I love getting ready photos.  The moments the bride and her mother, sometimes grandmother, and her best girlfriends share make my heart happy.  I try as best I can to capture as much of those moments as I can on the wedding day.  My brides expect to get lots of pretty, brightly lit shots of them getting into their dress, putting the veil & jewelry on, etc.  This doesn’t happen just by chance.  It happens first when the bride has chosen a suite to get ready that has lots of light and then when I have time to prepare the space in the right light. 

Can I use flash to photograph getting ready photos?  Yes, of course!  But I honestly prefer the beauty of natural light.  I do use flash when I need to, just to fill in the light a little bit – I never want it to over power the natural light!

Here’s an example of when I used flash while Kristen was getting ready: Pharsalia is beautiful and the bridal suite is too, but the walls are a dark green and the furniture is all dark wood so the the light that comes in through the window gets sucked right up into the dark features of the room.  You can see that the main light is coming from the window, but I used a flash on a low power (on camera) and bounced off the white ceiling to fill the right side just a touch.

Here are some examples of beautiful bridal suites that offer so much light!

Becky and her mother at Big Spring Farm

Jessica at Independence Golf Club.  Not only was this suite beautifully neutral but it had the most beautiful wood floors!

Maggie and her mother at Stone Tower Winery

Melissa’s sute at Quirk Hotel had a full wall of windows. Richmond brides – look into Quirk for your bridal suite! It’s beautiful there!

Amber’s bridal suite had 40 foot windows on two walls. We had to close the sheer curtains to diffuse the light some! Made for beauitfully lit photographs though!

Jessica got ready in one of the new cottages at The Mill at Fine Creek. The neutral walls, windows, and open doors let enough light in to create super dreamy getting ready photos!

Here’s an example of making it work in less than desireable spaces!  Amanda’s suite was great – huge!  However, the best window light was taken by hair and makeup and they were hard at work and not even close to done when we needed to get Amanda in her dress, so instead I found Plan B.  You’ll see the tiny space by the door.  Thankfully, there was that sheer curtain to diffuse the light but it made her getting ready photos really bright and soft.

So the moral of the story?  Make sure your bridal suite has LOTS of light!  But even if it doesn’t, don’t worry.  I can make magic happen with just one little window…I promise!

WANT TO SEE MORE?

FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: 10 THINGS I LEARNED AS A SECOND SHOOTER

NICK & KALYNN | A WINTER ENGAGEMENT SESSION ON FILM

JOSH & CAROLINE | A SNOWY MOUNT IDA WEDDING

For The Bride | Picking Your Bridal Suite with your Photos in Mind

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