The getting ready portion of your photographs can be the most difficult. Often times these rooms are small, cramped, and dark. So what steps can you take to make sure you create incredible getting ready photos? Here’s a few easy steps:
6 Ideas for Incredible “Getting Ready” Photographs
- Choose a room with BIG windows and natural light.
- Choose a room with lots of space.
- Opt for a location with meaning, or ease.
- Keep it organized.
- Fill the room with your wedding day aesthetics.
- Consider friends/family first looks.
1. Choose a room with BIG windows and lots of natural light.
Every chance I get, I’m using natural light to flatter couples and create emotional photographs. This creates more genuine connection, and means I don’t have to carry around heavy lighting equipment that gets in the way. The more light, the better! (Check out Pei Yu and Ryan’s AirBnB/park wedding, with large gorgeous windows for getting ready!) Often times the getting ready will be set up in a living room or dining room even. Don’t be afraid to temporarily take out/move furniture.
2. Choose a room with LOTS of space.
This goes along with big windows, but a huge component of your getting ready space is, well, how much space you have. Choose one of the larger rooms possible, and keeping it organized and chaos free is easier.
3. Opt for a location with meaning, or ease.
And by that I mean, choose a room that puts you at ease. Take the necessary steps to not have to clean, or checkout, or focus on any logistics of the space other than having to get ready and then leave. By using a space with meaning and ease, you’ll be sure you can focus your full attention on your day, rather than worrying about who’s packing up stuff to make sure you’re out on time. Speaking of stuff, this leads into the next point…
4. Keep it organized.
Having random bags, boxes, purses, you-name-its strewn about the room can make your photographs appear cluttered. More importantly, it can clutter your mind and add to your stress. One of the best ways to combat this is to give each wedding party member their own large tote bag (it could be their wedding party gift!) for keeping wedding day items in. It’s much easier to slide a tote bag under a bed or behind a door than to move armfuls of necessities.
5. Fill the room with your wedding day aesthetics.
There’s no reason to keep your attire cooped up in the bag until the *exact* minute you’re going to put it on. Hang yours and the wedding party’s attire up to look at! Display everyone’s shoes on a dresser or console table! Let those babies breathe, and let them bring you joy during your getting ready morning. Let them play a role in the images created before they’re put on.
6. Consider doing friends/family “first looks”.
This grew to be one of my FAVORITE parts of a wedding day. Your future spouse will think you look incredible during your first look – but your friends and family will scream/cry/be in their feels about it. Yours friends and family have often seen you grow through so many stages of life, this is going to be a big moment for everybody in the room. This serves as a great ending moment to the getting ready process, and is especially meaningful if you’re not having a first look with your spouse.
Incredible getting ready photos happen no matter what – but these tips make it easier.
So there you have it! What are some ideas you’re considering when it comes to creating incredible getting ready photos? Share them in the comments below!
Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN.
I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.
This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.
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