Dallas Bridal Portraits: Locations, Tips & Sessions
We love shooting Dallas bridal portraits because it's a great opportunity to stretch our creative muscles, delivering not only what mom's love but something artistic for our brides.
While most people naturally jump right into asking "Where do I find great locations for my bridal portrait in the Dallas - Fort Worth area?" we believe that's secondary.
Here's why, we think of location as the "backup dancers" and that light, gesture, and tonality are most visually important.
Add to that great emotion, expression and the skills of your wedding photographer and you'll be rewarded with an incredible feeling every time you look at your photo. So let's explore, shall we?
Picking A Bridal Portrait Location In Dallas
Some of the more popular outdoor locations include the Dallas Arboretum, Lakeside Drive in Highland Park, Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, etc.
Our suggestion is to match scene to your personality perhaps has personal meaning.
Finding The Right Tones
Of course, locations play a role in your photos, but it may not be the one you are thinking. Places provide the tones, structure, and "sizzle" to your photography.
They don't make your photo inherently better or worse if your wedding photography is a master of lighting, posing or gesture, and composition.
Thank you for your guidance that showed me how to think more deeply about the location and making it personal to me. Even though it's gone, I go back there every time I look at my gorgeous portrait on my wall!
Let's say you wanted a very natural or relaxed outdoor feeling with long grass warm late afternoon sunlight. Just about any open field will do because they all possess those qualities at the right time of day.
Perhaps you'd like something that feels very dramatic, opulent, refined or perhaps with a bit more structure. Options include the warm tones of the Majestic Theatre, the elegance of something European, or the trappings of a private estate.
Can you start to see how the physical location provides a backdrop but the overarching theme is the tonality?
The Importance of Great Posing & Gesture
Our background as educators, judges, and competitors deepens our ability to see the difference between standard practice and superior craftsmanship. We certainly don't expect everyone to see the nuances that our trained eyes do, but we can help raise your visual I.Q.
Some of the tips are simple. For instance, a woman's wrist looks most feminine when it breaks downward or points inward to your body. Just like your head tilting to your higher shoulder is more lady-like than towards your lower shoulder.
Some of the tips seem obvious but are broken all the time by unsuspecting brides hoping for more of a fashion look.
I never knew I could look so beautiful as in my bridal portrait. You made me feel so at ease, and I love how skillful you are as photographers, it's like we created a masterpiece!
Sure, asymmetric placement of hands can be a great thing but bringing your front arm up so that they photographer is shooting into your armpit isn't a good look for anyone. If you ever are going to raise an arm, to touch your veil, earring or necklace, use the back arm to keep things more flattering.
As photographers, our #1 job is to be your mirror. Most brides are not professional models, and it's through simple communication we can make sure that your star shines it's brightest. We want you to look both believable and gorgeous.
Watch this 3-min video and get a behind the scenes look of a session inside Dresser Mansion.
Benefits of Shooting A Bridal Portrait
It's a full run-through when your hair, makeup, wedding dress, veil, shoes, jewelry, bouquet and more come together for the first prolonged experience together. It's one thing to sashay around in your dress around the bridal salon and quite another to wear it for an hour or more.
One thing we have observed is that something typically changes between the session and the wedding and it's usually because of what the bride learns from the experience.
5 Ways Bridal Photography Can Help You
- Discover exactly how long it takes to do your hair and makeup
- Find out if your bouquet is sized appropriately for your hands
- Learn how long it takes your photographer to get their shot
- See how you photograph in your dress with all your accessories
- Get the foundations for the best body positions and hand placements
Let's look a bit more in-depth at these for a moment.
Hair & Makeup Mistakes
You've pinned, pulled and texted photos to your Hair & Makeup Artist of how you want to look for your wedding. They've assured you that they've got it, and it's not going to be a problem.
What you don't know is exactly how long it's going to take to achieve that look and sometimes once you see it, you realize that's not exactly what you imagined.
Better to find out well before the wedding and see it in the context of your dress. That way you can adjust your schedule to give them more time without impacting other things that are also important.
Unfortunatey, we've seen it happen where brides miss out on photos with their grandparents or other loved ones because things run behind before the ceremony.
Bouquets: Size Does Matter
Flowers are excellent and as they say, "Everything is bigger in Texas."
