When I cover bridal preparations I like to stay in the background, becoming ‘invisible’ to all intents and purposes. I do this for two reasons; firstly it is my natural style to document the wedding day without intervention. The photograph above is obviously not staged, but if I were to try to manipulate such a moment between bride and bridesmaid it would look contrived and simply just wouldn’t work. Secondly, to operate successfully as a documentary-style wedding photographer, it is important to act in an unobtrusive manner, to create a relaxed atmosphere where the bridal party are largely unaware of me or my camera, thus enabling moments of interaction and emotion to be captured naturally.
I normally arrive to cover bridal prep about 3 hours before the start of the ceremony – this gives me plenty of time to capture all the detail shots of wedding dress, shoes, flowers, etc and also photograph the actual preparations (make-up & hair). It is my job to make the bride & bridal party look good, so I only take shots from flattering angles, and at times when people are looking their best!
I enjoy covering bridal preparations as it gives me a great opportunity to build rapport with the bride and bridal party before the formalities begin. Although I meet clients at least twice prior to their wedding day, it is always nice to be able to spend some time together on the day in a relaxed atmosphere.