Your wedding day is one you'll carry with you for a lifetime! So, it absolutely deserves to be captured in all its glory, from the very beginning to the end. This includes those precious "getting ready" moments which can add a beautiful and personal touch to your wedding album. These behind-the-scenes, unscripted glimpses into your morning preparations can make your memories even more special. Still unsure whether to schedule a getting ready photoshoot or not? We asked wedding photographer Benedict Sutton to share his insights.
For couples who might not be familiar with the concept, can you explain what "getting ready" photos are?
Getting ready photos, also known as prep photos, play a significant role in wedding photography. These shots involve capturing the moments when the couples are preparing and getting themselves ready for their wedding ceremony. Typically taken a few hours before the wedding starts, these photos document not only the couple but also the environment they are in, the attire they are wearing, and the overall atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.
These images often include close-ups of meaningful and aesthetically pleasing items that hold sentimental value to the couple. I’ve found these photographs provide a wonderful narrative of the behind-the-scenes preparations that contribute to the overall story of the wedding day, offering a glimpse into the details and emotions that make the day truly special.
Why do you believe these moments are essential to capture? What do such photos add to the wedding album?
These are intimate moments that guests and loved ones don't typically get to witness during the wedding day. As a result, they provide a unique and personal perspective on the couple's journey, adding depth and context to the overall narrative of the wedding. When included in the final gallery, they become a timeless treasure, allowing the couple to relive the anticipation and emotions they felt on that day for years to come.
Moreover, these moments offer couples a chance to become more comfortable in front of the camera. By capturing these intimate moments, it allows me to build trust and familiarity with them, which can be invaluable. This trust and comfort can help them feel more at ease throughout the wedding day, enabling them to be themselves and focus on the celebration rather than the camera. In essence, these photos not only add depth and emotional richness to their gallery, but also contribute to a more relaxed and enjoyable overall photography experience.
If a couple decides they want "getting ready" shots, what steps should they take to plan for this part of the wedding day?
Discuss timing with your photographer. Be sure to allow yourself and your partner a good hour each with your photographer. This allows for a good relaxed pace leading up to your ceremony. If you are getting ready at separate locations, things can get a bit rushed, so it might be an idea for your photographer to bring a second photographer with them. This way they can capture one side of the wedding each.
The location is also key. Whether it’s an Airbnb, your own home, or a hotel, it’s important to keep the space organised and clutter-free. Clean rooms make for visually cleaner photos, with no interruptions. In addition to this, make sure the space you are getting ready in has nice natural light. Windows letting in natural light create an unmatched ambiance, which in turn will make a huge difference to the end result of your photographs.
Most importantly, remember that the ultimate goal here is to use this time to relax and enjoy the calming atmosphere leading into your wedding. A sneaky playlist wouldn’t hurt either!
What are some unique "getting ready" photo ideas brides and grooms can incorporate into their session?
Getting ready together. I'm a huge fan of this. Being able to spend this valuable time with each other is extremely underrated. It’s one of the biggest days of your life, so why not experience it together?
A first look is always a great idea. Seeing your spouse at the ceremony for the first time that day can be overwhelming, so having that intimate time beforehand can be a huge weight of your shoulders come ceremony time. A first look with your parents or wedding party can also make for a beautiful moment. Some of my favourite wedding day moments happen here. Seeing parents and close friends’ reactions to their loved ones always brings so many happy emotions. Gets me every time!
If you have children or pets, it’s a great idea to include them in your getting ready photos. Their presence almost always adds a unique and heartwarming dimension to the photos.
Most importantly, try not to overthink this part of the day. I love organic moments the best. Laughter, tears, and intimate moments between you and your loved ones. Looking back, these are often the photos you’ll love the most.
Lastly, any insider tips you'd like to share with brides and grooms to make the most of their "getting ready" photo session?
Don’t forget to have fun! Chances are you’ve hired a photographer you love and trust, so put that faith in them and enjoy the experience.