Bridal portraits have been around for years, particularly in the southern United States. As a photographer, I absolutely ADORE these types of sessions, but unfortunately, I live north of the Mason-Dixon line, so they're not so popular here (yet)!
When I'm not photographing weddings, I work with bridal designers a lot, photographing lookbooks for their collections, and spending that extra time making those gorgeous bridal photos has made me fall absolutely in love with bridal sessions. I've had numerous brides comment on these, saying how much they love them, but that they don't think that they would ever look that good.
I'm here to tell you that you are wrong, and you can (and will!) look that amazing if you do a bridal session. Here are the top reasons I think you should do bridal portraits:
You get comfortable in front of the camera. Your wedding day can be a big ball of stress if you let it, and since your photographer is going to be with you literally ALL DAY, having a camera in your face the entire time can be a bit weird if you're not used to it. If you do a bridal (or engagement) session beforehand, you get used to how your photographer works, get to know them better, and therefore, end up looking much more natural in your photos.
The wedding gown you paid $$$ for! You spend so much money for a dress that you get to wear ONCE. Why not make the most out of your investment? Also, spending an hour or two walking around in your gown can make it easier the day of the wedding. (Especially if it's a ballgown or tightly fitting dress… most people aren't used to walking around wearing something like that on a regular basis.) Finding a location that complements your dress (and a place that you most likely wouldn't have time to go to on your wedding day), can make for some AMAZING photos that can turn into family heirlooms that are passed down to future generations!
How do I look? You're most likely getting a hair and makeup trial anyway, so being able to put everything together – hair, makeup, accessories, veil, dress – can make you see exactly how you will look for your wedding day. You'll be able to see exactly what does (or doesn't) work, and give you time to change it before your big day. (For instance, I had a bracelet that kept snagging my dress, so I ended up taking it off after the ceremony. If I had known it would do that, I would have chosen something else!) Also, being able to see exactly how you'll look in your photos will help give you that bridal confidence that will make you shine even brighter on your actual wedding day.
TIME! A wedding day is crunched for time. In most cases, that hour or so you have for wedding portraits usually dwindles down pretty quickly. With a bridal session, we're not in a rush to head to the reception on time, so we can spend the time getting amazing photos, just like I do with my bridal lookbooks.
On top of those four important reasons, you can also use the photos as a gift to your groom on the day of the wedding, or even as part of the reception decor!
So, if I've convinced you to consider a bridal session, here are a few tips to help you rock it!
Mix up your expressions. You're thrilled to be getting married, obviously, so smile! But… a few serious expressions can make for an absolutely timeless, serene bridal portrait.
Use your accessories to your advantage. Have a veil? Use it! Have an assistant at the shoot throw it to show just how fabulous it is. Or what about a long train? One of my recent obsessions is doing the same type of thing with a train that I do with a veil – I've photographed a number of brides like this, and if done right, it has a swan-like appearance that is just stunning.
Twirl! Trust me, it's fun and makes for gorgeous photos.
Trust your photographer.
About La Candella Weddings
My name's Angie, and I'm a fine art wedding photographer. I have a background in fashion photography, so that has greatly influenced my style, which has been described as ethereal, romantic and fairytale-like. I'm very detail-oriented, and love anything vintage.