FAQ : How to Photograph a Wedding Dress


When I first started my business, I read on a photography forum how important it was for a photographer to shoot a each wedding as if seeing the day with fresh eyes. Regardless if a photographer had photographed a multitude of weddings at the same venue, it’s imperative to not shoot the wedding in the same way. Just because I can shoot a bride in the same location, doesn’t mean I should. It’s easy to fall into a pattern or routine, but it could also impede creativity.

In order to articulate my point further, I’ll illustrate it with a recent example. Last week I photographed Chris and Elise’s wedding at Pelican Hill, but I had also photographed another wedding there the week before. Pelican Hill is one of my favorite venues, but after shooting in the bridal suite over ten times it’s easy to feel stifled by the same location to photograph wedding details, like the wedding dress. Elise was an easy-going bride who truly valued photographs, so I asked permission to take her dress and photograph it elsewhere on property, away from the bridal suite. Elise readily agreed.

When possible, my goal is to photograph the wedding dress in two locations for diversity’s sake. Because Elise was having a garden-inspired wedding, I took the dress to the most garden-y area on the Pelican Hill property and captured a couple photos in an environment that would lend itself to the album design at a later point in time and enhance the story telling of the day.

I was also lucky enough to have the coordinator bring a dress form to the wedding. In light of this, I also documented the wedding dress indoors against a basic background should Elise decide later she prefers this set up. I, of course, captured more photos than the ones I’m showing here, but this is to provide context for what I’m referring to.

The goal for every wedding is to approach the day’s details in a way that reflects the theme/story/color scheme, maximize natural light, and reflect the bride’s personality. If you’d like to see a behind-the-scenes video tutorial on how I photograph a wedding dress on a wedding day, feel free to check it out here

I’m incredibly thankful to have brides, like Elise, who’ll extend their trust to allow me to be creative and produce images in new ways given the same location.