Today’s post is a little longer than usual but I really think that it is worth the read for any bride on the fence about these kinds of sessions.
Who say’s it’s only a southern thing?!?! Becca and I spent a recent evening in Newburyport, walking around and having a blast with Bridal Portraits. She won a session that I gave away earlier this year and we waited until after her wedding to Dave, to do the session. I found out that I ADORED photographing just the bride in a more casual setting than a wedding day. Becca felt more relaxed and we had time to really take some more creative images.
After the session, I asked Becca if she would write up a little something about her experience and this is what she had to say about it.. “I apologize in advance that I am not brief, both because I have a lot to say about you and the whole experience, and because I write 10+ page reports for my job 🙂 ”
101 Reasons to do a Bridal Portrait Session with Bethany
Â Â Â Ok, so I won’t really write 101 reasons on why this experience was so special and amazing, but believe me – I could. No matter what your hang ups are about being photographed, what your insecurities are about your body, or how strongly you dislike being the center of attention (ok, those all apply to me at least), doing bridal portraits is a must for every type of bride – and I will tell you why. First, a little back story on me. While I’m not from the south originally, I went to school in North Carolina and was familiar with the notion of bridal portraits. It never sounded like something I wanted to do – sit in a studio, take stuffy photos, display them for people to see (did I mention I don’t like to be the center of attention?). Â I’m more of a relaxed, no frills, practical kind of person and the idea of being a model for a day was more anxiety provoking than exciting.
Â Â Â Fast forward to a few months ago when Bethany was giving away a chance to do a bridal portrait session with her. I reconsidered. First of all, free photos from an amazing photographer, you can’t pass that up!! Also, she didn’t do studio photos, instead she did them on location, which is totally awesome! Then, I thought about how unique it could be to have photographs of me in my dress that were separate from the wedding day. I pondered how fun a day with Bethany would be (I’d only met her once, but I knew we were 2 peas in a pod). I became excited about the idea of having pictures in a setting drastically different than our wedding venue. So, I entered her contest, and left it up to fate. If I won, I would make the best of it, have fun, and enjoy the process.
Â Â Â My experience with Bethany was seamless and easy from start to finish. Working with Bethany is a true pleasure. When we initially started planning, we talked about doing the photo shoot a few weeks before the wedding day. I got nervous about my dress getting dirty or something horrible happening, and she was completely understanding and flexible. Not only did she calm me down and handle my crazed bridezilla emails with ease, she agreed to do the photos after the wedding, which was amazing. She was also totally open to my ideas and visions and heard me when I said I wanted a different feel to the pictures. We threw around locations and agreed together to go to Newburyport. To that she added her expertise and suggested props and specific spots on location that would ultimately combine for the most perfect pictures I’ve ever seen (in my very humble and modest opinion).
Â Â Â On the day of my photoshoot, I was nervous and unsure about what to expect. I spent the afternoon getting my hair and makeup looking wedding day glam and grabbed some props before heading out to meet up with Bethany. Â She immediately helped to calm my nerves and quickly put me at ease. How could I not feel comfortable and calm after she casually zipped me into my wedding dress in the bathroom of a local Starbucks?!? She talked me through her ideas about where to go and what type of backgrounds she was looking for and I began to get excited. Walking around the bustling town of Newburyport on a Saturday afternoon, Bethany laughed with me as people congratulated me on my wedding day. We talked and she expertly distracted me from feeling nervous while we talked about life’s happenings. She started snapping the camera and before I knew it, she had me channeling my inner Tyra Banks and loving every minute of it! She gave great ideas and told me exactly what she wanted me to do, which I needed!! Â Lots of compliments and positive encouragement were coming from Bethany, which made me feel beautiful and relaxed. When I saw a backdrop I liked, Bethany found a way to shoot it and make it look amazing. She came up with great ways to use the yoga mat, veil, flowers, and parasol I brought and didn’t bat an eye when I asked a passerby if I could grab her dog for a photo! In Bethany’s presence, I transformed from a shy self-conscious bride to a confident and sassy bride who was loving the photoshoot process. Wow, things I never thought I would say. Â Bethany’s eye for detail, light, color, texture, and style totally makes the experience unique. It’s not a stuffy portrait session in a studio, its walking around to find places that caught our eye and then getting creative. Its highly personal and she used her knowledge about me and my lifestyle to guide the afternoon. It’s a fantastic experience that I think every bride deserves to experience. I understand ladies feeling self-conscious, awkward, insecure, etc – but it all melts away just as it does on your wedding day and Bethany makes the day incredibly special.
So now to lay it out, loud and clear. Here’s why you should do a bridal shoot with Bethany.
1) Every bride deserves to have a day all about them.Cause lets be honest, sometimes weddings are about you but also about your mom, your siblings, your family, your friends, your husband, and you. This day is JUST about you! Â Where you dress up in a beautiful dress, have elegant makeup and hair, and have it captured on film to remember for the rest of your life. It’s your special day to dress up as the bride you always envisioned!
2) Your husband will love the photos!! Part of it is the element of surprise, I think. The fact that he isn’t there to see the shoot and all he gets is the final product totally wows him!
3) It makes your wedding day SO much easier! Without the pressure of fitting in tons of bridal shots on the wedding day, your time is freed up to get all those fun candid shots, formal family photos, and fun bridal party photos that you’ll treasure forever! And, all day long, you know that you’ll have another day with Bethany to get those bridal photos and then some!
4) you get to choose a totally different bridal look! if your wedding is romantic and classic, you can be totally retro and funky in your bridal session. if you did soft makeup for the wedding, try a bolder look for the shoot. get creative, its so fun! be daring! find inspiration around you and go with it, be something you thought you’d never try!
5) Accessories! You can change anything and everything! different earrings and a necklace totally change your look! Add a different veil or a headpiece. Change your hair! How about some bling with a sparkly hair pin. sky is the limit! and, you can change it up throughout the photo session. bethany is great at helping with that!
6) props!! there are so many cool props that you and Bethany can incorporate into the photos. things that reflect your personality, interests, or things you’ve seen on pintrest that you thought were totally cool but thought you couldn’t pull off on your real wedding day (birdcage veil? feathers? red lipstick? anything!!)
7) Change the scenery! not only is your look different, but the backdrop is totally different too! You can change the season (fall leaves!! oh my!) and the venue. If you got married in the country, try an urban look. Love the beach, incorporate that into your photo shoot!! it gives you two really different sets of photos.
8) Bethany makes it so fun! Seriously. Take it from someone who dislikes most of the things behind the idea of a bridal shoot, and I loved it. She makes you feel classy, beautiful, relaxed, and feminine all while keeping you laughing and taking fantastic photos.
9) You’ll have them forever! I can only imagine that in 10, 20, 30, 50 years I will look back on these pictures and think “what a wonderful experience. i’m so happy i have these!” Bethany captured me and my style and personality so well, that they are timeless pictures. and when i’m wrinkly and old, my husband and I will enjoy reminiscing!
10) you get to wear your dress again! how many times do you think, “it’s too bad i only get to wear that beautiful dress just one day.” well, if you do a bridal session, you get to wear your dress for a second time and re-experience all those warm fuzzy feelings you had on your wedding day.
11) Bethany is amazing. the photos will be the best photos of you that will ever exist. Facebook profile pics for days!
12) You get to be a model for a day. Channel your inner America’s Next Top Model, Go ahead, strike a pose. Have fun with it. It’s a once in a life time experience to be photographed by an amazing artist.
So do it. Splurge. Treat yourself. Book a session with Bethany. It will be one of the best parts of your wedding experience. I promise! Take it from a skeptic!