How I Photograph A Bridal Session in 7 Minutes

Wedding days move quickly. Wedding planners always allow for the unexpected by putting some cushion into the timeline. If I'm not working with a wedding planner then I do the same thing! It helps the day run smoothly so the bride can focus on making memories and not the unexpected events that will occur. But sometimes there still isn't enough cushion because something ran extra long. If this happens then I need to act quickly so that I can get everyone caught up on the timeline. After all, the bride and groom need to make it to their reception! During Chris and Sri's wedding day, it took a little extra while for them to be let into the side entrance of the St Louis Gardens. We had built some cushion into her timeline, but I wanted to take advantage of the time that we had. I asked Sri to stand in the parking lot so that I could take some bridal portraits. This entire session took 7 minutes and they are some of my favorite images from the entire wedding gallery!

St Louis Wedding Photographer - Jordan Brittley Photography

CLOSED EYES

I love starting out bridal sessions by asking the bride to close her eyes. It gives her a moment to just take it all in. I move quietly while her eyes are closed and I talk quietly. I want her focus to be on the sound of the leaves as the wind moves them around and the laughter of her husband in the distance.

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

TRADITIONAL + A LITTLE DETAIL

The traditional portrait is a must for any wedding gallery. Mom and grandma will want a photo of the bride looking directly at the camera. Because I don't photograph my clients in a stiff way, I typically ask them to do something with their hands to make them more comfortable.

In the photo below, Sri was already holding the parasol so I asked her to reach out and touch the flowers in front of her with the other hand. I told her to look at me and smile and I love that even with this traditional portrait, there is nothing stiff about it. She is completely relaxed because I was calm and because she had a moment to transition to being photographed (aka closed eyes).

I also photographed the flowers that surrounded her because I knew they would look great in an album layout or on the blog!

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

LOOKING DOWN + LITTLE DETAIL

I transitioned away from the tradition pose by asking Sri to look at the flowers to her left. She turned just slightly as she looked which let me see more of the parasol. This photograph is one of my all time favorites.

I photographed the flowers that she was holding because I wanted to capture the movement. The wind was blowing just slightly and I wanted Sri to remember how it sounded (eyes closed) and how it looked.

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

FROM THE SIDE

Once I photographed Sri looking down, I stepped in so that I could photograph her from the side. I wanted her to have a photograph of the detail on the parasol and her earrings. Sri is always so calm and relaxed and I wanted her bridal portraits to really capture who she was.

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

LOOKING PAST ME

I then asked Sri to look just past me. I stepped to the left so that the parasol would be in the foreground and focused on her eyes.

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

SITTING DOWN

This is always such an elegant photo if done well. You have to be careful to compose the image in a complimentary way so that it looks natural! Sri was sitting on the curb in the parking lot, so I made sure to crop out the cement. If she had been sitting in a chair, I would have asked her to lean to the side or adjust her shoe for an entirely different type of photograph.

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

LOOKING AWAY

Once I photographed Sri looking towards me while she was sitting down, I asked her to look away. Her wedding party was out of the limo by this point and they did something to make her laugh. The focus is on her mouth (because she was laughing) and her hand which was holding the parasol.

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

How I photograph a bridal session in 7 minutes

It's important to consider each bride as you take their portraits. When their family looks through the bridal portraits, I want them to think that it looks just like the bride. Not just like everything else I have ever photographed. By doing this, you will set yourself apart!

Contax 645, f/2.0, Fuji 400 rated at 200, 1/125

And since I want to continue to share what I know in a way that benefits you, holler at me on Twitter or Instagram (tagging me) and use the following hashtag: #askjordanbrittley. You can also connect with me through the #ASKJORDANBRITTLEY Facebook group! Let’s build a little community!

JB's Creative Community

Join the facebook group