How to Take Photos of Bridesmaids

Taking photos of the bridesmaids can be an important part of photographing a wedding. But it can be hard to do if you don’t have the right method and tools. In this article, I will teach you how I take photos of bridesmaids and will give you some useful tips as well. Let’s get right into it!

Here’s a Summary of Taking Photos of Bridesmaids

This article tells you everything you need to know about taking photos of bridesmaids at a wedding. Key points include getting along with the bridesmaids, using a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera with a range of lenses, and having backup equipment.

It’s important to choose the right lighting and background and to pose the bridesmaids in a way that shows off their natural beauty. Genuine moments can be caught in candid photos. In post-production, the style should stay the same, and retouching and color correction should be used to improve the shots. The guide also talks about how important it is to capture the feelings and mood of the wedding day.

The Equipment Needed to Photograph the Bridesmaids

The Equipment Needed to Photograph the Bridesmaids

Here’s a list of equipment you might need to photograph the bridesmaids effectively:

  1. Primary Camera: A full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera will be your best bet for capturing high-quality images. These cameras perform well under various lighting conditions, which is important given the unpredictability of wedding venues.

  2. Backup Camera: A good practice for wedding photographers is to always have a backup camera on hand. This can be another DSLR or a smaller mirrorless camera. You never know when technical issues may arise, and having a second camera can save the day.

  3. Lenses: A variety of lenses can help you capture a range of shots. A 24-70mm lens is a versatile choice for group photos, candid shots, and portraits. An 85mm or 70-200mm lens is excellent for close-ups and creating beautiful bokeh, isolating the bridesmaids from the background. A wide-angle lens (like a 16-35mm) could be useful for capturing the entire group in tight spaces.

  4. Flash: Even though natural light is the most flattering, you can’t always rely on it, especially for indoor venues or evening events. A speedlight flash can help you in low-light conditions. Also, consider a diffuser or softbox to soften the light from the flash and prevent harsh shadows.

  5. Reflectors: Reflectors are useful for managing light in outdoor shoots or dimly lit venues. They can help to brighten shadows, reduce contrast, and provide better illumination for the bridesmaids’ portraits.

  6. Tripod or Monopod: These can be particularly helpful if you’re shooting in low-light conditions where you might need to use slower shutter speeds, or when using heavy telephoto lenses. They can also help in composing group shots.

  7. Memory Cards and Batteries: You’ll be taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos throughout the wedding day. Having multiple high-capacity memory cards and fully charged spare batteries will ensure you don’t run out of storage or power.

  8. Camera Bag: A well-organized camera bag will help you switch your gear quickly and keep everything safe and clean.

How to Chose the Right Lighting for Bridesmaids Photos

How to Chose the Right Lighting for Bridesmaids Photos

As with every photograph, the right lighting can make all the difference. Depending on the venue of the wedding, this could be inside or outside. Here are some tips on how to choose the right setting for taking pictures of bridesmaids:

  • Your best friend is natural light. Whether you’re taking photos inside near a window or outside in a park, natural light will help you get a soft, natural look that’s great for bridesmaids’ photos.

  • Don’t use bright lights. Even though natural light is best, you should stay away from strong, harsh sunlight, especially in the middle of the day. This kind of lighting can make shadows that don’t look good and make it hard to take pictures that look good.

  • Reserve the best light for your wedding couple. Golden Hour is usually the best time of day to take pictures. But you should reserve this time for photographs with the wedding couple. The best times to photograph the bridesmaids are, usually, in the morning. You will photograph them when they do their make-up and will take shots of them together with the bride.

  • The best lighting is indirect and soft. If you want to take beautiful pictures of your bridesmaids, you should use indirect and diffused lighting, whether you’re inside or outside. You can make flattering, even light by using soft overhead lighting or a big diffuser. This will make your subjects look beautiful.

Choosing the Right Backdrop for the Bridesmaids

Choosing the Right Backdrop for the Bridesmaids

The background or environment where the photos are taken is one of the most important parts of making pictures that look good. For bridesmaids, the background can set the mood for the pictures and match their dresses and the wedding’s general theme. Here are some tips on how to choose the right background for the pictures of the bridesmaids.

