If you're in two minds about whether to have your wedding photographer capture the pre-wedding bridal (or groom) preparations, take a look at the selection of photos below (including the corker above) taken on the morning of a recent wedding I photographed. It was at the beautiful family home of the wonderful Abi who would later marry Adam, and in my humble opinion (and least big-headed way possible), if these photographs do not sway you to have your morning preparations captured, then nothing will!
"But but but....." (I hear you say*)...
If your wedding photography package is time-limited, the first thing to drop is often the pre-wedding preparations. Personally I think there is HUGE value in these moments - giving rise to many stunning photographs of cherished memories - and so I would always encourage the couple to have these, where appropriate and where possible. Have you skipped to the photographs in this blog yet to see just how fantastic these can be? No? Well what are you doing here? still? Do that first, and then come back and read the boring text bit.
I always get to know my clients before the big day, and plenty of other photographers do too - as they should! - so for me, whilst I'm there as a professional and what that entails, you are also familiar with me and (very) comfortable in my company. Plus, I'm only in the room when you are happy for me to be and am very discrete and considerate when I am. And that's only one part of the preparations anyway, there's always plenty going on!
As an added bonus, I'm also available to lend a hand if needed. For this very wedding showcased below, there were difficulties and I was called upon to button up Abi's dress at the back. There were a lot of buttons - those wedding dressmakers are much quicker and well practiced!
Have you not seen the photographs below yet?
Have you not seen the wonder, innocence and joy in the beautiful flower girl's eyes??
Have you not seen Abi and her dad Rob having a last minute walking-down-the-aisle practice in the hallway mirror???
Have you not seen the care and pride taken by mother of the bride Tracey, in dressing her beloved daughter for her big day????**
Have you not seen father of the bride Rob virtually falling across the living room as his knees seemingly buckled on the first sight of his grown up princess in her stunning wedding dress?????***
Personally I would point to my unobtrusive and natural style (see my previous blog) as a counter argument for all these points. When I arrive I always make it clear that I need nothing; no one needs to cater for me in any way. I just work around what is happening. If I'm needed for anything in particular then of course I'm happy to oblige but my style is very much around capturing what is naturally happening.
This means no stress of you or your family/friends catering for the photographer's needs and no time used up posing here or there (in an inevitably already busy morning). Not all photographers will have this style of course so perhaps if you're not using me then just think a little about how these points relate to your photographer. Just have a good chat about how they operate. Perhaps ask to see examples of their preparation photos? If they're great, then that's a good start!
Feel free to drop me a message or comment on this blog with any other concerns you think of. My fundamental approach at this point of the day, hopefully like many other photographers, is to be low-key and allow the preparations to be as stress-free as possible for all those involved. This enables all the enjoyment, exhilaration, and love, to come to the fore and be captured in a natural style.
*Just play along, would you? ;)
**Though I did do the buttons on the back, it's only fair Tracey takes most of the credit
***I suppose the buckling knees could have partly been due to the raspberry-infused sloe gin and champagne cocktails - see earlier photos