I hope everyone is having a great week! How is it already almost April??? April means the start of heavy wedding season and since wedding season is upon us that means bridal portrait sessions are too! I was actually getting ready to take my bridals this time last year! (CRAZY! - time flies!) If you are a bride with your bridal portrait session around the corner, I thought I would share a quick tip guide for brides on how to master your upcoming bridal shoot!
Taking your bridal portraits are nothing like your engagement session - you aren't with your future hubby, there are no outfit changes, just you, your gorgeous dress, and a photographer. I was honestly so incredibly busy leading up to my bridal shoot that I didn't even have time to think or mentally prepare until the day before! (I was a basket of nerves... lol just ask my photographer - I'm embarrassed to say that we spoke the day before and I totally cried on the phone) hah! I told you I was a basket of nerves. So in order to hopefully spare future brides out there a few nervous breakdowns I've created this quick tip guide to help you master your bridal session!
1. DON'T BE NERVOUS.
Easier said than done right? I know - but hear me out. Seriously, the more nervous you are, the more pressure you are going to indirectly put on not only yourself but also your photographer. I didn't even think until just now - oh gosh I'm sure Miles just LOVED getting off the phone with a teary bride the day before she is supposed to be happy and shooting in her WEDDING DRESS. lol!! Luckily, Miles is AMAZING at not just photography but he is also an amazing friend.
How not to be nervous you ask? See #2 :)
Ok so I know I'm about to contradict myself since I just told you above that I didn't really prepare - LOL! But here is how I prepared and maybe a few more things I would have done to prepare. :) Miles gave me a lot of great tips as well!
-Don't wear your wedding shoes! -(unless you just really want to LOL) You don't even see your feet so wear some shoes that are easy to walk in or if you will be "off-roading" in your dress wear some shoes to help you with that (closed-tie slip on's, easy to put on sandals, etc.) Make sure you have your toes done in case you take some pretty barefoot bridals too :)
-Don't forget to wear some or all of the jewelry you plan to wear on your wedding day - that way these will be in your pictures and closely resemble what you looked like on your wedding day :)
-Make your appointment to have your dress pressed before your bridals so it's nice and fresh and also make an appointment to have it spot cleaned and pressed after your bridals so that it is nice and fresh again for your wedding day!
-Have someone drive you or go with you to your bridals - One of my best friends and greatest supporters and helpers during all of the wedding festivities, Dannis Seifritz drove me and came with me, and even helped me with our dog, Remi, that took some bridals with me too lol! - I couldn't have done it without her! I was SO grateful to have someone there with me.
I know right - again, easier said than done. Have a little champagne before you go :) Not so much that you eyes are glazed over in every shot (LOL) but just enough to relax your body so you don't look so tense.
4. DON'T OVERTHINK
If you hired the right photographer, they should guide you through your bridals - just relax, be yourself, be happy, and be in love because you are about to marry the love of your life! Start imagining yourself on your wedding day, or your future husband seeing you for this first time in your gorgeous wedding dress that you have dreamed about wearing for who knows how long.
If you feel like your pose is awkward, it most likely looks great on the camera lol! I remember feeling super awkward in a few of the shots how I was posing my body but my photographer was directing me so that it gave the right angle at the right time with the best light - it all works out!
Also, don't feel like the photog has to tell you every pose - if you had a certain one in mind or a special shot you want, just ask for it! These are your photos and all they want to do is make you happy.
5. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE DRESS
I had issues with this. I was so worried about it getting dirty or ripped or smudged or SOMETHING. The truth is, you can't prevent everything from happening to the dress and that is why they have amazing dress alterations and cleaners that can fix and clean anything for you. SO...that being said, just have fun, and be cautious... but don't stress about the dress the entire time because you'll risk not getting the best shot or a neat location if that is all you are worried about.
6. BE CONSCIOUS
All that being said... don't completely let yourself go! lol! Be conscious of where you are, how you are posing, your facial expressions, where your eyes fall, etc. This might all sound overwhelming but once you get into the shoot about 15 minutes you'll know what I am talking about. Most photographers don't like to show you any sneak peeks behind the camera in order not to make you self-conscious and to avoid you asking to retake certain photos etc. & trust me it's the best medicine! However Miles would from time to time show me a sneak peek and it only made me more confident throughout the shoot! He gave just enough to show me that I was doing well and that was all I needed!
7. HAVE FUN!
You are getting so close to wedding day! Your bridals are all about you wearing your gorgeous dream dress. Just play dress up, be happy, be fun, and enjoy getting a test run in your dress before the big day and let your photog do all the work.
Comment below if you have any additional tips or if you have any other questions regarding preparing for your bridal shoot! Would love to hear from ya :)
Stephanie Grace Benton
ALL PHOTOS by: MILES WITT BOYER PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTIVE