How To: 5 Steps To Superior Getting Ready Photos | Minnesota Wedding Photographer

Lauren Baker Photography Minneapolis Saint Paul Twin Cities wedding photographer

The shoes. The dress. You and your bridesmaids making a heartfelt toast with mimosas. The “getting ready” portion of your wedding day is so fun and is filled with giggles, pumped-up jams, and a splash of champagne as you prepare for the festivities to begin.

This part of your wedding day photography coverage typically includes photographing your details, final make up and hair touch ups, and getting the bride into her dress. 

These photos help tell the story of your wedding day and it’s important that they look just as beautiful as your first look, couple portraits, and ceremony photos. 

Beautiful getting ready photos don’t just magically happen. It takes lots of forethought, preparation, and trust. 

So, what do you have to do to get the beautiful getting ready photos of your dreams? Let me tell you in 5 easy steps.

1 – Gather your details

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Your photographer has probably allowed, at most, an hour to capture both your detail photos and your candid getting ready photos. Help her out by gathering your invitation suite, rings (all three), shoes, dress, veil, and jewelry in one place before she arrives. 

Gathering your detail items ahead of time means your photographer won’t need to waste time finding everything and instead can spend that time photographing multiple set ups of your invitation suite, rings, shoes, and dress. Aka: you get photographs and more creative photographs of your details because your photographer has more time to spend behind the camera. It’s a win win!

Tip: If you haven’t put your details in an easy to carry box ahead of time, have your Personal Attendant do this as soon as you both arrive at your getting ready location.

2 – Send photo requests a week before your wedding

Lauren Baker Photography Minneapolis Saint Paul Twin Cities wedding photographer

Want a fun photo with your girls in their matching robes? Or perhaps a photo of your maid of honor popping a champagne bottle? Let your photographer know these kinds of photo requests at least a week before your wedding. This lets her make a game plan for how she wants to best use your getting ready time. 

You’d be surprised how much time is required to photograph detail photos. If you spring last minute photo requests on your photographer while she’s about to take your detail photos, there will likely not be enough time to photograph everything properly.

Do yourself and your photographer a favor and tell her your getting ready photo requests at least a week before your wedding, so she can make sure there’s enough time to capture all of those special photos for you.

3 – Get in better light!

Lauren Baker Photography Minneapolis Saint Paul Twin Cities wedding photographer

Many brides (and grooms) choose to get ready for their wedding in a hotel room, at their home, or a bridal/groom suite at their venue. In many of these cases the light, to put it bluntly, sucks butt.

In order to have soft, evenly lit getting ready photos, you need natural light!! There’s no way around this one friends; natural light just looks better than artificial light.

But, what do you do if you’re getting ready in a room that has limited or no natural light? 

  • Best-case Scenario: Your room has big windows. Turn off all artificial lights and pull open all of the curtains or blinds. Natural light should flood the room giving you multiple options for where your can take your getting ready and getting into your dress photos. 
  • Second-best scenario: Your room has small windows.Pull back the curtains to let as much natural light in as possible. Turn off all artificial lights and see where the natural light falls in the room. It’ll likely be within a few feet of the window. Move all clutter away from that area because that is where you’ll live for your getting ready and getting into your dress photos. 
  • Worst-case scenario: Your room is windowless. Yes, there are some bridal suites that do not have windows. This sucks but all is not lost. In this scenario, you must trust that your photographer has your best interests in mind and you must listen to her. Your photographer will search for natural light around your getting ready location and bring you to that area. She and the venue staff will do what they can to make that spot as private as possible. This is where you will take your getting into your dress photos. It may feel slightly uncomfortable to get into your dress outside of your bridal suite but trust me it’ll be worth it because your photos will look a billion times better than they would in a windowless room!!! 

Tip: Always turn off artificial lights when you have access to natural light! Why? Because all light, from every single light source, has it’s own temperature. Some light is cool which looks kind of blue and some light is warm which looks kind of orange. When artificial light from, say, a lamp competes with natural light, you get a funky color disparity that A) doesn’t look good and B) is a royal pain in the butt to edit. So, if you want your photos to look beautiful and if you want your photos delivered quickly…turn off artificial lights!!! 

4 – Give yourself more time

Lauren Baker Photography Minneapolis Saint Paul Twin Cities wedding photographer

Let your photographer dictate you how much time is needed for your getting ready portion of your day. You may not think you need to allow 2 hours for this whole chunk of photos but trust me; time gets eaten up by the most random of things! 

It’s better to give yourself more time than you think you need than scramble to make up time that doesn’t exist.

5 – Trust your photographer

Lauren Baker Photography Minneapolis Saint Paul Twin Cities wedding photographer

She’s an expert in her field and you’ve hired her to do a job. Let her do her job! Trust her when she asks you to do something. Chances are good that any request she makes of you, your friends, your family, or of anyone else is to give you the best photographs possible!

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