5 Tips for Taking Beautiful Bridal Portraits
Don’t make things too complicated. Try to relax, enjoy every moment, get used to everything. – Angelique Kerber
As a wedding photographer in Greece, we know one thing or two for camera shyness, camera anxiety, and the ways to overcome it. Camera shyness isn’t at all uncommon, even though having our photograph taken has become a day-to-day activity in our modern lives with Instagram. It’s not the first time we’re talking about it in our blog. We’ve also written a detailed blog post on camera shyness and how to overcome it, and we’re back with another helpful blog post for all the couples getting married soon! There are lots of reasons people become camera shy. Like most anxiety triggers, being camera shy is fine most of the time, but crops up at the most inopportune moments. Like on your wedding day while you need to take your beautiful, once in a lifetime, wedding portraits.
This is a time in your life important to remember. These portraits are a snapshot of you the year you got married. You are a powerful, beautiful couple, and when you look back in five, 10, or 30 years, it will be wonderful to see who you were and who you have become. Camera annxiety happens to us too – even though we know posing, lighting, angles, you name it. After all, occasionally, we as well get in front of the camera to understand exactly how our couples feel, experience the same anxiety but navigate through it in the same way we will help them when the day comes.
Our approach is that communication is key. On your wedding day, we are on top of things and we’re next to our couples every step of the way. We will help you feel at ease and relaxed, giving us the editorial and romantic shots you chose us for. 99.9% of our couples are not models and we know how difficult it is standing in front of a camera.
However, there are certain things you can do to prepare for taking beautiful bridal portraits that will help you feel empowered and more comfortable in front of the camera. Here are our tips on how to prepare for your bridal portraits and ease your nerves!
On this blog post we will be talking about:
- How taking care of yourself will help the process
- How natural light is your best friend
- How booking the right professionals is key
- How valuable time and timing is
- How relaxing will make the process worth it
Tip #1 for beautiful bridal portraits: get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water
Beauty comes from within. You’d be surprised with the difference a good night’s sleep and a couple of glasses of water do in getting you picture-ready and perfect! That’s our main tip to brides, one week before the wedding and your bridal portraits make sure you turn the hydration factor to the fullest and try to rest as much as possible. We know this may be tricky due to prewedding jitters but letting your planner handle everything and focusing on yourself will show up very nicely on your portraits when the time comes! Sleeping, drinking water, and eating wholesome and organic food will have you looking bright, rested, glowy, and overall stunning!
Tip #2: Choose a place with plenty of natural light
Natural light utilizes ambient light instead of artificial light, like a flash to capture moments. Often described as soft, indirect, moody black and whites, bright, and glowing—think shooting next to a window with natural, bright light as opposed to artificial. The soft lighting technique works especially well in garden and island environments. As a wedding photographer in greece who likes film and black and white imagery, we love natural light! When handled correctly, natural light is very flattering when it’s soft and indirect. Think “golden hour, in the shade, and near large windows and doors that flood indirect light. One major benefit is that natural light can make you look more attractive thanks to the light smoothing imperfections on your face.
This makes an incredible difference in how your photos will turn out. If the room is dark and only lit with artificial lights, your photos will be grainy and have a yellowish hue, which doesn’t look great. So try to get ready (both guys and girls) in a well-lit open room with big windows. Indoor lighting casts stark shadows—especially if your head table is right underneath can lights or a chandelier. We are natural light photographers, using flash in the evening when it’s dark and the sun has gone down. Even then, we’ll only use flash if we have to. We will try and use natural light as much as possible throughout the day because we find it to be far more beautiful than artificial light. Natural light creates mood and contrast and beautiful wedding photos and does not feel fake or unnatural! So, getting ready in a room with plenty of natural light will create the softest flattering and beautiful wedding photographs!
Tip #3: hire a professional hairstylist and makeup artist
Just like your engagement photos and wedding day, perfecting the bridal portrait starts with feeling comfortable. As with any professional portraits, make sure you stay true to yourself. Your portraits will mean that much more to you. Professional makeup and lashes are great, and they do make a difference for the camera. If you’re a more natural girl, keep it simple. If you like to glam it up, we say go all out. Keep in mind that too much makeup overpowers eyes and can make them look smaller in photos, we truly believe less is more. We favor soft eye shadow palettes of pinks, peaches, and earth tones to complement your complexion and bring out your best features in the most flattering way! We’d be glad to suggest makeup artists that could deliver this amazing result for your wedding day makeup needs!
Another part to pay attention to for your bridal portraits is hair. Talk with your hairstylist and make sure your hair photographs well from all angles. Maybe try a low bun at the base of your neck (so there’s not a gap between the style and skin).
Food for thought: Read our blog post about the 8 + 1 ways to have great wedding photographs!
Tip #4 for bridal portraits: schedule extra time or book a separate session
We can’t stress how important time is for brides and grooms to help them relax, get accustomed to the camera, and having their photos taken. Booking a separate session whether an engagement session, a prewedding photoshoot, or a next-day session adds a tone of value to the wedding gallery and helps couples take their time, ease in the process, and have fun. For many of our past clients, booking a separate wedding session was the key to a picture-perfect wedding album. Why? Because on the day of the wedding, we’re making sure that every important moment is covered to perfection, but sometimes couples don’t have the time to take some extra portraits. A separate session will create stunning portraits you’ll feel comfortable in! Trust us.
Regarding time, with so many years in the wedding business, we know that there’s nothing better than a stress-free wedding day when everything runs on time, people are ready to take pictures when you need them, and you have the creative freedom to do your job well capturing all the beauty of each wedding day. To make sure this is always the case, we always discuss with our clients our wedding photography schedule. If a separate session is not an option for you, the right schedule is your best friend!
Tip #5 for beautiful bridal portraits: relax and have fun
If you’re truly having a wonderful time, that is what will come through in your photos! If you’ve hired a photographer who knows how to direct, who gives prompts, who is in control, don’t fear. Just let loose and have fun! Don’t get stressed out about getting all the right shots, having a perfect smile, having your hands in just the right spot, etc. Just relax, have fun, and be yourself. That’ll ultimately be what makes your photos perfect. We’ll be there to ensure your portraits have the flair we’re known for!