We LOVE bridal sessions, and want you to love them too! Below is a compilation of resources we’ve compiled and insight we’ve gained from photographing bridal sessions throughout the years. We hope you will find this to be a valuable resource, and we look forward to working with you soon!

All my best,
-Tabor

Bridal Photography

The term “bridal photography” covers a lot more than it used to. As bridal photographers, it is Emily and my mission to help educate and make the most of your bridal session. One of the ways we want to accomplish this is by covering the different types of bridal sessions, answers to various bridal questions we’ve received over the years, and share examples of bridal photos, allowing for a visual of what we are discussing. On this page we will discuss:

Four Types of Bridal Sessions

  • Pre-Wedding
  • Post-Wedding
  • Hollywood / Celebrity
  • Studio

The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Bridal Photography

  • Who should come with me to my bridal session?
  • What do I need to bring to my bridal session?
  • When should I plan on having my photos taken?
  • Where should I have my photoshoot?
  • Why do I need bridals?
  • How should I display my bridal photos?

Before Your Bridal Session

  • How to plan for your session to make it the best it can be

During Your Bridal Session

  • What to expect

After Your Bridal Session

  • What happens next?

Four Types of Bridal Sessions

Pre-Wedding Bridal Photos

Taking your photos before your wedding day is a very traditional way of hosting a bridal session. The idea is to wait until alterations are finalized and the weather is cooperative. Typically, we’ll plan pre-wedding photos at 2-3 weeks before your wedding day. This window can vary a little, especially if you would like to order prints from your bridal session to display on your wedding day. If prints are a factor, we’ll typically aim for 21-30 days before your wedding day. This allows for a possible rescheduling if it rains on the day of your projected bridal shoot as well as time for us to capture your bridal photos, edit, deliver, obtain a print order, enhance the print edits, receive, package, and deliver your prints.

Pros: Pre-wedding photos are a great way to try out your dress before your wedding day. During your session, we will go over posing, walking, and positioning your dress and bouquet to look your best. These are all great tips to have going into your wedding day. Plus, if you are looking for an outdoor print of you in your wedding dress to be on display before your wedding day, this is likely the best option.

Cons: As much as we love pre-wedding sessions, keeping a white dress clean can be difficult. With this in mind, we often have brides who simply want to make the most of their photos, and we can move quickly and create amazing imagery throughout their bridal session. On the other hand, there are a number of brides we work with who under constant concern for the cleanliness of their dress, which can add a great deal of time between each photo and greatly limit the locations in which we can photograph. Though we will certainly work with brides who hold these concerns, it may be best to consider either one of the other three types of bridal photography.

 

Post-Wedding Bridal Photos

A second option is to have a post-wedding session. By waiting until after your wedding to capture your session, there is more freedom in several areas. Primarily, we do not have to be as concerned about locations that are being used. That means that if there is a gorgeous field, picturesque location within the heart of an old forest, or even the scenic city scape of Boston Avenue right outside of our office building, our options are greatly expanded. Consequently, greater creative freedom often yields a higher quality and quantity of unique images for your bridal session.

Pros: Higher quality and quantity of bridal imagery, a more relaxed environment, and a wider variety of location options are the key benefits of a post-wedding bridal session.

Cons: After your wedding day and honeymoon, work can often takes up a great deal of time. This means that we will be looking at 2-3 weeks after your wedding day for your post-wedding bridal photos. This is typically more of an issue for Fall and Winter weddings rather than Spring and Summer weddings since we have more light to work with during the warmer months, however, for September-February weddings, this can certainly plan a role in scheduling.

Hollywood / Celebrity Bridal Photos

Ever wonder what celebrity’s do for their stunning photos? Queue the “Hollywood bridal”, a.k.a. “celebrity bridal” session. Though the concept is not entirely new along Hollywood Boulevard, it is quickly gaining popularity among weddings across the US. The idea stems from the fact that celebrities often have a lot of important people to say hello to on their wedding day. From directors and producers to fellow stars and tons of family. Most photographers love having a minimum of 45 minutes to capture photos of the bride and groom on their wedding day, and even Hollywood’s finest are people just like us who wish to have these moments hanging on their walls forever. With a Hollywood Bridal, we plan a time where the bride will get back in her dress, and the groom back in his tux for one more round of creatives. These typically will take place after the wedding day, but vary from the post-wedding bridals mentioned above since both the bride and groom partake in the photoshoot.

Pros: We have a lot more time than we do on the wedding day to capture creatives. We can go to a variety of locations rather than being somewhat tethered to the venue site. By choosing a Hollywood bridal session, less time is needed for creatives which allows for that time to be utilized elsewhere. Especially if a couple opts out of a first look, the Hollywood Bridal option allows the couple to head into the reception much sooner than if they chose not to have a first look, and have their creatives after family formals and bridal party photos.

Cons: The primary downside to the Hollywood / Celebrity Bridal session is cost. Often times tuxedo / suit rentals have a very low daily fee for holding on to the grooms attire after the wedding, however, it is still a consideration and a detail that should be understood at the time of renting. There is also the consideration of the boutonniere and bouquet. The boutonniere and bouquet are a great way to really create that wedding day feeling all over again, and though they do not have to be the same design and extravagance as they were on your wedding day, something similar is always preferred. Lastly, details such as hair and makeup can also play a role.

Studio Bridal Photos

Capturing your bridal photos in studio used to be all the rage, and it is quickly coming back into style, and for good reason! With studio sessions, there is little to no concern for rain, wind, snow, hail, sharknados or any other natural cause for postponing a bridal session. In-studio bridals are typically done with the bride by herself, though we are certainly open if the groom would like to be back in his formals as well. Since our lighting is controlled, we can also host studio bridals at any time of day, and nearly any day of the week. There is a lot more freedom in scheduling, and with our convenient location in the heart of downtown Tulsa, we can even meet around your work schedule.

Pros: Easy scheduling, controlled environment, and less need for rescheduling.

Cons: They are not shot outside.

The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Bridal Photography

Who should come with me to my bridal session?

We recommend only bringing 1 or 2 people along on the bridal session. Who you invite can depend on a number of personal factors, however, ideally, they would be able to help you into the dress as well as help while we move between locations. There are several factors that go into the decision are how many people you would like to help you into your dress such as;

  • What type of dress do you have? Corset backs tend to take more time and attention to detail than a zipper would, however, multiple buttons can often take the longest. If you have lots of buttons, remember to bring your croquet hook! =)
  • How long is the veil? Waltz / Ballet veils and shorter do not need any additional help while moving, however, chapel and cathedral veils can benefit from having an extra person available.
  • How long is the train? Since brush / Sweep and Court dresses do not have much ground placement, they are easy to maneuver between locations. Chapel, cathedral, and royal trains have quite a bit more ground placement and can benefit from having an extra helper at your session.

What do I need to bring to my bridal session?

A bouquet is the number one accessory to any bridal session. It can be as formal as the one you will use on your wedding day, or it can simply be a pre-made bouquet from Whole Foods, if you prefer a cascading bouquet, it would be best to contact your florist, otherwise, a gorgeous arrangement of any flower type will work.

If you are bringing your husband, you may want to consider a boutonniere as well. Boutonnieres vary in price depending on the size, style, and florist, however, the boutonniere is the cherry on top when it comes to gorgeous bridal sessions with your spouse.

When should I plan on having my bridal photos taken?

To find the best time, simply decide which of the four styles above suit you all best and then use the guide below!

  • Pre-Wedding Bridals — 2-3 weeks before your wedding day.
  • Post-Wedding Bridals — Within 30 days of your wedding.
  • Hollywood / Celebrity Bridals —Within 1-2 after your wedding day.
  • Studio Bridals — Anytime after alterations are finalized.

Where should I have my bridal photos?

If you are planning to include your bridal photos within your wedding day album, you may want to consider an environment similar to your wedding day. Many venues even offer a bridal session free of charge for brides who are getting married at that venue. In fact of the 6 venues we contacted that charge for photos, 5 of them waive the fee if the bride is getting married at their facility.

