Top 10 Tips for better wedding photos: Tip #1: Pick an amazing getting ready location

I was making a small booklet for my clients to handout with my top 10 tips for better wedding photos when I realized- d’uh, everyone wants better wedding photos! So why not blog it?

One of the first vendors a couples picks is their venue. Of course that’s super super important. But another location often gets overlooked and is super important as well- your getting-ready location.Where you’re getting ready matters- a LOT. Think about it. Not only will this location be where your getting-ready shots are, it’s also going to be the place where a ton of photos you never thought of will take place. Dress/Suit shots, ring shots, flower shots, cufflink shots, and other detail shots will most likely be shot here. Super close-ups of the bride(s)/groom(s) will take place here. Most likely your attendant shots will take place here. The shot list is adding up!

What makes for good getting ready shots? Light, space, decor, and cleanliness.

Light is the most important factor in your getting-ready location. Pick a hotel with giant windows. Get ready in the room of your house where light streams in. Lots of natural light is key to good getting-ready shots. Giant blackout curtains you can’t move, overuse of artificial light to brighten the space, and walking into the room and having to wait till your eyes adjust to the dark are things you want to avoid. Remember, our eyes adjust to light levels but the camera does not. If you even pause to think if the room is bright enough, most likely, it isn’t.

Space is also important. If you think you and 6 attendants can fit in a regular size hotel room, you are going to hate life shortly. Thinking about who you want in your getting ready room and making a list ahead of time avoids the too-tight-to-breathe-or-photograph-anything problem. Send an email to those close to you about who is invited into the room so you can rent a room big enough for everyone. Not only will this create a more relaxed day since no one is bumping into each other constantly, but it allows your photographer the room to move around and get great pictures. That’s what you wanted, right?

Decor. Everything in the getting ready room will most likely appear in your photographs. Those tacky figurines you keep meaning to give away and hate? Yup, if they are in the room, they will be in your photographs. Did the furniture in the hotel room blow you away? Great! Because your photographer will most likely be using the chairs for detail shots, the doors for dress shots, the bed for shoe shots and all kinds of combinations. So you want to love what’s in the room style-wise.

Cleanliness. I already said all the stuff in the getting ready room will appear in your photographs- that goes for all the crap too. The 5 purses, plastic bags, spare shoes, jackets, clothes, water bottles….it’s all there. So when you are emailing your loved ones about who will be in the room with you while you get ready- ask them to keep it clean in the room too. Designate a closet to keep all the extra stuff in so we can close the door and keep the stuff out of the photographs. Counters/chairs/beds all attract random stuff so ask someone to be in charge of keeping the room clean.


Just read through your tips. I love these pictures! I am so sad you can’t be our wedding photographer!!!