I was recently asked by Brides.com to share my secrets to a flawless wedding getting ready photo shoot. Here are my eight tips that will help to get the best getting ready photos.
As a former corporate employee, I treat every wedding as a complex project where every element depends on advanced planning prior to the Wedding Day. With more than 12 years of hands-on wedding photography experience, I believe that pre-planning helps all the major players of the big day – including the couple, bridal party and immediate family members – stay on schedule and get better quality photographs.
Here are my top tips on achieving better getting ready photos:
1. Ask your hair and makeup artist for the estimated time needed to complete your wedding day makeover. Add 30-40 minutes to their estimate and be prepared for anything. There are always unexpected things that will get in the way including an urgent phone call, an important missing item, or a friend who wants to congratulate you early. This all adds up and consumes precious time. Don’t be surprised or frustrated by it; just plan for it.
2. Ask your photographer to start shooting when your makeup is almost ready. The makeup artist can always apply an extra layer of lipstick or powder for “on camera” shots. If you start your photo shoot too early, you will be responsible to pay for that extra time of photography and also risk the potential of unflattering photos in your wedding collection.
3. Eat something before your makeup artist starts working on your face. An early nutritious breakfast will ensure that you have enough energy for the entire day and save your foundation and lipstick from smudging and becoming uneven.
4. Make sure the room for your getting ready photos is clutter-free and well-lit (great daylight is always preferred). You don’t want a random bra left on a couch to be in every photo. There is no guarantee that “photoshopping that bra” will be a seamless process.
5. Set aside your “must be photographed” items in one place before your photographer arrives. Make sure the invitation, wedding rings, earrings, special clutch, flowers or your fiancé’s grandfather’s cufflinks, are in one location ready to be professionally styled and photographed. Don’t forget to ask your florist to deliver your flowers before your photographer starts her or his work. In addition, this will save unnecessary stress and time and ensure that you will have all those significant items beautifully captured.
6. Share your ideas for specific shots with your wedding photographer. For example, one of my brides asked for a photo of her pinning a boutonniere to her father’s jacket. If you don’t communicate your preferences with the wedding photographer, you may miss out on some special shots in your wedding album.
7. Make sure that you, your wedding planner, or one of your bridesmaids brings a sewing kit. It can be a huge time saver if anyone needs a safety pin, a pair of scissors, or someone’s button falls off. It is much easier to fix the problem before snapping photographs then photoshopping that button on in over a hundred photos.
8. If you would like a mini-boudoir session before you get into your wedding dress, hiring a female wedding photographer may be a better choice for you. It will definitely help you feel more at ease and capture some stunning and tasteful shots that you and your husband will treasure forever.
Overall, great communication with your wedding photographer and thorough planning are imperative for a successful wedding day photo shoot.