By Carolyn Scott, the talented Raleigh wedding photographer.
(Like always, a huge thanks to Carolyn for writing this month's wedding photography segment for brides that are looking for wedding photographer tips!)
(photos credit: W. Scott Chester Photography)
Getting ready pictures can be often overlooked by wedding couples. They’re often dismissed as not needed or silly. But oftentimes, surrounded by friends and family putting on makeup and dresses—
and guys doing whatever they do, which is typically sitting around watching some sort of sporting event—can be a very emotional and beautiful time with the opportunity for stunning candid photographs.
Unfortunately, many couples choose the location for their ceremony and reception, but not their getting ready portraits. It becomes sort of a last-minute sort of thing, or they choose the small, windowless church basement offered to them by their ceremony vendor. To avoid this, here are some things that you can do to get fantastic getting ready pictures:
1. Choose a location for both the girls AND the guys: Don’t fall into the trap of using whatever room is suggested or provided by the venue without seeing it first. Usually these are dark rooms with no windows and overhead florescent lighting. Actually go around and scout out your possibilities, but don’t forget the guys! Sometimes the girls will get ready in a beautiful room and the guys will end up in a dark basement. Sure, the guys may not care, but the pictures will be ugly. Remember the guys!
2. Choose locations with PLENTY of natural light: Windows make the best light ever. Overhead lighting makes the worst. Choose a location where you can turn off the lights and leave it to the windows to light the space.
3. Don’t put on your makeup in the bathroom: After you choose a room with beautiful light, don’t leave it to go put on your makeup in the bathroom! Bring an extra mirror or drag over the full-length one to the window if you’re doing your makeup. Putting on makeup in florescent lighting is a very bad idea if you are planning to have your wedding outdoors; the makeup doesn’t translate well. Pull the mirror over toward the window so that you get good natural light, which will provide you with awesome pictures and great makeup that will translate well over to the ceremony.
4. Don’t trip over each other: Choose a room big enough to accommodate the people who will be in it. We’ve been in spaces with 20+ people in a 2 person hotel room. Let me tell you: It doesn’t work. Everyone gets irritated and panics, and your photographer will have a heck of a time trying to jump and trip over people sitting on the floor. Plan well so that you’re not stressed, and choose a room that’s large enough. Keep in mind, all of the ladies will have large bags and you’ll have a few extra bodies—makeup and hair artists, and your photographer—in there with you.