing on a wedding dress which might not show up as well in a full length photograph. The detailing on the dress is likely an important aspect of why that particular dress was chosen by the bride. I also figure that while a bride may one day try and describe the detailing on her wedding dress to her grandaughter, it would be much easier to show her a photograph.
Next up is bridal jewellery. A bride’s jewellery is very special to her – she chose it for her wedding day. Some of the jewellery might be a gift from her soon to be husband, her mother or may even be an antique piece of jewellery passed down the generations.
The gorgeous little box with the bow in the image below was delivered to the bride’s room just before she left to go to the church. It was a gift from her groom. While the bride was adjusting her veil, a bridesmaid took delivery of the box and placed it on a glass table next to the bride’s clutch purse. I took this photograph before the bride opened it to discover a beautiful pair of earrings which she wore on her wedding day.
I love to photograph a bride’s shoes. Again, I will move the shoes to a location which will help to create a better image and I will often photograph the shoes with two or three different backgrounds and either facing out sideways as shown in these images or with the front of the shoes facing forwards. I will then choose the best version during the editing process.
For me, perfume is a very important detail to photograph because scent can often stir memories even more so than a photograph. If a bride or indeed a groom were to get a whif of the perfume worn on that day, along with the photographs, it is likely to make those memories even more real for them.
Finally, the other main details I like to capture during bridal prep are the flowers and I will take time to position and style these as I do with all the other details.
Often I will find a way to photograph a landscape and portrait version of each detail to help with album design. It’s good to have both options available and if you were to submit the wedding for publication in a magazine or online wedding blog, the editors will likely prefer to have both options available too.
I hope you’re all having a great Monday -x-
Kathryn Andrews is a Hampshire based wedding photographer providing wedding photography for sophisticated, indulgent couples with adventurous souls. She photographs weddings throughout the UK and is available for destination weddings across Europe. Connect with Kathryn at: Facebook Twitter Google+