If you are not planning to include your bridal photos within your wedding day album, you can have them almost anywhere you would like. We even encourage destination bridals when possible. By creating a unique experience around your bridal session, you can craft yet another amazing set of wall photos for your home!

Why do I need bridals?

Bridals are here to help celebrate this time in your life. Through bridals we capture the stunning look you portray in a wedding dress, and memorialize who you are for future generations to see. When your groom is able to be there for the session, it also helps bolster the level and quality of the artwork you will display throughout you home.

How should I display my bridal photos?

Where to shop:

http://photosbytabor.com/twp-print-collections

What to shop for:

For pre-wedding bridals and studio bridals, we recommend one of the Classics. Either the Classic 20x30 or a Classic Triptych. If you prefer the look of canvas, the 1 1/2” Canvas will be a great fit for this style of photo. Likewise, the Metallic ThinWrap with Satin finish is stunning for the Classic Triptych. Metals and acrylics are still my favorite, however, and with our metals, you have your choice of 5 different finishes. Which finish is best is vastly a personal opinion, however, I love High Gloss for prints 24x36 and larger, mid gloss on prints 20x30 and larger, and Satin for prints of any size. As for acrylics, I love the pure white offered with the lustre paper. DiBond backings, 1/4 surface, and French Cleat hangers are a must, and all of those are included in our price.

 

What to Expect

Before Your Bridal Session

How to plan for your bridal photos to make them the best they can be

It takes planning to pull of an ideal session, fortunately, we are here to help! Planning takes a few key steps.

Step 1: Create your Bridal Mood Board

If you haven’t already used our blog post, “5 Steps to Creating a Mood Board”, now’s the time! Creating a Mood Board is one of the most important steps in the planning process. =)

Step 2: Identify a location type

We will definitely help with finding the ideal location for your session, however, if you know you are wanting a certain location type, (downtown / cityscape, park, woods, meadow, water, etc), simply let us know and we’ll bring on suggestions!

Step 3: Identify the timeframe

Depending on the time of year, this is when your work schedule may play a role. If you are off every other Thursday, early on Friday, or if you are locked into a 9-5 M-F, these would all play a role in finding an ideal timeframe for your session. Once we know to keep a lookout for a certain availability, we can hopefully land a great option, and even keep a backup option in mind. Time of year also plays a crucial role in identifying the timeframe, baring in mind the type of foliage found within your mood board.

During Your Bridal Session

What to expect

Assuming you’ve read this far, you are very much prepared for your bridal session, yay! Being prepared leads to a confidence that resonates through your bridal photos. If you have a helper there during the session, there is a good chance that we will recruit them to help as needed, however, we’ve had a lot of helpers in the past attempt to change the posing/positioning that we’ll arrange. As a heads up, some of the positioning we do may feel unnatural, however, we are constantly are studying techniques to make you look your absolute best in front of the camera.

If Tabor is your bridal photographer, he will typically go over posing and posture at the very beginning and make adjustments and suggestions throughout. If Emily is your bridal photographer, she will likely dive straight in and visit posture techniques depending on the pose being used. Either way, prepare to work that bouquet! =)

At the end of your bridal photos, we would love to schedule your Photo Day! Photo Day takes place within the two weeks following your bridal session and is where you will come into our downtown office to go over the images from your Bridal Session. We also have examples of acrylics, metals, ThinWraps and our incredible canvas wraps for you to see, touch, and feel, as well as a variety of finishes so that we can handle your print order more efficiently than ever.

After Your Bridal Session

What happens next?

After your bridal session, we will begin the magical process of post-production. During post-production, we download your files, cull, select, export for our team of editors, enhance your files further, and confirm your Photo Day! You’ll receive your files within 2-weeks of your session, and most print products arrive within 2 weeks of being ordered. We’ll keep you up to date on your order as well so you know exactly when it arrives!

If there are any other questions we can answer for you, please feel free to reach out at any time!

Phone/Text: (918) 902-5663
Email: tabor@photosbytabor.com

I look forward to the opportunity to work together on your upcoming session!

All my best,
-Tabor

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