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September 11, 2018

Telling Your Story with Bridal Detail Shots

It’s all about the details

I remember the shirt Matt wore on our first date, and how I had to ask him to get me more napkins because I’m the messiest eater on the planet, and how both of us only ate half our food because the butterflies in our stomach were too much. How I could tell he was nervous, but it was oh so cute.

I remember the way he smiled when I told him I loved him, and how when he proposed to me he opened the ring box upside down. I remember the way his eyes lit up when he saw me for the first time on our wedding day, and I remember our first kiss like it was yesterday.

These are little things. They aren’t the substance of our relationship. Our relationship is making the hard decisions, choosing to love each other in spite of our sin, and the daily grind of work and play.

But the little things matter. They’re like icing. They aren’t the substance, but they certainly make it sweeter. And I never want to forget them.

That’s how I feel about detail shots. You put so much effort into planning the big things of your wedding: your dress, the venue, the caterer, the photographer, etc. And the substance is your marriage. The two of you coming together as one and promising forever to each other.

But oh what fun it is to put together the little details! The little designs on the invitation (we had a cute waffle doodle on ours!), all the little color choices, and the little bows on the tables. It might not sound like a lot, but they matter. They help tell your story!! And they make your day that much sweeter.

What Should I Include In My Detail Shots? 

So what do you need to include in your own bridal detail shots? You might think, “I just don’t have that many items to photograph. And I’m just not that stylish, so I don’t know what to use!” The truth is, you have more than you think!! All you really need for great detail shots is your invitation and your rings! But there are so many things we can add to make them even more beautiful!!

Here are some of my favorite things to include in detail shots: 

The Dress

The first thing I’ll do is photograph your dress! I want to do that as early as possible so that your groom won’t see it and so that it’s ready for you when you are finished with your hair and makeup!! A key tip – make sure you have a nice hanger! A simple wooden hanger will look great, or you can get one that says “bride” or your first name or your future last name! It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, but we definitely don’t want just a plastic hanger!! 

The Rings

Your planner, your mother, and probably everyone else will tell you to give your soon-to-be groom’s ring to the maid of honor, and your wedding band to the best man. But actually I will need to photograph them FIRST!! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent hunting down the rings because they weren’t all in one place when I arrived! So be sure to have all 3! 

Your Jewelry

Any jewelry that you will be wearing when you walk down the aisle! Necklace, earrings, bracelet, other rings, anything! If you are wearing a garter, you could also include that as well! 

Your shoes

I LOVE shoe shots!! Whether you’re a heels gal, a flats person, or a sandals lady, I’ll want to photograph it! 

Your bouquet 

I love capturing every angle of the bouquet and also capturing some images of the rings with it! I can also use it to add filler to a corner of a detail shot. 

Full invitation suites 

I want to see all of it! It’s a good idea to have an extra complete invitation suite just for photographs! If you are having them professionally addressed, get them to address an extra one for photos! You will want an unsealed envelope free from blemishes. I want to capture everything that you sent to your guests! Your RSVP card and anything extra! You could even include a couple loose stamps for me to use when styling the shots! 

Perfume 

I love photographing the perfume bottle!! The scent you wear on your wedding day can bring back fond memories for your future groom, plus it looks really pretty! 

Any other heirlooms or keepsakes you’d like photographed

This is your turn to get creative!! If you have a “something blue” or a “something old” that you’d like photographed, we can include it here! I’ve seen great-grandmother’s handkerchief, teacups, and all sorts of little knickknacks that hold special meaning to the bride! Anything that ties in the detail shots to your day!

Some other ideas if you want to get even more creative: 

Fabric or ribbon that matches your bridesmaids dresses – often I actually use a bridesmaids dress as a backdrop, but sometimes I arrive and the ladies are already dressed. So having some extra ribbon or fabric is a great idea! 

Leftover lace from your dress or veil

Extra greenery – If the florist is around, I can ask her for some greenery! But if she’s not, you could definitely supply some yourself! 

Vintage stamps

Vintage ring box 

Vow Books – some people write their vows in vow books, and I’d love to photograph that too! 

Additionally, I’ll be photographing all of the decorations and other displaces you have at your ceremony and your reception!!! All of these combined will create a beautiful story of your day! 

Why Do I Want Detail Shots? 

Remember Little Details of the Day 

This is the biggest reason!!! There are so many little details that go into planning your wedding, and you make so many little decisions along the way!! After your wedding, your photos are the only thing you’ll have left to remember every detail. Memories fade so quickly! But by photographing all the little details, it ensures you’ll remember all the hard work that went into your wedding and the reward of seeing it all come together! 

Tell Your Story in A Compelling Way 

Detail Shots help tell the story of your day! I love pairing the dress shot with a shot of the bride getting ready, or a ring shot with a shot from the first look. It helps create a compelling story when you look through your photos!! 

Add Images to Style Your Album Beautifully 

After your wedding, we will talk about your album! Detail shots help add depth and layers to your album. It also helps tell your story as I mentioned above! 

Perfect for Pairing your Gallery and Blog Post 

After I’ve edited your photos, I’ll put them in a blog post and then your gallery! I love styling the blog post and the beginning of your gallery to share the story of your day! The first folder in your gallery will be “Christi’s Favorites,” and in that folder instead of showing the images chronologically, I’ll show them in a way that’s most pleasing to the eye! This is where all your color choices and design choices will come together and you will love it!! In the different folders of the day I will arrange the images chronologically, but this first folder will make a statement! 

Makes it More Likely to Get Your Wedding Published 

After your wedding is over, I love submitting images to wedding blogs or publications!! Your hard work deserves to be shared!! The fact is, all publications or wedding blogs will immediately reject a submission if there aren’t enough detail shots! They LOVE detail shots!! It helps bring all your colors, design choices, and your love together into an engaging story! 

The Logistics

When Will You Take the Detail Shots?

I like to do the bridal detail shots the first thing when I arrive!! This helps me warm up and get my creative juices flowing right from the beginning. Plus, once the formal portraits start happening and then we get to the ceremony, everything moves by so fast!!! I like to do them first so that I don’t have to rush through them! I’ll do it nearby where you and your bridesmaids are getting ready so I can also capture some getting ready shots at the same time before your more formal bridal preparation shots! 

How Long Should I Plan in My Timeline for the Detail Shots? 

I will spend about 45 minutes total on detail shots! Like I said, we don’t want to rush it! Setting up the dress will take about 15 minutes total, and the rest of the time I can devote to styling the details.

Where Should I Keep all the Items? 

A great question!!! Simply gather all the items and have them in a bag or box in one place when I arrive! I will shoot the details first thing when I show up on the wedding day! 

That’s it!! Everything you need to know about your detail shots! As always, if you have any questions let me know!

Happy Planning

– Christi

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