You’ve booked the venue, got your dream dress, and figured out how you want your hair and makeup to be. Now all you need to do is turn up and look your best on your wedding day.
Having worked as a wedding photographer in Hong Kong and beyond for years, I’ve come to realize that, while producing incredible images is what I always strive for, there are a few things a bride can do to ensure she looks amazing in her wedding photos.
Why Should You Trust Me?
My name is Ali G, I am a professional photographer based in Hong Kong. Over the years, I have captured over 100+ weddings in 20+ cities and countries worldwide, from the giant 'Crazy Rich Asians' type of weddings to amazing Indian destination weddings in Bali to many intimate weddings around the world.
Here are some highlights of my photographer career (especially as a wedding photographer)
- Featured as one of Hong Kong's top wedding professionals in SCMP
- Approved by Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong as one of only 3 wedding photographers
- Published and featured in Catalyst Wedding Co
- Featured as one of top 10 wedding photographers to follow on Instagram by OurBigDay
- Have my work published in The New York Times
- Featured by Lan Kwai Fong Group, Hong Kong's top property, and entertainment companies
- Photographer of the Top 10 families in Hong Kong including Lee(Lee Kum Kee brand), Ho (Stanley Ho family), Pao (YK Pao), Zeman, Harilela, Samtani, and Shroff
- one of the featured artists in the 2020 Extraordinary Exhibition by Karen Leung Foundation in Hong Kong
I have also written several tips regarding wedding photography, you may want to check them out here:
- Best lenses for wedding photography
- Best cameras for wedding photography
- Hong Kong wedding tips and guides
- Best destination wedding locations and venues 2021 (Asia area)
- Black and white wedding photography: 6 reasons why they make your wedding album pop
Wedding Photography Tips for Brides: How to Look Stunning in Wedding Photos
Choose a photographer you like and trust
First thing’s first. You’ve got to find the right guy or gal to do your wedding photos. While I’d love to tell you all to book me, I know different couples have different tastes, requirements, and budgets.
I would advise you not to pick on budget alone, though, as these are the priceless photos that will be passed down through generations of your family. There’s no point scrimping on that!
Once you're happy with the quality of a wedding photographer's portfolio, the next step is to make sure you get on and feel relaxed with him/her. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person taking your photos, it will show in your pictures.
I have written an article about how to find your perfect wedding photographer, just go and take a look!
Communicate with your photographer and tell them what you want
Once you found a wedding photographer you like, next thing you need to do is to establish a proper communication with your wedding photography. I have written an article about how to work with your photographer so you can get the best wedding photos!
Allow time to connect with your photographer, be honestly and tell them what you want clearly.
A good way to find out whether or not you gel well with your potential wedding photographer is to book a pre-wedding photo shoot before the big day.
Originally really popular in Asia, more and more couples of all races are now going in for pre-wedding photography. It offers a great opportunity to play around with styles, looks and techniques, and will give both you and your photographer a better idea of what to expect on the big day.
Consider the time of day and direction of your ceremony
This is something wedding photographers typically have no control over, so a bride who takes it into account is an absolute dream for us. Light is the most important thing in photography, so try and think about this when picking the time and direction of your ceremony. Getting married around dusk, known as “golden hour” to photographers, and either facing the sun or standing side-on to the sun will make a huge difference to your final images.
Do a hair and makeup test run
Hair and/or makeup you’re not totally happy with on your wedding day will stop you feeling as gorgeous and relaxed as you should. It’s therefore well worth doing a trial run before the big day, just to make sure you and your stylists are on the same page. If that’s not feasible with your schedule or budget, at least have some detailed photos of what you want to show your team and leave plenty of time for changes.
It's Shooting Time!
Follow your photographer’s directions
Once all that’s set, be sure to follow your photographers directions on the day. By now, he/she should know what you want and how to get it, be it candid moments or posed portraits or both!
I have written an article about some details you should share with your wedding photographer regarding your big day so he/ she can best prepare for those events.
The photographer can also see what’s working and what’s not in the moment, so trust them and be patient if they ask for a bit of repositioning to make a shot perfect. It’ll all be worth it when you see your pictures.
Forget about how you look and feel the emotion of the day
With everything now in place, your only job as the bride is to relax and enjoy your day. You know you’re looking your absolute best, so stay in the moment and feel the emotions. Your big day will be over before you know it, leaving you with just your wedding photos to remember it by. The pictures that catch the genuine candid moments and beauty of the day are the ones you’ll cherish most.
Wedding Photography Tips for Brides 2021 - Big Day "TO BRING" Items Checklist
Just like what I did in the article "Headshot tips for models and photographers", I have prepared a checklist for the lucky bride so you can always be in great conditions for amazing photos.
- A bottle of water and straw, so you can keep your perfect lips make up, I highly recommend using a foldable water bottle and a environment straw
- Some dry, healthy snacks like nuts, dry fruit and energy bars
- A pair of comfortable shoes
- A good looking, comfortable robe so you get to take some amazing photos before you put on the dress, and you really don't want to be wearing the beautiful dress all day long
- Small facial water spray
- Blotting papers
- Power banks, extra cell phone charger and cables
- Travel sewing kit
- Safety pins
Wedding Photography Tips for Brides 2021 - Final Words
I hope you find the tips I shared useful for preparing your weddings and shootings.
Most of the time, I just told my clients to enjoy their wedding and the precious moments surrounded by their loved ones. Taking great photos? That's my job.
The more they enjoy the wedding, the better photos I captured.
A big thanks to all the amazing couples who’ve let me be part of their weddings over the years. Every one has been different and inspiring in its own way.
Please show us some love and follow us on social media to stay connected with more of our exciting projects!
A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.
All photos are © Ali Ghorbani and Ali G Studios
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