As a bride, I didn't consider where I was getting ready to be super important. But, it really is. If the location where you're getting ready isn't beautiful, it may distract from your images and may be a reason you hate a really great shot of you and your grandma. Or a reason you don't hang a picture of your daughter putting up lipstick in the corner of the room.
So I've gathered some awesome tips for successful getting ready portraits.
1. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting.
For photographers, lighting is key. If we don't have great lighting, your images are going to look horrendous. An no one wants that.
Pick a getting ready location with lots of beautiful, preferably natural light.
One of my brides choose to get ready at a friends house. The living room was dark and the sun didn't shine through the windows, everything would have had to be lit with artificial light, which isn't ideal. But just ten steps away, in the kitchen, the patio doors let in the most beautiful natural light. Yes there were things we couldn't avoid like the refrigerator and stove, but the lighting made up for having those less than ideal appliances in the background.
2. Space. Space is SOO important and often over looked. One hotel room for 6 bridesmaids, the bride, her mother, the grandma who can't wait to see her little girl, plus your vendors, is not going to work. I promise you.
So opt for two room, that have a door, connecting them. Or get a suite, with a bedroom, kitchen and living room. I promise it'll be worth it.
Something I do not recommend is choosing solely for convenience, if at all possible. I had a bride who hated the room where she was getting ready but agreed to use it, because it was at the church and it was convenient. We had to throw together a faux vanity, in an attempt to get some shots she was happy with.
Just like your wedding venue, the getting ready location if just as important. It'll keep you looking stylish and help your images flow through your album.
3. Keep the room Tidy.
I've been there, I promise. I know what it's like to forget where you put your shape wear and you're running around the room, like a mad woman, throwing your dirty sweatpants on top of a half empty bag of Cheetos, while someone tosses another empty bottle of wine next to the garbage bin, because it's too full.
These things will manage to find their way into the shot. They always do. I don't know how or what cruel fate decided it has to happen, but it will. You'll be flipping through your images and you'll see it in the background, of the most beautiful precious moment.
Just designate someone to tidy up the room, before the photographer gets there.
4. Gather all of your details.
Get a little basket or Rubbermaid container or even a dufflebag. Just gather everything that's important to you and put it all together the night before. Having all of your special pieces together, keeps you from being disturbed while the photographer tries to get all the shots you don't realize are important until after the big day.
Here is a list of ideas, of things to pack up. Add things, remove things, depending on your day.
Veil, earrings, necklace, the rings, bracelets, garter, a nice hanger for your dress, perfume bottle, hair decorations, your bouquet, shoes.
And if you're keeping up with tradition, don't forget your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence for your shoe.
If you're anything like me, being natural in front of the camera, is not something you were blessed with, from the start. But I was given some amazing tips, to help me look less like a zombie and more like a blushing bride. So today, I'm going to pass those along to you.
1. Think about something. Think about something that invokes emotion. If you're getting ready for your big day, imagine you're gorgeous groom standing at the end of the aisle in his sleek pressed suit, with tears in his eyes, waiting for only you.
What does this do?
This brings life to your eyes, pulls natural smiles to the surface and keeps your portraits natural.
2. You don't have to smile in ever shot. Let's be honest, if I'm following you around for 8+ hours, you're going to get super sick of smiling, your face is going to hurt and your going to get agitated. My job is to document your special moments, throughout the day. And there will be moments, where you're reading a letter your soon to be hubby wrote you and you want to cry. That's okay, the images will be beautiful, because they're real, regardless of if you're smiling.
3. Stand up straight. It's the worst thing, when the day is over and a couple and I are siting going over their wedding images, is when a bride says something like, "this would be my favorite, if only my shoulders weren't so hunched". I follow brides all day long, "stand up straight" "relax your shoulders" "chin up". I do it, not to be annoying, but so you love your photos as much as I want you to!
4. A lot of us women complain about our arms in wedding images, more than any other part of our body. This is a trouble spot and most woman's natural instinct is to pull them in tight and try to hide them. But that's the opposite of what you really want to do. Leave them a little more loose (stand up straight!) and bring your arms out away from your sides just a little. This tights then muscles a little more than leaving them limp noodles at your side.
5. Personalize it! Put your spin on everything! I love when my clients think outside of the box and get a little wild and free.
If you want to do a few wedding shots with the new puppy, your fiance proposed with, let's make it happen!
You want to get a shot of your hubby and you standing out in the snow, dancing in the moonlight. Let's do it!
You want to have a pizza bar but think it's too nontraditional. If someone tells you they don't love pizza, I think they're lying. Pizza is delicious and I would have loved to think of pizza at my wedding! (Or tacos! Tacos are life!)
What ever it is that you want to do, do it. It's your wedding. You're about to marry the love of your life, so let go of everyone else's opinions.
To be continued....