written by: Angelique de la Morreaux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/20/2011
Use creative bridal photography poses and props to give you the princess look in your bridal shots. It's your day to be special, so center the camera on you as you get ready for the big day.
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Bridal photography gives the bridegroom a peek at the behind the scenes activity before you walked down the aisle plus allows you to remember the fleeting moments that went by so fast. Learn to use bridal photography poses and props to enhance the pictures of your special day.
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Props are all around you as it is any item that adds interest to the bridal picture. An earring becomes a prop as you place it in your ear, as does a bedroom curtain you pull back to look out the window. The powder puff for the final makeup application or the garter slipped up your leg become props for the bridal photograph, with an extra dimension if caught through the looking glass. Arrange your dress around the chair to catch all the details as you pose for a picture. Another pose and prop variation is to add a drop of perfume behind your ear or Cinderella slippers to your feet as you remain on the chair. These props detail the photo story of your preparation for the ceremony.
But don’t stop there. Go outside with an parasol or wrap for additional shots before leaving for the ceremony. Blow a kiss over your shoulder as you hold the parasol off center or pick up the dress and show off your shoes as dad holds the parasol above your head. Take a shot of you, with the wrap around your shoulders, as you sit outside in a kitchen chair alone catching your breath, sipping a cup of coffee or smelling your bouquet. Finally take one of you with the girls outside holding up your train as you enter the limousine.
For the attached picture, there are two props, the flower bouquet and the Christmas tree.
Shoot a couple of the traditional wedding poses, such as the bride fixing her hair or mom attaching the veil, but also go the unexpected pose. A shot of the bridesmaids and mom getting the dress over the brides head without ruining her hair may be stressful at the time, but will be laughed at later. Capture the bride fixing her lipstick in the mirror, fanning herself to calm down, lying on the bed for a second with her dress in array; or playing with her veil as she looks in the mirror.
Reveal intimate moments of mom reassuring the bride as she zips up the dress or the bride with her maid of honor, both laughing, as she clasps the necklace. Look for the tender moments between the bride and flower girl as the bride ties her sash or places a flower into her hair.
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Snap transition shots of the bride. A transition shot allows for a graceful move from one section to the other. Traditional transition shots include getting into or out of the limousine and entering or exiting the church. Be more creative with your shots as you take a wide angle shot of the bride posed on the church steps with a pair of sunglasses, fixing a wrap or holding a parasol. Frame the bride inside the doorway of the church as she enters. Grab a couple of minutes before the guests enter and shoot her at the reception as she walks along the tables fixing a flower in a centerpiece or adjusting a place card.
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Outdoor Prop and Poses
While some photographers would look at this child’s’ play set and wonder how to avoid it in their shots, this photographer embraced the possibilities. Rather than line up the bride and her bridesmaids into a line outside and take a picture, the group shot is posed at three different levels. This makes for an interesting composition.
Use a similar prop like this for wedding event photography. Shoot wedding poses on this prop, such as the bridal party above with the grooms and his men below; the bride and groom above getting ready to toss the bouquet or garter, with the woman or men below or place the group on the stairs from the ground to the upper level.
Bride and groom poses on this prop include the bride on the top level leaning over the rail or through the window with the groom underneath; the groom with his back against the pole while the bride leans into his arms or the groom catching the bride from the pole.
Prepare the dressing room for the bridal photography session before dressing the bride. Eliminate the clutter, such as shoe boxes, plastic and food wrappers but lay the dresses on the beds with the shoes next to them. Add soft drapes of gauzy material to hard surfaces, such as shelves or dressers, and to the windows to diffuse the natural light. Pull in soft chairs that complement the wedding colors and stick wedding bouquets or flowers in vases throughout the room for ambiance. Bring in full-length dressing mirrors to capture side or back profiles of the bride and gown, with a facial mirror shot.
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As you can see, bridal photography poses and props give you more creative options than traditional photographs. Although you could use a friend to take these pictures, the question becomes, will the pictures flatter you as well as those by a commercial photographer. As you only plan to have one wedding, you may want to consider hiring a commercial photographer.