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FAQ : Tips for Photographing a Bridal Party

November 12, 2013 - How To, Photography, Weddings

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Let's chat about photographing a bridal party. I'm asked how I work with large groups, how long it takes, and how to be creative in a time crunch. I should mention that no wedding unfolds the same way, so what I'm about to share is a cumulative approach, given 25 minutes for this segment of wedding photography.

The main thing to keep in mind is to stay organized, always smile, and use a strong voice. The minute the bridal party is gathered, I'm in overdrive and expect my second shooter to keep up (this is the time my Internet friends offer to buy JD a drink out of sheer pity). In a short amount of time, I aim to capture three poses/moments with the bridal party:
1. Candids of bridal party (both groomsmen and bridesmaids)
2. Formal of bridal party (both groomsmen and bridesmaids)
3. Individual candids

CANDIDS OF BRIDAL PARTY
This usually happens as the bridal party is walking to the designated area for photos. Everyone is relaxed and laughing…best yet, they're not expecting to be photographed, which yields fun, fresh, and lively photos. Here are a few samples of what I'm describing.

As the bridal party is walking, I don't talk too much, if at all. If I orchestrate the moment, it feels fake or appears staged, so letting clients simply be with their friends is the best advice I can give for these moments.

FORMAL PHOTOS OF BRIDAL PARTY
This is usually the most time consuming portion of bridal party photos, so creating a system/flow in your mind for organizing the group is most helpful. For example, at my last Terranea Resort wedding, the bridesmaids walked to the lawn, but I stopped them en route when we passed by this archway. I organized this photo in less than a minute (the girls were already walking together, so I just had to arrange them), snapped a few photos, then moved along…

…but not without shooting while they walked to our next destination (these candid photos diversify the wedding portfolio and add a balanced photojournalistic appeal).

While I'm shooting a traditional formal photo of the bridal party, my second shooter (and husband, JD) is shooting a different angle of the same moment. I usually prefer his vantage point when I choose my favorite images, but we're happy because the bride will have more options as she chooses her favorites…

JD also shoots details during this time, which is great because we can give these images to the wedding creative team (venue, coordinator, florist, etc) as a way to showcase their work as well.

INDIVIDUAL CANDIDS
These are, hands down, my favorite photos during bridal party photos…they also have very little to do with me. While I'm setting up a photo, say, with the bridesmaids, my second shooter is capturing candids of the groomsmen simply hanging out.

Once I'm done setting up the photo, JD turns his attention back to primary photo (in this example, the bride and her bridesmaids) and captures the secondary angle (as I just mentioned in the previous section). Here's an example of what I'm referring to…

To see an even better example of how much I love working with JD, here's what I was shooting while photographing the groomsmen…

…and this is what JD captured as he stood at a side angle…

The bride was out of my frame, but the groomsmen where out of JD's frame…in the same moment, we captured two different stories, both of equal value.

I hope this offers insight into how we work together in a short amount of time with a big group. We usually have about 25 minutes to shoot the bridal party (which includes the bridesmaids, groomsmen, a group photo, and individual photos of the bride/groom and each of their bridal party members). We arrive early on the wedding day to map out where the photos will take place and know how we'll pose them in advance. This saves an incredibly amount of time and eliminates stress.

Happy Tuesday!

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FREE PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER

Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

[With cherry flavored chapstick.]  

FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
Sign up to receive a free Instagram marketing guide, helpful tips, and free stock photos you can use for your business.  

It’s basically an Instanote sent to your inbox to help push you toward your social goals and help grow your following.

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You're busy, pulled in lots of directions, and trying to run a business. 

In addition to all this, you know you should be posting on social media, so how do you balance it all? 

I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

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