How to shoot Bridesmaids
We talked about the groomsmen. Let's talk about the bridesmaids, sort of the same situation as far as posing and action, right? We're gonna have the bride in one spot and then we're gonna cycle through all her bridesmaids and in a sense, just do formal photos and like a fun photo, right? The idea is that these photos are more about portraits and record keeping and it's just really nice to make sure that your bride and groom have a photo with every single person that they have personally selected, that they have, they have personally selected for their wedding, right? We wanna make sure that they have a record of that. And so we go through here, I have them in the same location because we got to do a first look. So we're able to cycle through these before the ceremony if that's not the case and you're not doing a first look. It's still fun to knock these photos out before the ceremony while everyone's looking fresh and especially if you have time where they're getting ready. If you can ...
sneak them out and get them done right away, that's always good. So same thing with these, I do a, uh vertical where we're shooting just the up and down. And the idea for the women are getting close together. You can have them tilt closer towards you, open their, close their bodies to each other, but open them towards camera. And then with the bouquets, I usually have them at the belly button. That's usually like a good spot because everyone's height is different. But that seems to be like a very good standard for the bouquets if you're gonna shoot with the. Ok. So same thing, right? Vertical, horizontal, big smiles looking right at the camera and then, hey, can you guys look at each other? And chances are there are some pretty solid relationships with these people that they've picked to be in their wedding. So they're gonna have fun with it. Just be ready to click away. Same thing, right? They are next to each other. Uh They're near a nice window, a nice soft amount of light and the background is further away if I can to make it out of focus and get that aesthetic. Um And so this one's a little bright, I think I probably need to come down on it editing wise, but we're doing the horizontals. I'm sorry, we're doing the vertical shots and uh the horizontals when they end up looking at each other. And then sometimes after you, you have them do looking at each other, they will get even closer and get moments like this. So you have to be kind of on your toes for that again. Um You know, the bouquet at the belly button and try to like bring a sense of calmness. You have to do a lot of these photos. Um But they don't need to be, they need to be quickly, but you, you don't wanna make anyone feel like you're trying to rush through stuff, right? To give them some time and give it a breath, see if they interact like this. Um A lot of times with women too, like sometimes finding a backlight is better. This was a winter wedding in a hotel. So this is a little bit different than being necessarily outdoors. It's more about the posing. Um And you can see the interaction between them like this is really great, right? They looked at each other and then they're like, yeah, and they like just had this moment. So again, I was quick, right? So that portrait along with this portrait are the same people, right? But different personalities, different vibe, different feeling. Um the bride just automatically held her bouquet out front. You can instruct him to do that if you like if that's your style. Um But typically uh if you get a bigger personality, they're gonna be moving around a lot. If they're not moving around a lot, instruct them, tell them to, you know, just stick your bouquet out of me. Let's take a, let's take a quick picture. Like, can you guys just look at each other, like, try and have fun, keep them relaxed because if they're stressed out and they're worried it will come across in the photos, it's your job to sort of bring out that relaxation in them. And so, yeah, we can go through here and there's a little bit of a height discrepancy in this photo, but they can tell as soon as they looked at each other. Um And then, uh for this one, she kinda got down a little bit and the other one got up on her toes to make it a little bit closer just because you know, you're gonna have these photos forever and you want their faces to be as close as possible. So if we go over to uh the all of the bridal party, the bridesmaids, same thing. It was a little easier for me in this sense to have the bridesmaids sit down in a spot. It kind of leveled out the playing field as far as height goes. There's a big height difference. Um And it felt nice for this one specifically because the white dress of a bride is always so much more striking than whatever the bridesmaids are wearing. It doesn't clearly that doesn't really translate to what the groomsmen are doing, right. The black suit is usually, or the navy suit is usually a little bit closer in tone to the groomsmen. Generally, I'm not saying all weddings are this way, but in a, uh, on the bride side, a white dress is usually gonna be much more stand, standing out. It's gonna stand out more compared to the, um, bridesmaids dresses. And so having her in the center, no matter which way she was facing was really gonna make her pop. I like the shot as far as like them smiling, their bouquets are at their belly buttons, their knees are together, they're staggered but like facing each other and they're all inward towards her. Um I don't however really like the uh background of this photo having them sit was great, but I feel like the background of this photo is a little bit too close and then we always have them look at the bride and have her smile and then same thing, right? I was like, hey, could you go ahead and just point out which one's your favorite? And she took a moment and it's a little awkward and they're all curious and you know, waiting, they all create a sort of look. So despite not liking the background in this photo, the faces of this photo, the emotion, the storytelling was really what I was going for in this shot specifically, which I love. And then again, I had them hold out their bouquets, which is a little bit of a cheesy and standard sort of pose, but it works. Um They all held out their bouquets, snap it really quick they probably could have held it together. I had them stand up and now you can see sort of the height discrepancy in it. I also was battling the overhead lighting in this situation. Um The black and white cities look much better and so sometimes it's nice to get the full dresses. Um, more so with the women than the men. Um seeing the full gowns is something that I imagine your clients might actually want. So make sure you get that same poses, having