You’ve booked the venue, got your dream dress and figured out how you want your hair and makeup to be. Now all you need to do is turn up and look your best on your wedding day. Having worked as a wedding photographer in Hong Kong and beyond for years, I’ve come to realize that, while producing incredible images is what I always strive for, there are a few things a bride can do to ensure she looks absolutely amazing in her wedding photos.
Wedding Photography Tips for Brides: How to Look Stunning in Wedding Photos
Choose a photographer you like and trust
First thing’s first. You’ve got to find the right guy or gal to do your wedding photos. While I’d love to tell you all to book me, I know different couples have different tastes, requirements and budgets. I would advise you not to pick on budget alone, though, as these are the priceless photos that will be passed down through generations of your family. There’s no point scrimping on that! Once you're happy with the quality of a wedding photographer's portfolio, the next step is to make sure you get on and feel relaxed with him/her. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person taking your photos, it will show in your pictures.
Ensure your photographer knows what you’re after
A good way to find out whether or not you gel well with your potential wedding photographer is to book a pre-wedding photo shoot before the big day. Originally really popular in Asia, more and more couples of all races are now going in for pre-wedding photography. It offers a great opportunity to play around with styles, looks and techniques, and will give both you and your photographer a better idea of what to expect on the big day.
Consider the time of day and direction of your ceremony
This is something wedding photographers typically have no control over, so a bride who takes it into account is an absolute dream for us. Light is the most important thing in photography, so try and think about this when picking the time and direction of your ceremony. Getting married around dusk, known as “golden hour” to photographers, and either facing the sun or standing side-on to the sun will make a huge difference to your final images.
Do a hair and makeup test run
Hair and/or makeup you’re not totally happy with on your wedding day will stop you feeling as gorgeous and relaxed as you should. It’s therefore well worth doing a trial run before the big day, just to make sure you and your stylists are on the same page. If that’s not feasible with your schedule or budget, at least have some detailed photos of what you want to show your team and leave plenty of time for changes.
Follow your photographer’s directions
Once all that’s set, be sure to follow your photographers directions on the day. By now, he/she should know what you want and how to get it, be it candid moments or posed portraits or both! The photographer can also see what’s working and what’s not in the moment, so trust them and be patient if they ask for a bit of repositioning to make a shot perfect. It’ll all be worth it when you see your pictures.
Forget about how you look and feel the emotion of the day
With everything now in place, your only job as the bride is to relax and enjoy your day. You know you’re looking your absolute best, so stay in the moment and feel the emotions. Your big day will be over before you know it, leaving you with just your wedding photos to remember it by. The pictures that catch the genuine candid moments and beauty of the day are the ones you’ll cherish most.
A big thanks to all the amazing couples who’ve let me be part of their weddings over the years. Every one has been different and inspiring in its own way.
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A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.
All photos are © Ali Ghorbani and Ali G Studios