  1. Fit with the Theme of the Wedding: The setting should fit with the theme of the wedding as a whole. For example, a beach wedding could include the ocean, sand, and seashells. A country barn wedding, on the other hand, could include open fields, wooden fences, or haystacks. Use the decor and building of the place where the wedding will be held.

  2. Indoors vs. outdoors: Think about whether the pictures will be taken inside or outside. Light and weather can be controlled in indoor places like a beautiful hallway, a big staircase, or a room with a view. Outdoor settings, on the other hand, offer natural light and a wide range of settings, from parks to buildings, but you’ll need to be prepared for bad weather.

  3. Use props. Props can make your background more interesting. Props, like an old couch, bright balloons, or a flower arch, can add depth and visual interest to your pictures. Make sure the props match the style and color plan of the wedding.

  4. Nature Elements: Use the beauty of natural elements to create a backdrop that will last for a long time. This could be a flower garden, a road lined with trees, a beautiful sunset, or even a skyline with a lot of drama. These things can give your pictures a more natural look and feel.

  5. Contrast and coordination: The dresses of the girls should either stand out against the background or go well with them. For example, pastel skirts can stand out against a deep green forest, while bright colors might stand out against a more neutral background.

  6. It’s best to keep things simple. Sometimes, less is more. A simple background that doesn’t have a lot going on can help keep the attention on the girls. This could be a wall with a simple color, a simple screen, or a large patch of grass.

How to Pose Bridesmaids 

How to Pose Bridesmaids 

Getting everyone to look their best can be hard. But with a little planning and a few simple ideas for poses, you can take beautiful pictures just like everyone else.

This day is centered around the wedding couple and with these photos, you should put the bride in the center of your composition.

Besides these photos, you could also take portraits of each bridesmaid or pictures of the bride and one bridesmaid at a time.

Depending on the planning you could start with the bridesmaids first or with the bride included.

Here are some photo ideas with bridesmaids you can copy on the wedding day:

  • The Line Up: Have the bride stand in the middle, with bridesmaids on either side of her, all of them facing the camera straight on. They could stand side by side, hold hands, or link arms. The bride should stand out, maybe by being the only one not looking at the camera or by holding a flower.

  • Stairway Formation: If there are stairs, arrange the group so that the bride is in the middle and the bridesmaids fan out above and below her on the steps. This puts each person in the “spotlight” and shows off the group as a whole.

  • Group hug: This is a simple, natural shot that shows how close the bride and her bridesmaids are. Have the bride stand in the middle and all the bridesmaids huddle around her in a group hug.

  • Walking Shot: This shot can show how friendly and happy the day was. Have the bride and bridesmaids walk towards or away from the camera while talking, laughing, or tossing their bouquets in the air.

  • Reflection Shot: Use a mirror if you have one in the dressing room or at the place. The bride could be looking at herself in the mirror while her bridesmaids help her finish up. This gives the picture depth and a story.

  • Back Shot: Show the back of the wedding dress and the dresses the bridesmaids are wearing. Everyone could look back at the camera over their shoulder for a stylish, model-like shot.

  • Bouquet Show-off: The bride and all of the bridesmaids should hold up their bouquets and smile or laugh. You could ask them to cheer, jump, or just stand there, depending on their style and mood.

  • Silhouette Shot: If you have a big window or a beautiful place outside, you could put the bride in front and the bridesmaids around or behind her. With the right lighting, this will make a lovely image.

  • The “Prep Shot”: Taking pictures of people getting ready can make for some beautiful, real photos. Have the bridesmaids help the bride put on her veil, adjust her dress, or put on makeup.

  • Laughing Candid: Real moments often make for the best pictures. Tell a joke, say something touching, or tell everyone to laugh when you count to three. The end result should be a cute, real picture of the bride with her bridesmaids.

One of my favorite things to do is catch the bridesmaids doing something natural. Some of the most honest and touching photos of the day might be taken in this way. Here are some tips on how to get the best natural pictures of bridesmaids.

Capturing Candid Bridesmaids Photos

Capturing Candid Bridesmaids Photos

1. Stay Alert

Keep an eye out for natural times as the day goes on. Usually, this is after the ceremony when they are at ease. Some of the best times happen when the bridesmaids, and wedding guests in general, don’t know the camera is there.

