3 Tips For Your Bridal Portraits

March 4, 2020

lynchburg wedding photographerWedding Wednesdays with Em Series | Lynchburg Wedding Photographer

So last week we talked about why you should book bridal portraits and today I am sharing tips for your session! I have traveled all around Virginia for bridal portrait sessions and would love to one day have one of these sessions on a Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina!! Any brides down for this idea?? Message me, I’m always down for a girls weekend in CHS!

If you missed last week’s post check it out HERE! Then make sure to check out these 3 tips for your bridal portrait sessions!


Tip # 1 Hair & Makeup

Booking with a salon or stylist that includes a bridal trial is what I recommend. However, if you haven’t chosen your stylists for the day, now is the time to try them out! You will cherish these images forever and so investing in professional hair and makeup can be an extra fun way to celebrate the occasion and allow you to be extra confident during your shoot! You know that feeling after you leave the hair salon and you feel super confident to take on anything?? Don’t you want that feeling in your wedding dress??

This hair trial can help you prepare for your wedding day in more ways than one. Did you some hairstyles require a specific regime, length, or texture to accomplish?? Hairstyles are really dependent on what kind of hair you have and how well you take care of it. I know those tempting DIY Pinterest ideas may sound better than investing in hair and makeup but I can promise you that in long run you will save money (& your time) if you hire stylists to create your bridal look (especially hair!).

*Bonus Tip* Spray Tans: This is a good time to do a trial run for your spray tan as well! I know you don’t want to be too orange in your photos so this trial run can save you so much heart ache on the wedding day. And keep in mind to keep it light. Spray tans show up very easy in photos and you can be very orange quickly if it’s too heavy. Make sure you let your spray tanners know how to adjust for the wedding day if you think you will need it! This has come in handy for 2 of my previous brides.

If you haven’t booked your hair or makeup artist here are some local professionals I have worked with for over 4 years now and love them dearly.

Hair: Manes by Lyons is based in Roanoke, Virginia. I have collaborated for a few years now on different shoots and wedding days with Jess. We work so well together and she does an amazing job serving my brides and their timelines needs. I have seen her hair styles last through snow, humid temperatures, and rain on the wedding day! Check out her work here:

Hair: Emily Miller is based in Roanoke and does a beautiful job! We went school together and have worked weddings together this past year. She does an incredible job and makes sure to keep the bridal party on time with looks that last the entire day. Her hair styles even lasted through really windy wedding days, rain, and humidity! Check out her work here:

Makeup: Laci is based in Lynchburg and we have loved working with her on several occasions. She has actually done my own makeup for my bridesmaid look in my brother’s wedding. I don’t know how she does it but she has a way of bringing out your best features and enhance your look naturally through her airbrush makeup art! Her makeup looks lasts all day even during the rain! Check out her work here:

Makeup: In Your Face Makeup Art is a team of very talented ladies based in Lynchburg!! This experienced team has always kept to my bride’s timeline for photos which is so important. These makeup artists have such bright and bold personalities on the wedding day and that reflects in their work. Their makeup looks natural and lasts all day even during the rain! Check out her work here:

Tip #2 Bring an Assistant

So depending on where we go for the session, you will need help with your dress. You will need help into your dress, help carrying your train & veil to different locations, and help with making you laugh! This session is just of you and that can be a little intimidating. Your engagement session you can focus on your lovely groom but this session it is just you in your dress! So sometimes having that extra familiar face can ease your nerves and they probably know how to make you laugh more than I do! 🙂

If you are not wanting anyone else to see you in your dress I can help as much as I can but I recommend either your mama, a sister, or a CLOSE friend/bridesmaid to come with us. If they are there it also gives me chance to meet them before the wedding day too which can help me to know someone else on the wedding day. This is usually a fun laid back session resulting in truly beautiful, natural, and unique images!

Tip #3 Things To Bring

These things are just recommended, you do not have to bring any or all of this list. I have taken notes on my previous shoots and learned from past brides and mothers of the bride. So I hope this list is helpful!

  • During the spring and summer months, please bring a towel or maybe oil blotters for sweat that may affect your makeup. This session is typically all outside so brace yourself for the weather. Water is also a great idea to bring and drink before hand because some wedding dresses can be HOT!
  • During the fall and winter months, please bring a coat to the shoot. I don’t necessarily mean a coat to be photographed in (like a fir coat). As we move locations and fix your train we can keep you warm in the process. If your bridal look includes a nice fir coat or sleeves that might keep you warm that is just a bonus!
  • Bring a bouquet of some kind! Check with your florist to see if they can do a smaller bouquet or see if they can give you a “trial run” bouquet. This way you have something to hold during your portraits. A simple little bouquet is all that I recommend but definitely do not require.
  • Your veil and jewelry. Please bring your veil! This will get you used to wearing it and my past brides have always loved getting those epic veil shots! 🙂 Also make sure you bring your earrings, necklace, bracelet, etc. These items just complete the look for your portraits. 
  • A towel that can get dirty. So if you decide to wear your wedding day shoes to this session I would also bring a towel that can get dirty. That way if you stand in a spot that is questionable for sinking into mud, we can put the towel down under your shoes to keep them free of the mess. I know it sounds weird but a ratty towel has come in handy in previous bridal portrait sessions.

Bring Your Questions

  • Ask me timeline questions that you or your mom have (It is easier to work through questions in person)
  • Go over any details in the questionnaire that may have changed
  • Finalize photography photo requests
  • Fill me in on the family drama (we all have some right??)

I love giving you bonus tips! And this one may seem small but this time in person with me can help spark some things you may have forgotten about or needed to add to your questionnaire. I send my brides a detailed questionnaire 2 months before their wedding to gather up information I need for their wedding day. Some brides don’t have it 100% filled out by the time we have bridal portraits so this gives us an opportunity to fill in the gaps of info I need! 🙂

If your mom comes with you and has questions for me, I can resolve any concerns and answer questions for her as well. So all in all, this time in person is a great way to discuss concerns for the wedding day, give me the run down of family situations, and talk all things wedding details!

I hope these 3 bridal portrait tips have been helpful as you plan your plan out your bridal portraits! As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or you would like to book this session with me! If you are a bride who had bridal portraits done, tell me about your session in the comments! Do you have other tips for this session that can help other brides? Let me know 🙂

Until next time,


Learn more about our services here!




lynchburg wedding photographer
lynchburg wedding photographer





lynchburg wedding photographer.JPG
lynchburg wedding photographer.JPG


Hey there, I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings and engagements and serve Virginia, DC Area, South Carolina, and beyond!

Browse by Category:



    Anniversary Portraits



    Bridal Portraits




















Are you planning a wedding?

Here are some wedding planning blog posts full of tips and past experiences to help you along the way!

Leave a Reply



3 Tips For Your Bridal Portraits

3 Tips For Your Bridal Portraits

3 Tips For Your Bridal Portraits

3 Tips For Your Bridal Portraits