5 min read

5 Reasons to Take Bridal Portraits

5 min read

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bridal portrait.

Wedding photography can be busy and stressful, especially on the day of the wedding. Trying to squeeze in beautiful photos of the bride at the wedding venue can be tough. That’s where bridal portraits come in.

Bridal portraits are becoming more and more popular. People have begun to really value the importance of having high-quality images of their wedding.

Photographers may consider adding a bridal portrait session to their packages as this trend grows. Or as a portrait photographer, you may want to provide a special service just for bridal portraits. Either way, providing this service to your clients is a great way to get creative with your brides. It’s also a great way to build your wedding photography portfolio.

What is a Bridal Portrait?

Bridal portraits are a special photoshoot separate from the actual wedding day. Think of it as a test run of the hair, makeup, dress, jewelry, and flowers before the big day.

A special photoshoot dedicated to the bride.
A portrait session dedicated to the bride.

These portrait sessions are different from engagement photos. Bridal portraits are all about the bride. They will get dressed up as they would look on her wedding day. Then spend a little bit of time with their photographer taking pictures of themselves, their dress and their accessories.

Bridal portrait sessions are more intimate as only a couple of people are allowed on the shoot location. The groom is normally not allowed to see the bride dressed up before the wedding day. So this is a fun way to get feedback on the final look in a closed setting. And more importantly, without all the guests from the wedding reception hanging about.

You might enjoy the session even more than the wedding day if you are mainly a portrait photographer.

stunning bridal photo shoot.

Why Do a Bridal Portrait Session?

As a photographer, it’s important to understand why your future bride would want to do a bridal portrait session. This will help you provide exactly what the bride is looking for with her portraits. This way, you can both walk away satisfied with the results. There are many reasons a bride may want to do a bridal portrait session before the wedding. Here are a few.

Get To Know The Wedding Photographer

A bridal portrait session before the wedding allows the bride to get to know the photographer and vice versa. This can help quell some nerves about being in front of the camera on the big day.

Brides put a lot of faith into their photographers to trust that they will capture the best images of their wedding. Think of the bridal portrait session as a test run. This way, they can get comfortable with the wedding photographer before the special day.

Bridal portrait sessions also allow the photographer to get to know the bride-to-be, including the angles, poses, and style of photography work for her. This makes the photographer’s work much easier on the actual wedding day.

Bridal portraits are a great way to test out hair, makeup and dress.
The perfect opportunity to get to know the photographer before the wedding day.

More Time, Less Stress

If you’re a wedding photographer, you will know weddings are busy. Brides often feel like they won’t have enough time to get real bridal portraits on their big day. In fact, it is hard to get a moment to spare.

Normally, you would squeeze in a few pictures with the bride sometime between the ceremony and reception. Doing the bridal portraits before the wedding day means the photographer has a more relaxed time with the bride. Bridal portrait sessions give you the time and space in a calm, fun environment to do a portrait photoshoot all about the bride.

Not only will you have more time to shoot the bridal session. But the bride will have more time on her wedding day to celebrate with family and friends. And really, that is what a wedding day is all about.

Special bridal photoshoot before the wedding day.
A separate photography session is a good time to relax before the wedding.

Make the Most of the Wedding Dress

Most brides will only get to wear their wedding dress once. And many few of us get our hair and makeup done so beautifully. Bridal portraits give the bride to make the most of their gown and veil.

Between the ceremony, reception, and party, the day goes by in a flash. They deserve to have their own bridal portraits for the amount of money and time they spend looking for the perfect wedding dress.

making the most of your wedding dress for a bridal portrait.
The sessions can be a way to get comfortable in the wedding dress.

Create Picture-Perfect Bridal Portraits that Future Generations Will Treasure

A photo of the bride is a special memento for their family to treasure. People will hold on to bridal portraits for the rest of their life. So you might as well take a bit of extra time to make them special.

Brides may want to present a framed photograph to their mom and dad or groom as a special gift.

Some brides also have their bridal portraits displayed at their reception venue. This way, all the guests can admire her look in great detail.

Intimate bridal portraits.
Create stunning pictures that your family will treasure – Sharath Kumar.

Think of a Bridal Portrait Session As a Dress Rehearsal

A bridal portrait is a great opportunity to test out the final look before the big day in advance. Think of it as a super fun test run.

Many brides will schedule a rehearsal to see what the dress, hair, and makeup will look like all together. If they are going to do a practice run, they might as well use that as an opportunity to get some beautiful photos.

A bride may want to bring their makeup artist to the photo session. Then they can get real-time feedback and see how they look on camera. This will allow the bride to see exactly how she looks in the photos. This way, they can make any necessary adjustments to the gown, hair, and makeup before the wedding.

Ideally, a bride will organize to have her bouquet with her for her bridal portraits. This shows how the flowers will photograph. It also allows the florist to make changes to the bouquet if something doesn’t look quite right.

Importantly, it also gives them a chance to break in those expensive (and often uncomfortable) shoes. It can take practice walking around in high shoes and a big gown. Bridal portraits allow the bride to figure out how to make everything more comfortable for the big moment. This way, she can focus on having a wonderful time with guests instead.

Bride in wedding dress holds flowers for a photo shoot.
These sessions can be a practice for hair and makeup – Rio Kunco.


As well all know, a wedding day is a special moment in life that deserves top-quality photography.

If you’re a wedding photographer, it might be time to add bridal portraits to your list of services. This type of photography is becoming more and more popular, especially with bigger weddings. Bridal portraits are a growing trend that benefits both the photographer and the couple.

Whether it is to capture a photo of the dress for future generations or for the bride to practice being in front of the camera, a bridal portrait session should definitely be on the must-do list for weddings.

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Ainsley DS is a photographer and writer based in between Auckland, NZ and Paris France. She specializes in travel, portrait and documentary photography and has a passion for all creative pursuits. With an addiction to travel, she has lived on three continents and photographed over 40 countries along the way. You can purchase travel prints directly from her website or follow along on the journey!
Ainsley DS is a photographer and writer based in between Auckland, NZ and Paris France. She specializes in travel, portrait and documentary photography and has a passion for all creative pursuits. With an addiction to travel, she has lived on three continents and photographed over 40 countries along the way. You can purchase travel prints directly from her website or follow along on the journey!

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