Planning for your Bridal Photo Session: 6 Things to Consider

Bridal portraiture is my favorite type of portrait session! As you prepare for your session, here are six things to consider for an awesome bridal photography session:

1. Establish a theme or vision for your session

This is one of the first things that comes to mind for me when talking with a client: what’s the vision for your session?  The answer here helps put everything else into place.  You are free to let loose your fantasy and allow it to come to life.  You’re not limited to pictures at the park unless that is exactly what you’d like!  If an immediate response for your theme or vision isn’t on the tip of your tongue, ask yourself this:

    1. Have you seen images of brides in their gowns whose look you admire?
    2. What locations or scenes align with your wedding portrait ideal?
    3. If there was any place on earth you’d like to be photographed in your gown, where would that be?
    4. What would you like to do during your session?

bridal portrait at the Merrimon-Wynne House

2. Choose a location that reflects your theme

Once you’ve identified a theme or vision for your bridal photography session, choosing a location becomes much more defined.  If your vision includes holding a parasol under the shade of an oak tree overlooking a prairie of sunflowers, then we can definitely rule out downtown Raleigh! Sometimes you already have a location that matches your theme: the ceremony and/or reception venue. Either way, with such a vision in hand, we can begin discussing the locations that reflect your theme and make arrangements accordingly.

Note: There is likely a fee to use a venue or location unless it’s a public area.

Bonus: If your family owns land in the mountains, I volunteer to photograph the whole day!

wedding photo at Champagne Manor

3. Dress the part

This is not just having your gown fitted, but accessories too!  Does your theme dictate photographing oceanside on the beach, might a parasol, sunshades, special flip flops, etc. enhance the story of your them? If your vision includes an urban even shoot, then you’ll likely want to dress up complete with clutch purse and pumps (if that’s your thing). Occasionally I have a client who wants to include their pet in some of their images. If that’s you, let us know!

Childress Vineyard bridal portrait

4. Don’t forget to pamper yourself

Your bridal session is in many ways a dry run of your wedding day preparation. You’ll want to make arrangements for hair & make up. Plan your mani & pedi to align with the day of your shoot. It all allows you to feel as amazing as you will be on your wedding day!

In studio bridal portrait

5. Bring someone to assist you

It’s advisable to have someone (or two) to attend to you during the shoot. They’ll help you in & out of your cute shoes, adjust your hair and touch up your make up. Lastly, your assistant can help you with any gown fitting adjustments or sips of water (through a straw) during the warmer days of the year.

Winston Salem bridal portrait

6. Execute and be you

The last thing is to execute the vision and be you!  Remember, we started with your fantasy or ideas for the session.  This really should be all about you. Therefore, do what comes naturally when you’re in your element. If you’re playful, don’t hold back. If you’re more reserved, then go there! Be you and enjoy the moment.  Having fun is relative to what we individually enjoy doing. As a photographer, it’s important that my clients enjoy their sessions in their own unique ways.

Champagne Manor bridal portrait


African American Wedding Photographer