[How-To] Taking Great Photos of Your Wedding Dress

wedding dress photography

When it comes to the wedding, the dress is one of the main focal points of the entire event. Aside from the cake, it may be the most photographed-inanimate object on the menu for the night. It’s also one of the most memorable details of the celebration so it’s only fitting that there are some gorgeous shots of the main ensemble.

Moving & Preparation of the Dress

To prep and plan for the photos, some homework will need to be done. Whether you’re doing it yourself or as a photographer, you’ll need to know what the dress is made of and how to handle it. Some conversation needs to happen with the bride in terms of where the design can be taken to and around at the venue – we wouldn’t want any guests or the groom getting a peek of it before the main event begins.

You’ll also need to know when the bride needs it back. All of these amazing photos can be taken while the bridal party preps for the celebration. Taking it to the chuppah and using the background as a creative force, or maybe laying it on a grand staircase or window within the church, there’s a lot to consider when planning your attack of the day’s details.

It’s also important to consider how to photograph the dress while it’s being worn and celebrated in. Does the dress move well? Is the bride changing into a different outfit before hopping onto the dance floor?

Finally, make sure when you’re moving the dress around that you’re considering the gown in its entirety. Remember, the bride needs to wear this so make sure it’s not getting stepped on and avoid allowing it to scrape the grass or dirt grounds.

Grab an assistant while you’re at it. Lugging around a wedding dress and camera equipment can be quite the feat and you’re less likely to stumble or encounter a gown nightmare with a helper by your side.

Photography Considerations

Composition

Using a 120-degree angle will be the preferred way to shoot a wedding gown. The shadows found at this position will create a bit of drama and contrast the design.

Experiment with varying unique angles as well. The location is a big portion of the day’s ethos so make sure to capture the focal point within the venue. Think outside the box in terms of composition and complement the design. Hang the dress from the porch of the plantation home, for example.

Don’t assume the bride will have a hanger that’s worthy of being photographed. Instead, bring a nice one along for all of the opportunities that can come from the hanging dress – from the prep room to the ceremony. A wooden hanger may be your best bet in this realm and it’s the best time to get the details of the dress in an elegant and simplistic way.

Accessories are an important portion to not discount. Compose shots that incorporate both the gown and the jewelry, sash, and even the shoes. This personalizes the images in an even more intimate way.

Lighting

When shooting the wedding dress, window light will be your absolute best friend. But sometimes you’ll be in a room without any windows or natural sunlight pouring into the nooks and crannies. Artificial lighting will help with that. For example, creating your own soft lighting with a strobe light and softbox works nicely.

Reflections can also be a great way to find a unique shot and expand your lighting options. Mirrors, crystals and the like can be shot in particular ways that will reflect the silhouette of the dress for a memorable snapshot.

A List Of Must-Have WeddShots

Create a list for the photographer or make sure to chat with him/her ahead of time to prep for any of these must-have shots you’ll want of your gorgeous gown.

  • On the hanger
  • In motion
  • Solo at the venue
  • Slipping it on
  • With the train spread out
  • Classic portraits
  • Close-up details
  • With the bouquet
  • Alongside the shoes
  • A peek of the back
  • Bustled
  • From a distance

OnceWed.com

About OnceWed.com

Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding.