These days, photographing a wedding is all about telling a story and with all stories, there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. So where better to start than the beginning? Almost a ceremony in itself, the application of makeup, styling of hair, zipping, tying, fastening and collective ‘getting ready’ part of a wedding, is one of the best opportunities to lay the stories foundations. By photographing the bride and groom separately before the event itself, the narrative has already begun, as each make their way to the ceremony where they’ll come together as one.
By adding another location, this part of the day also brings diversity to the images, as well as the opportunity for the photographer to record details such as dresses, shoes, flowers, jewellery, accessories etc. along with informal shots of bridesmaids, parents and siblings.
Although there are obvious benefits of photographing the preparations, my clients occasionally feel cautious about it being intrusive, or being photographed before they are ready. I always leave the decision of this part of the coverage up to my client (it is after all their day!) But rest assured that the images taken are carefully selected, with the bride being photographed applying ‘finishing touches’. The approach is as always, relaxed and unobtrusive and with years of experience I always know when to take a step back, or leave the room for a bit.
Depending on timing and locations, I sometimes manage to photograph the groom getting ready too (often before I visit the bride). When this isn’t logistically possible, I tend to leave half an hour before the bride sets off for the ceremony and capture the Groom with Best Man, Groomsmen and guests at the ceremony venue. Here I often find ties being tied, cufflinks being tampered with and buttonholes being pinned. With a good dose of nervous excitement and anticipation in the air, the results are nothing short of photographic gold!
• Give yourself plenty of time
Often brides are told to leave getting ready until the last minute, to keep dress, hair & makeup fresh. However in my experience the best way to look fresh and relaxed, is to avoid a last minute rush. Aim to get ready with half an hour to spare and take that time to grab a glass of Champagne and enjoy the moment.
• Wear something you like (before you put the dress on…)
Although I’m selective about the shots that I take, the wedding dress usually goes on last, so it’s worth considering what you’d like to be seen in while your having your hair and makeup done.
• Give yourself space
It doesn’t matter where you want to get ready, be it at home, your parents house, a hotel or at the venue, it’s worth considering the size of the room and the amount of people you invite to join you. Having a bit more space can really help to feel calm and opens up different opportunities for photography.