Having just photographed my first wedding of 2013 and looking forward to many more, I got to thinking about why I love the very first part of the day, where the bride is getting ready. It is the calm before the storm and by far my favourite bit of the wedding day. There is something so lovely about watching the bride get into her dress for the first time, capturing some shots of the shoes, bouquet, dress, perfume and all those little aspects the bride has lovingly chosen for her special day. As a woman, I appreciate how important shoes are to any girl, and just love finding creative ways of photographing shoes. My favourite shoes I have photographed were Gretl’s ‘something old’ [pic below left] they were just beautiful shoes. She had found them on eBay and they had only been worn once. I just loved them and couldn’t stop photographing them.
I loved Kuo-Fang’s bouquet [above] and I love this shot of the flowers sat next to the champagne glass on the window-sill. I also enjoy photographing the bridesmaids with their bouquets at the beginning of the day. It is often hard to track the bridesmaids down for another shot together outside of the formal shots. So I love taking the bridesmaids aside and doing individual portraits as well as some group shots as they are relaxed and enjoying the champagne and flowers. Oh the champagne is very important during this part of the day. Calming nerves and a pre-celebratory toast amongst the girls.
Then there is the all important dress. Normally the first thing the bride thought about, perhaps moments after she got engaged! Oh that dress is very important and needs to be shown in its full glory. Obviously seeing it on the bride for the first time is a stunning moment to photograph, but I rather like the empty dress on the hanger waiting for its one moment of glory. Worn for a day and then put away to gather dust. The dress hanging up is such a romantic image and I love taking these pictures too.
Taking pictures of the bride applying final touches to her make-up or having her hair done and then finally taking it all in for the first time are more precious moments. It is all serene and relaxed and I feel like I am very privileged to be involved in this very intimate and private part of the day.
Witnessing bridesmaids struggle to lace that corset and do up all those tiny buttons is always fun. I often find myself getting involved myself doing up a bride’s dress, or helping her into it, or straightening the layers of under skirt.
And finally perhaps my favourite bit. The bridal portraits. I don’t tend to do too much posing, but I do love window light, so more often than not get a bride looking out of the window. Its such a special moment with the bride alone before it all begins. She can really take in these moments before the whirlwind of her wedding gets under way.
and down the stairs and on to meet her groom and the rest is a whirlwind for her and me both!