Those “Getting Ready” Photos of the Bride

Those “Getting Ready” Photos of the Bride

I get excited when I get new studio photography work. It never gets dull no matter how many brides-to-be I shoot or family portraits. I know how to set up the lighting to make people look bright and happy. I know how far the camera lens should be, what people should wear to make for a balanced composition. Sometimes the ladies want to be a bit more glamourous than usual since they come really dressed up. I can help with makeup to make sure their skin has an even tone. If the foundation is done well, I won’t have to do too much touch up work. Brides are the most challenging. I like to shoot them as they prepare for the formal photos. I get some funny ones of them getting into tight shoes and memorable images of them trying on their veils. They primp and preen. I was particularly intrigued when a makeup artist came along to help one bride and pulled out a heated eyelash curler. What on earth does that do, I asked? The curler works better than mascara, he said. It lengthens the lashes and makes them stand up. It almost looks like you have just applied false eyelashes, but it is less time consuming and is easier. You can use it as often as you like, he explained, until you get the desired results. It only wears out when the little rubber insert starts to split after a few months of use.

Mascara is the finishing touch after the lashes are sufficiently curled. I must admit that the results were very dramatic. I did get that one amusing shot of the curler in action, which was my goal. The bride was very pleased to look her best. After all, these prep photos should last a lifetime. All the family members will see them and the children to be. I play a big part in establishing mementos. Who know that an eyelash curler would be part of a bride’s wedding memorabilia? I am almost tempted to keep one in the studio in case there is no makeup artist present. Many brides like to do their own and I could suggest this trick to finish the makeup job. You can go overboard with too much makeup, especially really long and thick eyelashes, and the photos won’t look natural. It is a gift to know when to stop. You can usually convince a bride that she looks like Bridezilla with threatening deep dark eyes.

I have a variety of props in the studio including veils, silk roses tied with ribbons, a velvet seat cushion, a fancy brocade drape, and a tiny pillow to display an engagement and wedding ring set. Adding an eyelash curler that you can heat with hot water is pretty amusing to me. I have enough enjoyment just from seeing those beautiful couture wedding dresses, but makeup application is a close second.

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