When Lake City, SC photographer Devon Carsten shared bride Miranda's bridal portfolio with me, my jaw dropped. I was amazed by the variety of backdrops, the intricate details captured, Miranda's elegant yet easeful posture, and the bright clean light filtering through every image. You don't have to take our word for it, but here are our top five suggestions for a Successful Southern Bridal Portrait.
Schedule your portraits for the "Golden Hour," aka just before the sun wanes into sunset and there is an romantic, ethereal haze over everything. This makes you look like the tan, glowing angel you are.
Experiment with a variety of poses and scenarios (i.e. leaning against prop, with and without a bouquet, indoors and outdoors, seated, standing, looking directly into the camera as well as towards the distance, at a 45 degree angle, over the shoulder). You only get one shot at these portraits you'll treasure forever, so get in as much variety as you can in the time allotted! If you're wearing a veil or headpiece for the majority of your photo shoot, be sure to grab a few more casual shots of your uncovered hairstyle - literally, let your hair down!
Remember, you don't have to hold your bouquet up in front of your chest. I've been guilty of this time and again - as a bridesmaid in several weddings, I'd get nervous and clutch my bouquet practically under my chin, making me look anxious in photographs. Just let your elbows bend gently at the hipbones and allow the bouquet to tilt forward slightly. This will create the look of a confident, easy breezy bride.
Staircases, docks, tall windows (or any neat architecture, for that matter) are your friend. Scope out your photo shoot venue a few days in advance and get together a short list of features you want to be photographed in front of. This will maximize the time you have with your photo professional and guarantee incredibly dramatic shots!
Smile. Brooding, sultry photos are awesome but don't forget to take some natural shots that capture your warm, funny, un-stuffy side. You may even treasure these more relaxed photos the most!