We cannot overstate the importance of chemistry between you and your wedding photographers when it comes to getting the pictures you’ve been dreaming of for your wedding album. That’s why it’s so important to meet with them well before your big day and to look for the right things and ask the right questions when you do, and for more on that, check out this post, 6 Questions You Need to Ask Your NY and NJ Wedding Photography Options.
That’s also why scheduling an engagement photo session before your wedding can be so helpful. You’ll get to start building a relationship with your photographers and you’ll also start to get a feel for how they work, and the same goes for scheduling a bridal portrait session.
And as longtime wedding photographers in NY and NJ, we’ve done our share of bridal portrait sessions, so read on to learn more about why they can be so worthwhile and for a few tips for ensuring that you get the most out of yours if you decide to go that route.
Why schedule a bridal portrait session?
Like mentioned above, any opportunity to start getting to know your wedding photographers and their process better before your actual wedding day is worth exploring, and a bridal portrait session provides a perfect one.
And just like an engagement session, it gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have, voice your concerns, make any suggestions, and, worse comes to worst, make a more drastic change if need be.
For more information on engagement photo sessions, check out this post, Wedding Photography Tips: How to Make the Most out of Your Engagement Session, but the point is, if you schedule a bridal portrait session, then you won’t have to worry about too many surprises once your big day rolls around. You’ll have already went through a similar process with your photographers and, hopefully, worked out all the bugs.
On top of all that, a bridal portrait session offers something that an engagement session typically does not, which is the opportunity to put absolute focus on the bride and her dress and for the bride to give her wedding-day look a trial run to see if any alterations may be necessary.
Brides often find that their dress looks a little too big in the photos, their chosen hair style isn’t cutting it, etc., the point is, the necessary adjustments can then be made before the wedding day rather than on it.
Tip #1 – Pose where you want to pose.
Another great part about bridal portrait sessions is that they allow brides to pose in their dresses in locations that they may not be able to on their wedding day.
So, if you and your partner are going to be saying your “I do’s” and celebrating your big day in a city setting yet you’ve been dreaming of having a photo or two of you in your dress in a more rural setting, this is the perfect chance to make it happen!
There may also be a location that has certain sentimental value to you where you’d like to head for your bridal portrait session, or you may want to simply choose the location based on the atmosphere you’d like to create, whether it’s more traditional, rustic, urban, etc.
If you’re on the fence about where to head for your bridal portrait session, you can always talk to your wedding photographers to see if they have any ideas. Chances are, they do, but the bottom line is that a bridal portrait session gives you the opportunity to be photographed in your wedding attire in a completely unique setting, so take it!
Tip #2 – Be ready to get a little dirty.
Again, the chance to head to a unique location for your bridal portrait session may be too good to pass up, and if that location is a little rural or simply outdoors, you need to be ready to get a little dirty.
No one’s saying that you should be willing to get covered and mud, but just that, like any other photo session, it’s important that you stay relaxed and loose and try your best to live in the moment. For some tips on that, check out this post, Tips for Loosening up for Your Wedding Photos.
So, make sure to factor a post-bridal portrait session dress cleaning into your plans so that you won’t have to worry so much about a little dirt or spot here and there.
And take it from us as veterans in wedding photography in NJ and NY, you need to try your best to embrace these kinds of “messy” situations because you can actually use them to your advantage and end up with even more memorable photos as a result.
Tip # 3 – Timing and communication are key.
You need to start factoring the bridal portrait session into your plans and timeline as early on as possible. For example, you need to plan to have your dress all ready to go at least a couple months before your wedding day.
Remember, you won’t just need enough time for your bridal portrait session—with a little extra in case of unexpected weather of course—but also for the dress to be cleaned and for any alterations to be made, and you need to consider the weather as well when scheduling your bridal portrait session if you’ll be heading outdoors for it.
You don’t want to have to deal with extreme heat or cold, or worse, and if you do decide to schedule a bridal portrait session and you do give yourself and everyone involved ample time to make it happen and to even reschedule if something unexpected occurs, from there, communication is crucial.
Again, if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about their process or attitude, this is the time to air them out, but additionally, if something’s simply bugging you during your session and making you somewhat uncomfortable, you need to let that be known as well.
The last thing you want is to take the time to make your bridal portrait session happen only to feel and look uncomfortable and/or awkward in the resulting photos. So, if you feel something, anything, say something! For some more tips on communicating and working with your photographers, check out this post, 3 Tips for Working with Your Wedding Photographers and Videographers.
Make the most of your bridal portrait session.
For some visual bridal portrait ideas, check out this great post from Inside Weddings, 5 Must-Have Photos for Your Bridal Portrait Session, but as you can see, scheduling a bridal portrait session isn’t just about getting a few extra photos of you in your wedding dress to display in your album, at your reception, or to use as gifts for parents.
It’s also about building a stronger bond with your photographers and gaining a deeper understanding of how they work. It gives you the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions, as well as to try out your wedding-day look before your wedding day and to make any necessary alterations.
A bridal portrait session also allows you to be photographed in a unique location separate from your wedding’s. You just need to remember to be willing to get a little dirty, to schedule and time everything as best you can, and to keep the lines of communication between you and your photographers open at all times.
About Us: Live Picture Studios is composed of a team of experienced NY / NJ wedding photographers, videographers, and editors who’ve been making memories magical in the NY, NJ, PA, and CT area with stunning wedding photos and videos for years. Check out our photo gallery and video gallery for some examples.