Bridal Portraits

How Do You Take Good Bridal Portraits?

You know that perfect Celebrity’s Bridal portrait that has people gaping at what an absolute masterpiece of a shot it was. The portrait that seems to have broken the internet with details highlighting the Wedding dress, shoes, makeup, scenery, environment and the various joyous expressions of the beautiful bride.

Do you have a wedding coming along the way, or you are in charge of planning one? Or you just happen to want a perfect bridal portrait on your wedding in the future?

Great.

You are at the right place.

Also, you just might be a photographer looking to take one of the best bridal portraits ever. Either you have experience with this kind of photography and you are looking to gain more knowledge or you are a newbie of sorts, that’s also perfect.

You are reading the right post.

So, I will be coming at this From Two Perspectives

  1. The Perspective of the Photographer.
  2. The Perspective of the Bride.

Let’s dig in…

The Perspective of the Photographer.


*Study the Bride

Acknowledge that the Portrait is more about the bride than it is about you. The portrait means the world to her, this is more of a job to you. I am very well certain you are the kind that wants to be great and appreciated for their work.

View her as someone with a unique and fascinating soul. You can observe her from afar.

Notice what she likes and what she does not. Her favorite colors, the sceneries she loves.

If she comes across as an open and easily approachable person, ask her directly and pen them down. Make sure she sees you doing, gives her a feeling of being special and being paid attention to.

Also, this creates an air of familiarity and it allows the bride to become comfortable around you, hence making your job way easier than it should be.

*Adequate Planning

Having an adequate plan will help you outline, manage and organize your ‘’How’s’’, ‘’Whens’’, and ‘’Wheres’’. It allows you to consciously map out an overview of means of portrait photography, the model, scene and every other technicality that need to be worked out. For more details, check out WURE Photographers for weddings

Aside from that, it paves the way for contingencies in order to curb the problems of unforeseen circumstances. These circumstances may lead to a change in time of photography or location.

Examples of Such Circumstances are Delay of dress delivery, the weather and a lack of preparedness by the bride. Adequate planning ensures you have some form of contingency hidden as a magic wand to be able to make your clients feel you have delivered to the best of your satisfaction. It also assures your client you are in control, rather than a collective panic attack, anxiety, and meltdown.

*Make Use of a Quiet, Safe and Clean Place

This is highly recommended in order to avoid disruptions, distraction and unnecessary disturbance. Also, a crowded space may be quite unsettling and discouraging to the Client. They may feel they are being watched, and this may hinder the client’s attention. Hence, loss of focus. Do not let the background compete with the Bride’s attention though.

*Compliment the Bride

As earlier stated, it is in your best interest to compliment the bride as often as possible. Compliment her dress, hairstyle, shoes, jewellery, looks and everything positive you could come across. Give verbal cues too. Soft speeches and positive rhetoric are quite helpful too.

For example, ‘’You look beautiful’’, ‘’Perfect Smile’’, ‘’Great Shoes’’, ‘’Yes, keep it steady. That’s a perfect pose’’, ‘’Your body matches the dress perfectly’’.

These compliments go further to boost the client’s ego and confidence. Also enhances the Client’s happiness. All you majorly need for a perfect Portrait is a Happy and Confident client.

So, Eureka!

*Bring along a Portrait Companion

The companion may be a friend, mom, sister, co-worker or anyone based on the bride’s choice. The companion helps with a lot of things.

  •         Holding the bouquet
  •         Lifting and adjusting of wedding dress.
  •         Readjustment of hair.
  •         Sweat Mopping, and managing the makeup.
  •         A form of reassurance, a familiar face and comfort.
  •         Transfer of Equipment.

So, they come in handy. If the bride has no one to call, you may bring someone along.

*Mood, Theme and Pose Setting

It is very important to be aware of what kind of expression and pose is needed to be portrayed in the portrait. Though it is highly advisable to take as many experimental pictures on set as much as possible but is also recommended that you have the desired goal in mind to be achieved. These poses, moods, and themes have had various definitive names over time.

Some of the most commonly desired among them are:

Natural, Traditional, Relaxed, Compositional, illustrative, Aerial, Black and White(Monochrome), and Vintage e.t.c.

After a decision has been made, then you can go about applying the certain techniques required for the production and generation of Portrait.

*Give Clear and Concise Instructions

It helps to be able to position the body during shooting and little instructions such as ‘’Move your hand’’, ‘’Raise your chin’’, ‘’Tilt your head to the right’’, should be communicated effectively to ensure understanding and smoothness of the shooting process.

*Capture Every Moment and Canvass Every Possible Angle.

Attempt as much as possible to establish your positioning and camera to capture as many angles as possible. This gives you a probability of capturing a masterpiece and leaving no stone unturned. Capturing every moment allows you scrape through a whole lot of beautiful emotions ranging from Soft and Moody to anxious or genuine happiness. Make sure the area being captured have symmetry. Ensure that her makeup, jewellery, shoes, dress come out beautifully captured.

*The Shooting Rules

There are various things to specifically note about shooting Bridal portraits.

Here are a few guidelines:

  •  Shoot down at the bride preferably, so as to avoid awkward and uncomfortable shots, also allows you to feature the entire dress and its accessories.
  •  For diversity, shoot Full body and half body shots (both horizontal and vertical). Half body shots are not advisable though.
  •  Always keep the focus on the eyes of the bride.
  •  Never let the backdrop outshine the bride.

*Extras

There are various other exciting things you may wish to try, but this might depend on the Client. You could introduce the groom or other members of the family upon he requests.

You could also make her try new, exciting and flattering styles, e.g. Like a peacock, goofy bride e.t.c.

In Conclusion: Act nice, warm, encouraging and plan. You are good to go

The Perspective of the Bride.


It goes both ways. For the Bridal Portrait to be successful, there are certain obligations required of the bride. They are:

  •  Adequate preparation.
  •  Adherence to Photographer’s instructions.
  •  Utmost co-operation and commitment from the bride.
  •  Bringing along a Portrait companion for comfort. This is needed in order to diffuse any form of tension, help with certain tasks and be a source of laughter.
  •  Hydration and skin care prior to the day of the shoot.
  •  Schedule plans for a makeup artist, but this is voluntary because not everyone decides to use makeup on their wedding days(rare).
  •  Wear matching accessories on your Wedding dress.
  •  Strike a confident pose during the bridal shoot.
  •  Use the Portrait as a pre-wedding assessment.
  •   Most importantly, enjoy yourself and have fun. It’s all about you.

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