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Perspective: Bridal Portraits

June 18, 2014

As photographers, part of our responsibilities to our clients is to educate them regarding the photographic process. Most of our brides have never been married before, therefore they’ve never created a wedding timeline, considered the advantages of a First Look, or thought about whether the room they are dressing in has enough natural light to allow for beautiful “getting ready” images.

Enter “Perspective,” my new series specifically for my clients regarding my processes and what ways we can collaborate to create the best images from your wedding day and a memorable experience working together.  I am going to share from both the Bride’s perspective, and from the perspective of the Photographer, because I have been both!

Today, we’re going to be talking about Bridal Portraits!

If you aren’t from The South, you may be thinking…what is a “Bridal Portrait?” and can’t those be taken on the wedding day? From what I’ve gathered in some industry research, the traditional Bridal Portrait is generally a Southern tradition. There are definitely benefits from choosing to have these kinds of photographs taken.

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The Bride’s Perspective:

As a bride, bridal portraits allow you to have a “test run” of your hair and makeup for the day of the wedding. There is nothing worse than getting glammed up on your wedding day, looking in the mirror, and hating what you see. Everyone wants to feel beautiful on their wedding day! Having a bridal portrait session allows you to get your hair and makeup done, get into that dress you’ve been fantasizing about since childhood, and have pictures taken so you can really see what you look like as a bride. If you don’t like how it turns out, then there is time to find a new style before the wedding day.

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Bridal portraits also allow for you to have some images taken that really reflect your personality. You can choose a venue that is meaningful to you (like your college campus for example!) and choose accessories that are meaningful. For example, my friend Charlotte is a teacher, so she chose a simple red apple to use as a prop during her bridal portrait session. Another client of mine posed in front of her Daddy’s antique cars so she can present the portrait as a gift to him (SO SWEET!). Last year, we did Mariah’s Bridals at her parents place on the river, a place she has spent much time since childhood. The possibilities are endless, and choosing meaningful props and locations makes the images that much more special.

Nikki Santerre Photography_Virginia Fine Art Wedding Photographer_Bridal Portraits_Perspective Client Series_0001Nikki Santerre Photography_Virginia Fine Art Wedding Photographer_Bridal Portraits_Perspective Client Series_0004Nikki Santerre Photography_Virginia Fine Art Wedding Photographer_Bridal Portraits_Perspective Client Series_0003Lastly, having these types of portraits taken before the wedding day also allows you to spend more time with your photographer! This is especially essential if for some reason you didn’t have an engagement session with your wedding photographer. It is so vital to work with your photographer before the wedding day so you are familiar with their shooting style, posing, and so you’re more comfortable with them! You spend more time on your wedding day with the photographer than any other vendor, so it’s important that they are someone you get along with.

The Photographer’s Perspective: 

Due to the limited amount of time on a wedding day, having a bridal portrait session is beneficial so you have time to capture these iconic images. If you take bridal portraits before, you don’t have to build an additional twenty minutes into the wedding day for bridal portraits. Of course, you need to capture images of the bride alone on the wedding day, but if you have a collection of say 50 images from a bridal portrait session prior, you won’t need a ton of time to get some great shots of the bride. The bridal portrait session will also give you the time and freedom to use your creativity and really capture some images unique to the bride and her individual style and personality.

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Having a bridal portrait session before also allows you to spend more time getting to know your clients before the wedding day, which is always a good things! This way, they will be familiar with your posing, they will view you as a “friendor” rather than just their photographer, and they will be ready to rock out their wedding day portraits!

  1. This series is such a great idea! Love that it’s from the perspective of a bride AND photographer!

  2. Riette says:

    I get that question all the time! Great perspective, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Natalie says:

    I wish more of my brides did bridal portraits! 🙂 It’s definitely a southern thing!

  4. Caitlin says:

    i love this!! i wish i could take bridal portraits everyday- they’re so pretty.

  5. Mariah says:

    I actually like my bridal portraits better than my pictures at my actual wedding of me. It was a zillion degrees wedding day, so I wore my hair up, but it was cool enough for my portraits to wear it down. This way, I got both! 🙂

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