fun, bringing the bouquets together trying to make them laugh as best you can taking photos in between the photos you're supposed to be taking is gonna get you shots like this right? Where someone's laughing, someone said a joke and uh you're getting that exact moment and then taking photos when you're just walking by. I think this is such a fun photo because it happens to be them in the moment, which I think is super fun. So let's dive into um my portfolio really quick. I wanna pull out some of my favorite shots that have become my portfolio shots of wedding parties or of bridesmaids and groomsmen. These are some of the shots that I feel like are good enough that they've made it to a port to a portfolio level photo, which isn't often, right? I don't normally feel like these formal photos of bridesmaids and groomsmen and wedding parties in general will make it that far. But these are some of my most favorite, excellent shots that I wanna talk you through. This one specifically is uh a group of friends and they were just all very close, right? The uh the the bridesmaids were very close with the groomsmen and with the groom. And if you have time to do this, this is always gonna be such a wonderful and fun shot is pulling out the groom and having him go in with uh the the girls and vice versa, having, having the girl go in with the guys, right? And so these four gentlemen uh are very close to her and they had a vibe going on right now. So I thought that this would be just a really wonderful photo. So having that contrast is really great and these are the types of photos that I use on my portfolio and my website because they really are telling a story and being part of like a group, you know, and, and, and, and it has emotion, it has story, it has a life to it and that's what we're trying to do. This right here is one of my favorite. Um I actually uh did this with a longer lens and uh part of the reason why I sh I shot this on uh the longer lens was because the fall off. But what I did here was I had other people there to come and I said, hey, can you guys just take photos of your friends. I'm gonna go off and take another shot after I had done the bridal party shots or the bridesmaids shots. I just said that's fine. I'll step to the side and then some people start taking photos with their phones and stuff. I stepped to the side and the pressure lifted off of the brides mates. Right. They were just fun. They were cool. They weren't worried about my camera being there and I was able to step to his side, step in with a long lens and get this really candid wonderful moment. And this is actually become one of my favorite photos of uh of bridesmaids, which I think is super fun and um just like a really natural way of them being sometimes a lot of these photos that we're taking are of people that are not used to being in front of a camera. So if you take out the element or you take out them feeling like they're being photographed, you're gonna be able to step to the side and quietly take a photo like this that will have a ton of emotion, a ton of candidness and just ive this bride has told me plenty of times. This is one of her favorite photos that's ever been taken of her and her friends. And it is just those are all her, those are all her best closest friends and it's such a good time to get a moment like this. So do the formal photos, but also think about stepping to the side and getting some candid stuff, doing some fun things where you can step out and zoom in. Um You'll still be able to drop the background with the focus with a long lens and maintain a higher F stop. You can see I was shooting at an F four with this uh with this 50 to 140 98.2 millimeters that's on a crop sensor. This was actually taken on a Fuji um which means that that was closer to like a 151 zoom length. And um it's just one of my favorite shots. So go ahead and um go through and find some inspiration of bridal poses of bridesmaids of bridal parties. There are endless things that you can do creatively. But the most important part is right is taking the photo of the bride with each one of her bridesmaids and then the wedding party as a whole. So if we can go back to the um let's go back to the indoor hotel wedding and I'll show you the overall big wedding party. So we're back in this hotel for this shot. Here is the full wedding party. Now, let's look at the bridesmaids in general. Again, I had them bring all their um bouquets to their belly buttons. I have them staggered a little bit and I have be bent elbows um because they're staggered it creates a little bit more angles for them, especially if they have sleeveless dresses and it looks a little classier. This photo I cropped specifically so that it was more of like a cinematic longer view. A good rule of thumb. And I kinda feel like I messed up here a little bit, but I would have moved uh the second girl on the left a little bit closer to close up that gap. Um because we want to make sure it's condensed and we can see everybody but the idea of having them po staggered as close as possible bouquets at the belly button. This is like a very nice even photo. Um There's no, I think really the other crazy thing you need to do with the girls keeping an eye on hair and making sure it's not crazy, keeping an eye on dresses and making sure there's nothing slipping um or falling off. And then of course, like sunglasses, if we were outside hats, cell phones always end up in photos. Um And it's good. These are very, very good photos too when you're done taking them stop, look at the back of your camera check and then again with the F stop, the F stop is not as important when everyone is in a line, right? So in this photo, I needed the 2. because there's just not enough light in there. And I didn't want to use my overpowering flash. I liked all the natural window light coming in. So I needed to keep it at an f at a 28. Um But I needed to make sure that they were all in focus, right? They're all in line. And one of the really good ways to do that is while you're, when you're done taking the photo is to just go ahead and look down at your camera zoom in on the photo and literally just go, just have everyone just hold on one second. Let me just double check, go through and look down at every single person's face and make sure it's in focus. It's hard to do on a small screen. But if you can zoom in on that photo, double check it. I si I promise it's, it's worth your time just to double check because there have been group photos where I've taken it. And uh sure enough something's out of focus or um one face is just stepped back a little bit. That's why staggering comes importantly. If all their shoulders are lined up on both sides, everyone's gonna be in focus. So that's shooting some bridesmaids.