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High school sweethearts, photographers, and educators based in Minneapolis, MN

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Wedding Photography | 8 Bride Prep Photos you NEED

bridal prep photos on wedding day

Welcome back to our detail series! I’m walking you through 8 bride prep photos that we need every morning on the wedding day! We are sure to make these a priority throughout the bridal prep time. Follow along to hear why we think these 8 are so important to capture the morning of the wedding. […]

Welcome back to our detail series! I’m walking you through 8 bride prep photos that we need every morning on the wedding day! We are sure to make these a priority throughout the bridal prep time. Follow along to hear why we think these 8 are so important to capture the morning of the wedding. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more!

This is a mental checklist that we run through every morning. We make sure to get each of these components, if applicable. Sometimes you won’t have all 8! You might only have 6, but we’re making sure that we make these a priority during bridal prep time.

Photo #1 – Flatlay

The first of our bride prep photos is to use a flatlay. Typically, our flatlays are a couple different variations. These include things like the couples invitation suite, their shoes and accessories. It is also going to include perfume, any extra paper elements like the menus or place cards and any welcome gifts at the hotel.

All of these extra details that they made such intentional choices about are things that we want to photograph on their own. It’s great at setting the scene to introduce their wedding gallery, but in addition, it looks great in an album. 20 years from now, it will be so fun for them to look back on and say, look at these shoes that I picked out, or how fun were my earrings!

Photo #2 – Dress Hanging

We simplify this a lot compared to other photographers that we see. We love getting a classic shot of the dress hanging. It will really set the scene. If we are at a venue, we’ll pick a location like the reception area or a huge window bay. If it’s a getting ready suite or if they have a huge living room that brings in all of the elements of the style of the Airbnb, we’ll get a super classic shot of the dress hanging.

For the second of our bride prep photos, we are not doing extravagant things like climbing or hanging things on crazy spots. We are looking for areas that are like ledges or window sills to hang the dress from.

Again, this is something where they have a photo of the dress on it’s own. They can look back at it 20 years from now and reminisce.

Photo #3 – Finishing Touches of Bride’s Hair and Makeup

I think there is a common misconception that we can educate our clients on. Often times, they think that you will be there the entire time while they are getting their makeup done. Nowadays makeup artists start with eyes and then do foundation. So in reality, the first 30 minutes of doing an eye look is not a cute photo. They also most likely have no face prep or foundation on. We personally jump in and literally do the last 5 minutes.

I love shots of finishing touches of the eye look. Anything blush or bronzer, or anything with the lips as well! Again, it’s typically like the last 5 minutes and we keep an eye on the makeup team so we can jump right in.

If the makeup artist is someone I have a great relationship with and they’re already finished with the lips, I love asking if they can do a fake touch up real quick. A little brushing on their cheek just to get some variety in the bride prep photos.

Photo #4 – Group Shot of Bridesmaids

Of course, I’m casually getting shots of the bridesmaids throughout the morning. Hugging the bride, steaming their dress, all the cute stuff. However, I love to take the time to do a group shot, especially if they are in pajamas, robes, or cute rompers. Getting a cute photo of them all snuggled up together on the couch is so special.

We love adding other elements if the bride is interested! Popping champagne, popping confetti, or jumping on the bed is a way to make it super fun for the girls. Kind of like a girls slumber party vibe!

Photo #5 – Bride Putting her Dress on

When it comes time for the bride to put her dress on, we’re really conscientious of getting a lot of different vibes. It’s especially important if someone significant is helping her, like her mom, grandma, or sister.

During these shots, we love to get full body shots and cropped shots. We also love details like hands on buttons, or mom’s wedding ring fixing the lace on the brides sleeve. These different pieces can hold a lot of significance for the bride and her family.

Photo #6 – Bride Putting on Accessories

These shots could include the bride putting on earrings or spritzing her perfume or someone helping to put her shoes on. We are looking for full body shots and cropped shots of really detailed elements.

We love getting shots, not just of her putting on her earrings, but also tucking her hair behind her ear. These types of detail shots will get super difficult to get later on in the day, so I make it a priority to get them when the bride is getting ready.

Photo #7 – Reading Letters or Opening Gifts

When it comes time to read letters or open gifts, I will do this either prior to putting the dress on or after. It’s honestly about 50/50 and really depends on the flow of the day. A lot of times I’ll do it prior, especially if her getting ready outfit or pajamas are to die for. It will allow us to get a couple extra photos that way. Another time I’ll do it prior to her putting on her dress, is if there are gaps in the timeline.

We’ll also take the bride out of the room to privately read the letter or open gifts. For example, when a bridesmaid isn’t done with her hair and makeup and we need her in a group shot. This gives us the opportunity to check off something that needs to get done.

When she’s reading her letter or opening gifts, I’m getting shots of full body, cropped shots, any emotions like tearing up or laughing, and then details of those special items. It could include a close up of her hands unwrapping the ribbon, the gift as it’s presented, or the letter over her shoulder. It could include a little bit of the text on the letter, but I keep that out of focus to protect their privacy, because letters are typically very personal. I also love to get detail shots of the letter down next to her, maybe with some Kleenex.

Photo #8 – Any First Looks

The last of our bride prep photos are when we do first looks. These first looks include any prior to the groom. For example, bridesmaids first looks or father first looks are super common. However, we encourage our couples to do whatever they want and feels right for them.

When we’re cramped on space and trying to keep her hidden, I’ll keep the bride in the getting ready suite. Next, I’ll get her train ready and looking her best and then have the bridesmaids hold hands like kindergartners with their eyes closed and walk in. I’ll adjust them so that the spacing is good and then count down and shoot their reaction.

I always encourage everyone who is doing a first look to go ahead and give the bride whatever reaction because she is looking freaking AMAZING! I amp them up a little and encourage them to react. Sometimes Dad, depending on their personality, really need this cue. They don’t always give a reaction because they might be nervous.

So I say give whatever reaction, and then you don’t need to hesitate. Go hug her, love on her, check everything out! I feel like a lot of people react and then just stop. They don’t know what to do. Everyone can feel a little awkward during this time. It definitely makes the experience better for the bride and anyone else you’re doing a first look for, if you tell them and encourage them to go hug and love on them right away.

Thanks for Tuning In!

So those are the 8 photos that we are looking for in the morning during bridal prep during every single wedding day!

If you have any questions, drop them below – I love to respond to comments, I love to chat with you guys! We would love and encourage you all to like and comment, and subscribe to our channel – it makes it so worthwhile for us!

Until next time!

© Cameron & Tia 

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