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What Challenges are Unique to Bridal Photography?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Because a couple’s wedding day may be the most important and memorable event of their lives, capturing that day in pictures presents a unique challenge to wedding photographers. Compared to nature photography or other professional photographic endeavors, the margin of error with bridal photography is much lower. Wedding photographers get only one shot to capture the memories of the bride and groom’s big day, despite any environmental obstacles, such as poor weather; or situational obstacles, such as malfunctioning camera equipment.

Modern-day bridal photography has taken a special focus on capturing all aspects of the couple’s wedding day, including before, during, and after the ceremony. A bridal photography shoot may begin as early as the bride begins preparing for the wedding, and feature the bride in various stages of hair, makeup, and dress. A unique challenge for bridal photography in this early stage is to be able to capture the bride in a flattering and intimate manner that does not interfere with her wedding day preparations. The bride may require lots of physical space at this time, and the photographer should refrain from extreme close-up shots. Also at this time, the bridesmaids and family members may be assisting the bride with her preparations, and shots featuring the bridesmaids attending to the bride’s dress or jewelry are popular photo opportunities.

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Once the couple has arrived at the church or other ceremony venue, the photographer is faced with the challenge of capturing shots during the ceremony in a manner that does not interfere with the service. Wedding photographers are often permitted to position themselves close to the couple while they recite their vows for a few quick shots. Professional bridal photography requires a unique proximity to the couple; therefore guests who also wish to also take photos may attempt to gain the same proximity. To avoid a “photo scrum,” guests may be asked at the beginning of the ceremony to refrain from taking photos until the service has ended.

Following the ceremony, the wedding photographer has a prime opportunity to capture photos of the bride and groom with their loved ones as they leave the venue. Photos that feature the bride and groom thanking and embracing their guests are a popular and iconic photo op. At this time, the couple and their attendants are freed-up to take posed portraits versus candid photos, and the photographer may work more closely with them to determine which types of poses they would prefer.

Due to the advances in digital cameras which have made photography more efficient and less expensive, more and more people are pursuing bridal photography as a freelance or full time profession. Keeping prices competitive are another unique challenge to bridal photography, as is long-range preparation, in order to avoid scheduling conflicts. In the age of the Internet, the most popular promotional item for a bridal photographer is a website, featuring the best wedding portraits from various ceremonies, used with the couple’s permission.

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Discuss this Article

FrogFriend
Post 4

Bridal photography can be a very lucrative business, but it is imperative that the photographer take great caution when photographing people in their wedding pictures.

There are many excellent bridal photography websites available on the Internet to help a beginning wedding photographer.

One good thing to look at before you take on the first task of shooting a bride and groom is looking at bridal photography poses that are popular in today's day and age.

dkarnowski
Post 3

after photographing several weddings I have recognized that the biggest challenge for me as a photographer when doing bridal photography, is making sure that the white dress and the black tuxedo of the bride and groom tonal ranges that are appealing inside the image.

Often, it can be difficult to make sure that you do not blowout the whites and lose the detail inside of the dress as often these women have spent a great deal of time deciding on the sequence and pattern that makes up their gown. If you miss the detail in the dress, you have most likely missed one of the best parts of bridal photography.

thumbtack
Post 2

Bridal photography can be either extremely challenging or extremely easy depending greatly on the individual that you are photographing. If a bride is in a good mood, and is loving the way that her day is going, the pictures usually come out great as long as you are an experienced photographer and know how to use your camera.

If the bride is in a bad mood it can often be difficult to get a good smile that is genuine and one the family will not recognize as being a frown. As the photographer you have a great deal of responsibility to ensure that the bride stays in a good mood so that your photographs turnout with an excellent smile.

fitness234
Post 1

As a veteran photographer I can tell you without a doubt the most complicated type of photography you will ever do is bridal photography. The single reason that this photography is so challenging, is because of the importance of the day has to the individual you are photographing.

Often, these brides waited their entire life to find a man that will marry them. This means the photographs you are taking this day will be once they remember and look at the rest of their life. This daunting this mental task can add to the stress of photographing a bride. I just recommend that you take extreme care when dealing with bridal customers and their wants and desires.

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