2. Get the Feelings
It’s important to record the bridesmaids’ feelings as the day goes on. This includes happy moments, sad moments, and even funny ones. These are the pictures that the bride and her friends will keep for a long time. These will most likely happen when they help the bride change into her clothes, during the ceremony, or in the evening when the party is taking place.

3. Look at the details.
Take pictures of the bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories, like their shoes, jewelry, and bouquets. A lot of care and preparation has gone into picking these accessories and these little things can make for some beautiful shots.

4. Creative Composition
Try different views, perspectives, and framing to change the way your shot looks. Use the natural surroundings and backgrounds to give your pictures more depth and interest. During the day you will know the guests, the family, and their stories. Try to frame moments that are special to them.

5. Be Discreet
Try to fit into the background as much as possible and be as quiet as you can. This will let you catch more natural and unposed times without stopping the day’s flow.

Tips for a Smooth Bridesmaids Photoshoot

Tips for a Smooth Bridesmaids Photoshoot

1. Make a plan
When planning a picture shoot for bridesmaids, it’s important to talk to each other. Before the wedding day, I always talk to the bride and her planner about the schedule, setting, and shots I want to take. This helps me prepare for the wedding and get things done quickly and well.

2. Learn about the bridesmaids
Taking the time to get to know the bridesmaids before the photoshoot can change the mood in a big way. I like to introduce myself and make small talk to help everyone feel more at ease in front of the camera. This will save you some time during the shoot.

3. Be aware of the lighting
Beautiful photos need good lighting, and this is especially true for pictures of the bridesmaids. I always check out the site ahead of time to find the best natural light sources, and if I need to, I bring extra lighting equipment. If you found the perfect spot you can reuse it for shots with other people as well ;).

4. Be Efficient
On wedding days, there is a lot to do and often not much time. So, it’s important to work quickly and efficiently. Talk to the couple and planner before the wedding to make sure their time and yours are spent wisely.

Getting ready photos of bridesmaids

Photographers can find it both difficult and rewarding to capture the times when bridesmaids are getting ready. It’s a great chance to catch the bride and her bridesmaids being themselves before the wedding, chatting and having fun with each other. Here are some tips for taking the best pictures of bridesmaids getting ready on the day of the wedding:

  • Check out the place ahead of time: Get to the site early to get a feel for the layout, lighting, and best places to take pictures of the bridesmaids getting ready. This can also help you plan for your gear.

  • Maintain a low profile: It’s important to take a step back and allow the bridesmaids to share intimate moments of preparation. Resist the temptation to direct the situation or to alter the natural flow of the moments. Instead, document the genuine emotions and interactions between the bridesmaids.

  • Pay attention to details: Don’t hesitate to capture close-up shots of the bridesmaids’ hair, makeup, jewelry, and bouquets which are a huge part of the day. These also create interesting detail shots that add variety to the wedding album.

  • Keep the tone light and fun: Encourage the bridesmaids to enjoy the moment, be themselves, and let their personalities shine. This will loosen up everyone and create a fun atmosphere that leads to the best photos.

  • Use natural light: If possible, use natural light instead of artificial lighting as it provides better photos. Don’t hesitate to open the windows and curtains if the room is too dark. And ask the MUAH if the lights can stay off.

Bonus: The rooms where the bride and bridesmaids will prepare can be a bit messy because everyone brings their own makeup and clothes. You can use crystals to block or blur messy parts of the room and this will give a dreamy look to your photos. 

Advice on Editing and Post-Production

Advice on Editing and Post-Production

After the shoot, the next important step is editing and post-production. This is where you improve the raw pictures to make them look their best. Here are some tips for editing pictures of bridesmaids to make them better and more appealing.

Style of Editing: It’s important to use the same style of editing for all of the wedding pictures, even the ones of the bridesmaids. This could mean making the same changes to color grading, contrast, and saturation to keep a uniform look that goes with the wedding theme.

Retouching: This includes making small changes, like getting rid of blemishes, smoothing out skin, whitening teeth, or making the eyes look brighter. But keep in mind that the goal is to bring out the girls’ natural beauty, not to make them look very different.

Color Correction: This step makes sure that the colors in your photos are correct and consistent. Change the white balance to make sure the colors look like they do in real life and fit with the wedding’s style.

Crop and composition: You can improve your photos even more by cropping them to make the arrangement better. You could use the rule of thirds or put the subject in the middle for balance. But don’t crop too much, because that could hurt the quality of the photo.