That massive bouquet you feel in love with just may become enormous weight in your arms or your fingers can't wrap comfortably around the stems.
Sizing the circumference of the stems to slip naturally in your hands is the secret to looking good in your wedding photos vs. your hands looking like a pair of chicken claws.
Another thing to consider is that while your bouquet is outstanding, in a visual sense, our eyes naturally go to whatever is lightest in a photo or is largest.
Because bridal portraits and wedding photos are about you, the bouquet is best when it's supporting your beauty and not competing for the story.
Holding your flowers in front of your body pushes them towards the camera which can accentuate how large they visually appear.
In a general sense, keep the scale of your flowers to smaller that the size of your head if you want the first thing people see in the photo to be you and not the blooms.
Speed: Working Gracefully, Quickly & Efficiently
In our commercial photography, there are times that we have spent days lighting a shot just to spend 10 minutes shooting it. That's great when everything has to be perfect for an ad but doesn't work so well in the context of your nuptials.
There are many questions to ask a prospective artist, i.e., They are a "natural light photographer' but your wedding is inside a ballroom. Can they reproduce the look of theirs you love in that situation? And how long does it take for them to get their shots?
Portrait sessions are a great place to stretch our legs to light in a more complicated manner, but you still can see if they can move quickly and with purpose. A good rule of thumb is that an above-average photographer should be ready to shoot the "real" photos after about 3 test shots.
A quality wedding photographer knows how to quickly transition from one photo to the next with a high level of consistency and still respect the fact that you are making a sacred covenant with commitments to mix & mingle with other people not take part in a prolonged photo shoot.
Your Dream vs Reality
You've shopped, bought, and borrowed until you've collected all the pieces that will combine to create your dream look. Then you see it all together, and you realize that something just isn't quite right.
Sometimes that may mean the alterations require a bit more adjustment. Or it can mean that the earrings aren't making the statement you'd like or that the color of the veil is clashing with the color of your dress.
That's why so many brides tweak something between their bridal and their wedding day. That's a great thing because it provides confidence once you've made your adjustments.
Don't Pose, Soften & Refine Your Gestures
We find that the first thing a woman does is she looks at her body and then looks at her face. If this stuff looks good, she's happy. If not, she's not thrilled with her picture.
Sometimes her "mirror" hasn't helped her position herself in the most flattering manner. That could be the lens choice, lighting, posing, styling and numerous other areas. Discovering before your marriage gives an opportunity to refine.
The foundation of any great portrait begins with your feet and legs. The refinement occurs with your waist, torso, arms, hands, and face.
The History Of Bridal Portraiture
If you've taken a look at some of David's portrait photography, you'll see that we love studying the great master painters. It's one of our sources for inspiration!
Before photography existed, portraiture in paintings only existed for royalty or the wealthy like the famous Mona Lisa of the Gherardini family in Florence. It makes sense that major life events such as a coronation, birth or marriage warranted the commissioning of a piece to immortalize it.
One of the most famous from the Dutch Golden Age is the oft-debated "Arnolfini Wedding Portrait" depicting the marriage of Giovanni to his wife in 1434 by Jan van Eyck. Before "White" became the most popular color for a wedding dress, in years past, a woman just wore the best dress she owned.
Bridal Portraits In Photography
The advent of photography transformed the art world upside down. Now, for the first time, it was accessible for the middle class and average people to have their portrait made.
The technology of the time required someone to stand very still for an extended period, thus why many of our cherished "wedding photos" of our great-grandmothers from the 1920's era are in a classic studio setting.
The prevalence of the "Debutante" society and prevailing Southern traditions and mentality created a desire for bridal photography to decorate the walls of homes often described as "Rose Galleries."
Today's modern bridals are still predominately featured in the South but are expanding across the U.S.A. to become a favorite addition to your wedding photography.
Bringing It All Together
Bridal portrait sessions are one of our favorite shoots we have the privilege of doing. It's an area we have expertise in, and our style is recognizable.
If you are looking for a Dallas bridal portrait, check out our pricing. Even if we aren't shooting your wedding we'd be delighted to create a signature piece for you that you'll cherish for generations.
Not only will it be a joyful experience, but it's also your chance to capture this incredible moment in your life.
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Edmonson Photography is based out the Dallas - Ft. Worth Metroplex, Texas.
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