Saturday, May 23, 2009


I'm not sure if I'm supposed to post here, but this is photography-related and I'm terrified! (Besides, where else can you ask for help at two in the morning?!)

I have offered to take some bridal pictures of my sister in law, when she gets married in two months. I figured I have enough time to get some input for that.

However, I heard some neighbors talking, heard the word 'wedding' and wondered if I could get some experience there, too. I figured they couldn't say no if I didn't ask. So I got myself across the street and talked with the bride. She was surprised, since we've spoken, grand total three times in a year and a half, and responded that the wedding would be in three (3) weeks. She said that she'd love for me to take pictures, that they couldn't afford a photographer and were just going to do disposables on tables. Suddenly my plan wasn't so good. I don't want to be the SOLE photographer! I'm not a photographer. You've all seen my work and know it's extremely basic. On the other hand, I don't want to back out. Every bride should have some pictures of herself, and if I don't try I'll never know if I can.

So, here's my request. Since I just have a point/shoot and a couple month's experience of trying, I want to know what any of you would do for this bride. What are some bridal/bride and goom poses that you'd recommend? I think from reading the weekly tips, I can glean more help, but is there anything I need to know about bridal shots in particular that could give her something better than 'okay'?

ANY input you all can give would be most helpful.

And, sorry if I should have done this elsewhere, but you're all the first group that I thought of when I woke up worrying half an hour ago and couldn't get back to sleep!


Janelle said...

This is my absolutely favorite photographer, and she does a lot of bridals/groomals and weddings. Browse through her blog for some ideas: ETF Life.

Kristine N said...

Melinda--That is so awesome! I think it's really great you've offered to take pictures for these two brides. I know you'll do a great job for them. Looking at your photos on M24, you have a good eye for composition, which is the most important thing. You do a good job following the rule of thirds in the photos you post, and I suspect that if that's all you do in your photography both brides will be happy with the photos you give them.

I took wedding pictures for a couple of cousins of mine who also couldn't afford a real photographer, and I was similarly nervous (you've seen my pictures as well, so you know I'm not the most talented photographer out there). The best things I did were to look at other wedding photography (I spent many, many hours looking at the Wedding Photojournalist Association website, and then just looking at other photographer's blogs. I'm a fan of Margaret Singer, for one, and there are tons out there). I also did a lot of reading to get ideas and get a better sense of what to do with my camera. I'm currently subscribed to, which has many posts on how to take more interesting photos, and especially suggestions on how to set up interesting group shots.

Other than that, just take as much time as you can over the next few weeks to really get to know your camera (learn the manual settings if you haven't already) and practice taking pictures. Critique the pictures you take--harshly--then try taking them again. I have a suspicion that if you posted some practice shots here, or on your blog and linked here, you'd get a lot of helpful feedback. My husband (who is also an amateur photographer) went through a bunch of my photos before and after the weddings and helped me see what I'd done well and what I could have done better.

For me (and I'm sure you'll find something else that needs improvement) cropping was the thing I needed to do to a lot of my photos ('cause my compositions aren't naturally nice). Going through and cropping a bunch of the photos I'd taken earlier helped me see better photos next time I picked up my camera. I'm also a big fan of details at a wedding, so I'd suggest making sure you take pictures of the details--get up close and personal with the food (especially the cake), with the bouquet, with the dress, with the rings--because somehow those detail images always make a wedding album feel more professional. Don't be afraid to set up those shots either! If you're unsure about setting things up, practice beforehand (which again, participating in this blog will definitely help with).

I hope you have fun! I'm sure you'll do a great job and that your photography will make both of these couples happy. I can't tell you how much I loved seeing the few photos taken at my parents wedding. They didn't have a photographer--just a friend who took a few photos. I've always wished they'd had more pictures because I would have liked to see more of that day that marked the beginning of my family. Whatever you do, it will be treasured for that family.

Brittney said...

Haha, oh the pickles we get ourselves into ;). I bet when it's all said and done you will be SO happy and proud of yourself for doing this. After all, growth occurs outside the comfort zone. I second what's already been said, browse-browse-browse, practice-practice-practice. Be confident. You will do GREAT! Make sure you let us know how it goes!

Stephanie said...

Remember to ask Uncle Mike for advice! He's done photography for years and is really good, and is sure to be able to offer you some good pointers.

Mindy said...

Check out this page on digital photography school: There are tons of articles on wedding photography tips.

Do you have any photographer friends who live close? It might be helpful to have two of you there shooting... if one misses something, then the other might get it. Maybe 2 amateurs could equal one pro? ;)

You'll be okay... just pretend you know what you're doing, and it'll all work out. (That's what I always do. ;)

Katy said...

You're such a great neighbor (where WERE you five years ago?!) I am really impressed and know you'll do a terrific job- you're a great photographer, that's for sure! I don't have any additional advice- all have been said, but I also wanted to point out that the CANDID shots from my wedding were some of my FAVORITES-- you know, stolen kisses, a meltdown from my "flowergirl" niece, girlfriends fixing my hair, stuff like that!

GOOD LUCK and PLease Please PLEASE can we see some of the end results????

Felicia H. said...

I like to go to google and type in bridal poses and hit view images to get ideas for poses.

Melinda said...

Thanks for all your input! I really appreciate it. Today, I called up the place where the wedding, reception and apparently bridal shots will take place and asked to come see it. They were very accomadating and I fell in love with the place. I've set up a little blog (that I can just delete if this whole thing flops on me) if you want to see pictures of the 'wedding venue'. Go to: And feel free to leave input there for me, if you want! Thanks again!!