Vignetting: A subtle vignette, which darkens the corners and edges of the picture, can help draw the viewer’s eye to the bridesmaids in the middle of the photo.

Use batch editing to save time when you have a group of pictures with similar lighting and colors. This is a feature of most photo editing software, and it will make the same changes to all of the pictures you have chosen.

Keep the originals: Never throw away the pictures. You might want to look at them again later, or a girl might ask for a shot to be edited before the wedding.

Get feedback: It’s a good idea to show your changed photos to someone else for a second opinion before you make the final decision. They could see something you didn’t.

Remember that editing should make the shots better, not take over. The attention should stay on the bride and bridesmaids and how they feel and how happy they are.

Case studies

To get a better understanding of what you’ve learned so far, let’s take a look at stock photos of bridesmaids and critique them with what we know.

pexels los muertos crew 8459317
1. Photo by Los  Muertos Crew:

I love this photo of the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready. It is clearly a candid shot but a great one, the hand, and tiara make you focus on the bride. But you can clearly see the bridesmaids as well on the sides and in the mirror.

A part of the photo looks like it’s blurred by some piece of soft clothing. When you look in the mirror it seems that they shot this photo through the wedding veil. It’s intriguing to watch but it also covers a big part of the smile from the bride.

Although not many bridesmaids are in the photo, this picture could be part of the getting ready part series in the photo – album.

pexels jenn 10974579
2. Photo by Jenn:

Looking at this photo for the first time it seems really good, the bride and bridesmaids are laughing, the composition seems right and the location is great (the trees aren’t in the background but to the sides). But when you look close you get this strange feeling, that’s because everyone is looking away from each other. It’s a bit too posed for my liking.

Here is a photograph of the same people taken moments later:

pexels jenn 10974576
3. Photo by Jenn:

Although taken further away, it looks more natural than the first photo.

And take a look at the color of their dresses, it’s subtle but you can see the green switch to a darker color on the bottom. It looks like the photographer used a bit of vignetting to let make the viewers focus on the middle even more.

pexels carsten vollrath 13728539
4. Photo by Carsten Vollrath:

This photo is simple but looks amazing. Everyone is smiling, the bride is centered in the composition but she also stands out because of her dress and her different set of flowers. There are no hard shadows seen on their faces and the outside backdrop gives you a sense of the location it was taken at.

If there’s one thing I would change is that there’s a lot of space between the legs of the bride and the bridesmaid right next to her. But not every photo can be perfect! A wedding day is hectic and as a photographer, it’s more important to capture the emotions and the look and feel of the wedding day.


I hope these tips will help you take beautiful pictures of bridesmaids on the day of the wedding. Remember that it’s important to connect with your subjects, especially bridesmaids who might be nervous or uncomfortable in front of the camera. Talk to them, praise their dresses, and make them feel good about themselves. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I deal with bridesmaids who are hard to work with or won’t cooperate during the photoshoot?

It’s important to stay cool and act like a professional at all times. Try to understand what worries them and give them comfort. If a girl is feeling awkward or self-conscious, help her figure out how to pose and tell her that the pictures are looking great.

What should I do if it rains on my outdoor photoshoot?

Have a plan B at all times. If you know the spot well, you should be able to think of places inside that could be used if it rains. Also, talk to the bride and bridesmaids about this possibility ahead of time so that everyone is ready for a change of plans.

How can I make sure that the pictures show the bridesmaids’ dresses correctly, especially if they are an unusual color?

Make sure the white balance is set right on your camera to get a true picture of the colors. During post-production, pay close attention to the color adjustment to make sure the colors of the dresses are accurate.

How can I show how different the bridesmaids are and how they relate to each other?

Spend some time watching the bridesmaids and taking note of how they act with each other. Take pictures of people laughing, looking at each other, and talking. Most of the time, these unposed shots are the best way to show how the bridesmaids interact with each other.

How can I avoid taking pictures of my bridesmaids that are awkward?

To keep bridesmaids pictures from being awkward, it’s important to make everyone feel at ease. Before the shoot, spend some time getting to know the bridesmaids and making sure they understand the poses you want. Use fun to lighten the mood and get shots that look natural and unposed. Also, think about how comfortable each bridesmaid is and don’t force anyone to do moves that make them feel bad.