Photographing bridal details is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day. I think that’s partly because I love the anticipation that happens while the bride is getting ready and partly because I understand why those details are so meaningful to her. A lot of the details often have stories behind them, but almost always there is a story behind the dress.
WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IN A LOCATION
1. Floor to Ceiling
Look for a place that is beautiful at the bottom and at the top. You will want a photograph of the entire dress and a close up of the lace/beading.
Are there any wall outlets or light switches that will be distracting from the dress? If so, try to block them in your foreground or change locations.
Consider the lighting on the dress. Are there lights on inside or is everything naturally lit? The last thing you want is to try to recover an image from poor lighting in post. If possible, use natural lighting. That might look like taking the dress outside or clearing a space next to tall wooden doors.
It’s one thing to take a photo of a dress on a beautiful door and it’s another to add depth to that image. Consider opening one or both of the doors or creating a foreground to avoid a boring image of the dress.
How do the colors of the area reflect the bride’s vision for the wedding? Does she dislike one of the colors in the venue? At a recent wedding, the bride hated the wallpaper in the hallway so I chose not to photograph the dress there (even thought the lighting was really beautiful). By considering this tiny element, you are going to be able to give your bride a better gallery and wedding album!
IDEAS FOR CREATIVELY PHOTOGRAPHING THE DRESS
I love interesting images. Who doesn’t?! It’s easy to make a dress image interesting by bringing an element into the foreground. I almost always walk around the dress after I photograph it to make sure I haven’t missed a better angle. Include the molding on the staircase in the foreground or anything that helps to tell the story.
The veil is your best friend on a wedding day (aside from your second shooter). You can let the veil hang in front of the dress and onto the floor if it’s cathedral length or you can cover an ugly hanger if the bride doesn’t have a pretty one!
3. The back
No one ever photographs the back of the dress and sometimes it’s the most intricate part! Switch it up and photograph the back to avoid an awkward looking train!