Bridal Portraits – Michelle

Our bridal portrait sessions are a blend of traditional and artistic. While we shoot the standards, we feel we should also deliver the artistic and offer you a blend. We use state of the art digital retouching effects to create art and deliver something different along with your regular photos.

Bridals are those rare photographic opportunities for the bride to look her very best for photos. It’s a separate portrait session. Often we’re told that these could be done at the wedding. Typically, this is not optimum. Let us explain why. During the wedding day things are pretty hectic on the bride. While it’s true she will have many photos taken of her in her dress, it’s more likely she will be hugged wrinkling her new gown and/or hair mussed from wind and her affectionate maulers. Her mascara may be running from tears of joy or mothers may choose to share their own tears of joy on the brides white dress. Further, many of the bride shots at the ceremony resemble deer in headlights. While she’s dear to everyone, these expressions in the eyes don’t typically make the romantic type bridal portraits we are accustomed to seeing. Hence the bridal portrait session.

The bridal portrait session follows many of the same guidelines as the engagement portraits and like engagements we shoot different styles throughout the event. The most traditional is what we call classic. You know, the ones with the train flowing down the steps, bright smiles in the eyes. Feminine passionate and graceful, you know the ones every mother would love. We do that for sure. But then like the engagements we take it up a notch. Our goal is something unique to you. It’s not about just pictures of you, it’s about all that is you.

Bridal portraits sessions take about an hour to shoot as standard. Two friends tend to distract. Bring makeup touch up, hair brush and anything you think you might need.

What happens after the shoot? We view your images from a technical and artistic expressions viewpoint. Our style is all over this website. Our images are personal to us. We maintain a level of standards. We don’t let anything go out in portrait work that does not meet those standards. We will select the best of, then work additional magic. We will retouch them, remove any blemishes, fix any stray hairs. Smooth out skin tones, even clean the mud off your dress. Then we take them and make them the best they can be. We re-crop them, we may rotate them, we may take out unwanted elements. We may convert them to black and white, sepia or selective black and white. Remember, we are artists and we take pride in our images. We want you to receive the same level of service and our dedication to the art of photography. We want only the best for you. We then burn the images to CD and drop them in the mail to you. You usually will have them in few days after the shoot.
As we shoot mostly on location there are some things to keep in mind. First, is what to wear, and not to wear. Your dress will most likely get soiled if we are outdoors for any extended period of time. It’s usually just the bottom. Home Depot has something called painters tape. It a 2 1/2″ blue tape that will leave no residue on the bottom of your dress. Go ahead and apply a couple of strip on the UNDERSIDE at the hem. You can remove it after we shoot and all should be fine. It won’t show in the photos because it’s on the underside. Try club soda for any soil or stains. Finally on this topic, people on your wedding day are looking at you from the waist up. In all the years we have been doing weddings we have never heard that the bottom of the brides dress needed cleaning. Unless you go mud wresting in it, it will be fine.

Leave your good shoes at home. If you wear the shoes you are wearing to the wedding out in the grass you are likely to get them grass stained and or muddy. Wear flip flops, sneakers or your comfy shoes. We will not be photographing feet and you’ll want something comfortable to walk in. Besides, you will get lots of fun comments as you walk along in a wedding dress and sneakers. If it’s 100 degrees in the shade you might rethink wearing your slip. It adds weight and probably another 10 degrees.

To Bouquet or not to Bouquet? This is really up to you. We generally recommend if you elect to bring a bouquet that a simple flower arrangement from the grocery store will suffice and saves considerable cost. Another idea is to use the wrapping paper from the bachelorette party. However, as a general rule of thumb. We prefer bouquets in winter months and less necessary during summer. The idea here is that color is a good thing unless there’s too much of it. Remember, it all about YOU and not the flowers on that day. Bring one if you wish, we can shoot some with and some without.

The veil: If your Veil is longer than your dress then maybe it’s not a good idea to bring one. What usually ends up happening is that it gets carried by your helper. If it shorter and manageable then bring it, we can shoot some with Veil on and some with Veil off.

The train: Most gowns today have trains. While that are beautiful when walking down the aisle we suggest you bustle them during our hike around the location. We will take some train down shots for sure but you don’t need to be carrying it. Bustle it before you arrive and save yourself some grief.

You should bring a friend. Mother, sister, brides maid, etc. Please keep this to only one person. The more people you have in your entourage the more distracting you may become. We have work to do and we both need to concentrate.

Pack light: Usually we are walking some distances. We are seeking the right light and backgrounds and situations. Usually a small purse with a makeup mirror and maybe a hair brush is all you need. You should be comfortable and so should your helper.

Come mentally prepared to shoot: This can be fun for you if you let it. Just have fun and be yourself. There is no such thing as having too much fun. Relax and give us a lot of different looks. Pouting, overly smiley, indifferent to everything, look at us, look away, look up, look down. It’s your day to shine and it’s ALL ok.

Please move: You have certainly seen those models on TV or elsewhere, the photographer will take a shot, she moves to the right to the left, repositions her head, turns the opposite direction. She moves and gives the photographer a different look. This bridal portrait business IS modeling and your photos will be only as good as what you put into them. Have fun and relax. We like our brides so please be yourself.

Don’t over do the jewelry. Of course wear your earrings and a necklace if you want but watch out and don’t make it too much. It’s about YOU and jewelry can distract if it’s too much. Simple, good taste, pretty.

Leave you shades in the car: We really try to avoid shooting in bright sunlight. The white dress blinds the viewer when they look at the photo and your eyes will look like almond slices from the squint in the sun. We prefer shooting in open shade and prefer our brides with their eyes OPEN.

Where: These are usually done outdoors in public parks or at indoor locations, such as the church or reception location.

Please be on time. If you elect to have your hair and makeup done please allow enough time and add some driving time and contingency time. Many hair and makeup professionals claim only an hour. 3 hours later you are still sitting in the chair and we are sitting waiting on you. We suggest if you have a 10:00 A.M. appointment with the hair dresser that you set your bridal time around 1:30. That gives you two hours for hair and makeup, one hour to drive and 30 minutes for traffic snarls, 7-11 stops and emergency phone calls. Your photographer is busy too and he may have other shoots later in the day. If you are late that will cut into YOUR time as he will have no choice but to meet the client for his next shoot. Give both yourself and your photographer some breathing room and the makeup person ample time to do a good job and everyone wins and is on time.

When should you do bridals? We need about 10 days after we shoot to get the photos to you. We can get then to you faster if we need to but 10 days is about average. How long before the wedding is totally up to you. We can shoot bridals a year in advance or 15 days before your wedding. Once you have your dress and it’s altered, we can shoot them. We shoot bridals and engagements on weekdays and Sundays. Saturdays are out for obvious reasons.

So, to sum all this up section, Bridals can be anything and anywhere you want. It’s your time to shine. Have fun and be yourself. We’ll take care of the rest from a technical and artistic standpoint and deliver images that anybody would be proud to display. Hard work yes but we feel it’ss DEFINITELY worth it.