This is one of the most frequent asked questions of all the time and whether the BP is big or small I always follow some simple tips that today I am here to share with you!
Just before I dive into this, let me just say that all weddings are different, and their timeline and the way they unfold throughout the day is different too, so these are general tips that you need to apply but customize accordingly.
1_Keep it short
I usually keep my bridal party portraits in the 30 minutes range. For various reason: The timeline of a wedding day is always pretty tight and 99% of my couples prefer to spend more time taking photos of the two of them, capturing their memories together. Also, especially if you're dealing with large bridal parties, you want to keep the show going fast because you don't want anybody to get tired, bored or too busy when they may have other things to deal with on the wedding day.
2_Do your homework
This doing your homework thing is always in my vocabulary I know, but I have to tell you being prepared for the test in school always made feel better, rather than just getting surprised with a whole bunch of questions I didn't know the answer to.
So, in a sense is the same thing: ask your couple to share with you at least who are the made-of-honor and the best-man so that you can kind of rely on them to manage the two groups of friends that are going to gather around the bride and the groom.
Learning their names is always beneficial because when you call people by their name you are addressing them with respect, and respecting them they will respect you too. Also calling people by their name makes them feel involved and actually really in the center of your attention, rather than just anonymous people who you just take photos of and then forget for good.
3_Have a script
This might sounds obvious but is very important that you keep a couple of to-go-bridal party-layouts in mind, for when you might get one of those brain farts or simply don't have enough time to create and you need to keep the ball rolling.
-Take a candid moment of the bridal party (both groomsmen and bridesmaids with bride and groom),
-Take a formal shot of the bridal party (both groomsmen and bridesmaids with bride and groom),
-Take a fun moment of the bridal party (both groomsmen and bridesmaids with bride and groom).
4_Remember your role and place yourself as an authority
On the wedding day people want to have fun, and they may have drink a little already when you arrive to do your job, so remember to smile keep it light, be polite but use a strong voice and remember that you are a professional with a role. You're there to capture the best memories possible for your clients so don't lose sight of your goal.
If some people perpetually act immaturely or you feel they're sabotaging the result of your photos, not letting you capturing those precious memories for your clients, then simply get quiet and politely and with a big smile explain that you would just like to take a couple of extra photos for the couple and that is in the best interest of their friends who are celebrating their union if they cooperate with you, because you're still getting paid and if the photos don't come out as desired you're not losing a dime.
I never had to get to this point, most bridal party are amazing and they truly love their friends so there's never been an issue, however I remember that in the beginning of my career I found a few situations that I was uncomfortable in and this is what this tip is for.
5_Get your second shooter ready
When I place the bridal party ready for the photos, I absolutely want my second photographer (unless is photographing other important happenings elsewhere), to be ready to take the shots too.
I like for him/her to take the photos from a different angle, to give my bride and groom different options, and also to maybe shoot some details or individual candid shots.
If you are curious about how to photograph the bridesmaids take a look at my previous blog posts.
For more What a FAQ just take a peek into the blog! :)