Thanks to wedding blogs, Pinterest and Instagram, wedding detail photos (and specifically bridal detail photos) have become a big part of telling the visual story of a wedding day. I don’t know exactly when this trend took flight but you’d be hard pressed to not come across tons of these images while planning a wedding. For some brides, detail photos are really important. For others, maybe not so much. If you’re in the “I LOVE DETAILS” camp— this post is for you. And if you’re not really sure what the fuss is about, maybe this post can help you decide.
As a bride, there are a few things you can do to help insure your photographer captures gorgeous and compelling detail images. Here are my top 3 tips:
1.CURATING YOUR DETAILS
Before reading anything I have to say, your number one priority should be to buy, wear, design, choose what YOU like best. Don’t let anyone force your hand while making decisions unless you’ve specifically hired someone to do that, or you’ve asked someone to. With that said, while shopping for your wedding, keep in mind your color palette and the overall aesthetic you’re aiming for. Make sure all of your details tell a cohesive color and design story. Everything from your dress right down to your invitations should exist in balance and harmony.
2. HAVE YOUR BRIDAL DETAILS READY and organized for your photographer when they arrive
Make sure everything is available and on-site when your photographer arrives. I like to get started on detail photos as soon as I’ve finished my rounds of hellos and hugs (starting off with details gets my creativity flowing). It can really slow things down when I have to go hunting for all the details, so consider putting it all together in a box or bag. Here’s a list of items your photographer will likely photograph:
Your dress, veil, hanger, and shoes. Sounds like a no-brainer but I’ve shown up to a wedding before and there was no dress. Someone was supposed to bring it in their car and it didn’t show up until an hour after I arrived. I was still able to photograph it, but it’s best to have everything on site, especially since I like to photograph the dress first so no one sees it. If you have a special hanger, that’s great— but if not, ask your photographer if they have one. I carry 6 white hangers in my car. HA!
A copy of the wedding invitation. I always ask my brides and grooms to mail me a copy when they send out invites, but just in case you forget to do that, make sure you bring one on wedding day. Your photographer will photograph the entire invitation suite and will also use it for other detail photos.
All three rings and any other jewelry you’re going to wear. It’s super important that your photographer has access to not only your engagement ring, but also both wedding bands. A few times I’ve had to wait until the reception to photographer all three rings together, and while that’s not a big deal for some people, the lighting and location is different, meaning those photos may not match the detail photos taken earlier in the day. You’ll get more variety, too, if your photographer has the rings when photographing your other details.
Bouquets, boutonnières, and other floral elements. Ask your floral designer to have your bouquet ready when the photographer arrives. You’ll also want the boutonnières ready, as well as some loose floral elements for your photographer to used for styling. The floral elements absolutely elevate detail images and your floral designer will be thrilled to showcase their blooms!
Perfume, garter, sentimental items, other styling pieces. If you’re wearing perfume on your wedding day, your photographer may want to photographer the bottle. If someone has gifted you a Mrs. Box, or you couldn’t resist buying one after your proposal, bring that along, too! But don’t stress too much about things like rings boxes, ribbons, and little trinket dishes. Your photographer probably has all of those things in their styling kit (I have tons of lovely items to help style your detail photos) but be sure to ask beforehand if that’s a priority for you.
Don’t forget heirloom pieces you plan to wear or incorporate, such as a grandmother’s broach or your mother’s vintage pearls. These items are important to your story and help make your detail photos unique to you and your family.
3. GREAT LIGHT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
OK, so this isn’t something you can bring with you, but it is likely THE MOST IMPORTANT ingredient for any photo. When you’re choosing a venue or location to get ready in, think about the light available in that space. Lots of natural light and neutral walls make a big difference in not only detail photos, but the photos of you getting ready and the photos of you with your family and bridesmaids. It’s also really helpful if your photographer can stay in the same space while shooting details so they don’t miss out on any candid moments. In some cases I’ve had to find good light for details away from the bride and I hate being absent for even 10 or 15 minutes (no worries, the second photographer is there to catch what I don’t see while shooting details). Take a look at the stunning light in the bridal suite at The Oaks at Salem. You’ll notice in all the photos in this post that the light is clean and crisp. All of the detail photos were taken in this room! WOW!
I hope this information is helpful as you plan your big day! Remember— every bride is different and priorities vary. Make sure you have a conversation with your photographer about details so you’re both on the same page! Happy planning!
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