By now you've probably seen lots of images from this styled shoot floating around social media from over 50 photographers. We all got together and had an absolute blast just spending time with our peers and photographing 3 styled shoots. I personally love the idea of styled shoots because it shows just how much potential there can be for a photo shoot. Are tables, decor, florals, food, cake, etc really necessary for great pictures? No, but it sure does help make your setting look gorgeous! What shoots can you style? ALL OF THEM.
For this blog I really want to talk about bridal sessions. When I was getting married I remembered thinking, do I need a photo shoot of just myself? There are definitely some advantages to having a bridal session before the wedding.
First, you don't have to depend on the weather. If you are dreaming of portraits in a field, on a mountain, or just about anywhere outdoors you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Portrait sessions can be rescheduled, a wedding cannot. You can even do a styled shoot with your groom before or after the wedding! Depending on how traditional you are, the sky is the limit. I've seen brides and grooms get fully dressed and do all their portraits a week before their wedding just to make sure that they would get the weather they wanted and have all those gorgeous images without worrying about the stress of the wedding day. I've also seen brides and grooms who got rained out on their wedding day opt to have a "day-after" session where they get re-dressed and and take their portraits in a stress-free setting.
Another advantage to a bridal session is having a test run for hair and makeup. I ended up not doing a bridal session and when my hair went completely flat 15 minutes after pictures started on my wedding day I regretted not doing a test-run. I've had brides bring their mothers to their bridal session so that the mother can do a test run on her dress/hair/makeup also!
A third reason is time and creativity. When you do portraits before your wedding day you have time to go wherever you want instead of staying in one location at your venue and you aren't rushed to fit into a schedule. You can be creative with your styling, change shoes and headpieces if you want to see what looks best in pictures, and basically do whatever you want!
Lastly, you can print a portrait to display at the reception! One of my wedding packages includes two large engagement prints and one larger bridal portrait so that you have a display set up ready to go for your reception.
Our 3 styled shoots included a gorgeous bride in full dress with a classic styled table, two models posing as a couple for an engagement shoot, and a bride and bridesmaid (or colorful boho bride!) styled together with a very colorful styled table and decor. Enjoy!!
Cakes - The Cake Place
Florals - Clarksville Florist
Hair and Makeup - Meagan Ford
Bridal Dresses - Danielle's Bridal
Calligraphy and design - Emily A Howell Design
Wooden Chairs - The Kindred Barn
Zane Washington - groom in engagement shoot
Shanae Stout - bride in engagement shoot
Aly England - bride in boho shoot
Lakyn Phillips - boho bride/bridesmaid/styled senior in boho shoot
Ashley Taylor - bride in classic shoot
A huge thank you to all the vendors and models who so generously provided their talents to make this shoot come together! I got to spend a lot of time at our classic set-up before there was a crowd and those images worked out perfect for showcasing a bridal session. Ashley - you are stunning! Our engagement "couple" was so professional. Even amidst the teasing about not kissing (they aren't actually together) and poor Shanae getting eaten alive by mosquitos those two were perfect and so, so good! Aly and Lakyn are just the cutest BFFs ever, and I wish I'd been able to spend more time at their set. I was able to get Lakyn aside for some gorgeous portraits before getting crowd-blocked (introvert problems) and I wish to pieces that I had been close enough to snag some of those super cool smoke bomb moments. I know you girls are set up with hundreds of images I've seen online from other photogs though! I hope to work with all 5 of you again sometime!