It’s no secret that I enjoy shooting bridal details! I love it for several reasons…
1. It’s the first thing I start on when I arrive, after giving the bride a big hug, of course! It gets me in my groove and gets me ready for the rest of the day.
2. They pull together the look and feel of the wedding day. From her dress and her jewelry to every single flower in her bouquet…she decided on all those things and photographing them is a great way to tie in all that prettiness into her wedding story so she can remember it all.
3. They start an album or even their blog post with consistent colors and set the mood for the rest of their wedding day photos. Plus, what girl doesn’t like shooting pretty things?!?
But I haven’t always been good at it. In fact, it use to intimidate me. I have learned over the years that there are a few key things to keep in mind while shooting details. Once I started focusing on those, my details shots improved tremendously! Here are a few tips for getting those gorgeous details you hope for…
Find the light!!! As soon as I arrive, I scope the area for a nice window to set up camp near. As a natural light photographer, I depend on that light! You don’t have to work right up against it because it may be too bright. The more overcast it is, the more diffused the light will be.
Below you can see 2 action shots and the final image. (PS–I also stand in awkward positions to make these shots happen!)
I was really close to the window here because I was working on a ledge. It’s hard to see here, but I fluffed the veil on the right side of the invitation to diffuse the light that was directly hitting the card.
In this case, I had a lot of window light on the right but the left side was dark. I felt that even light was better for the image I was trying to produce, so I popped out my reflector to get some light on the other side of the shoes. (I really wanted a white background for this shot, hence why I’m standing on the bed, ha!)
If the venue doesn’t not have nice window light or setting up camp near one would put you in the way, go outside.
Nikki’s rose gold jewelry (which I LOVED) was photographed outside on the cabin deck. I didn’t mind the brown wood flooring because it tied in perfectly with her rustic feel so I used her veil to soften it a bit.I never use this little light…but this one instance it was came in handy. The window was pretty far away, so it was producing some natural light, but not enough for a macro image of the rings. So, I improvised with the white envelopes and the light! The light bounced off the envelopes and gave me an evenly lit photograph.
2. Use their wedding stationary
Whether they are really simple or colorful and unique, their wedding stationary can really produce gorgeous images. The wedding invitation is the one things guests see and know first about the wedding, so most brides choose ones that match the “feel” they are going for. Plus you can do so much with them!
Photograph the whole set first…
…then include some of their jewelry or something special up close on a portion of the paper.
I loved Robin’s shower invitation that she included, but since it was for a shower, I hid the text (on the left side) but kept the florals because it matched her bridal bouquet!
One invitation…three totally different shots…
3. Make it personal.
Find ways to tie in things that are specific to them. Of course, I use her bouquet and their rings for shots, but I enjoy the challenge of bringing in special elements that make it personal for the bride and groom!
My sister-in-law got married last fall and they love all things hunting. I loved the little deer on their signature canvas, so I placed their rings and the beading from her veil on the canvas to include their names too.
Carolina got dressed at her grandparent’s house, and I fell in love with her grandma’s china cabinet. How unique! I assume (only assumed, didn’t know for a fact) that Carolina may inherit some of those items one day, so I thought it was special to hang her dress there. Plus, it was near a large window!
I knew from their engagement session that Kelli’s Vera Wang ring was her pride and joy! So I made sure to photograph all the intricate details of the ring and included some with the box (and logo)…because VW has the coolest ring boxes!
4. Tie things together to form consistency
Instead of shooting the rings on a cute polka dot chair and the earrings on a cute pillow and the bouquet on the floor…form consistency among the images. For example, shoot up close and wide. Use the bridal gown or a bridesmaid’s dress for a background. Use the bouquet for a pop of color or the veil to add some softness to the image. I often shoot these images with the blog post in mind so I know I’m shooting things can be paired side by side and have a consistent flow throughout the detail images.
Here is an example of shooting close up and wide on the same object. I shot the perfume bottle with some of Katie’s other things first, then pulled it out by itself to photograph the ring on the bottle. In the wide shot, I made sure to include a little bit of the purple fabric (matched bridesmaid dresses) and her bouquet. The purple helped tie it together with some of the other images (triple invitation shot used earlier under the stationary category) and it definitely helped that the stones and text on the bottle were purple too!
In this specific getting ready area, there weren’t a whole lot of options for hanging the dress near any good light. The brick wall didn’t necessarily match the other details so I made sure to photograph the bouquet in the window with some of the brick behind it so they could tie together easily.
So, are you ready to go photograph details with these tips? You’ve got this! It takes practice, patience, and sometime quick thinking! Practice with your own jewelry and rings at home if you want to feel better prepared!