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Tips & Tricks

3 Ideas to Inspire Creative Getting Ready Shots

By Amii & Andy Kauth on February 18th 2016

As wedding photographers, we’re in the business of telling stories, and as artists, we take inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. Recently, when we were going over some of our getting ready shots (reflecting/preparing for an upcoming wedding), we were reminded of a quote attributed to Eudora Wetly, who spent the better part of twenty years documenting the effect of The Great Depression on rural Mississippi; “A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” Of course, we realize that Wetly worked in a completely different genre for a completely different reason, but the sentiment of the quote is not something easily lost on us and our approach.

We love capturing what might seem like insignificant moments at the start of our clients’ wedding day and adding our own artistic touch to make our couples’ wedding day stories come alive. If you’re in need of a bit of inspiration, here are three ideas you can implement when shooting your couples’ getting ready shots—those often forgotten moments—that will help make their stories even more captivating.

(Rewind: UTILIZING DIRECT SUN TO PHOTOGRAPH DETAILS IN [UGLY, UNFLATTERING, BORING . . .] PLACES)

Use a Prism

Prisming is definitely a favorite technique for us, and certainly a staple of our photography style. If your style leans toward the artistic side of the genre, it’s an incredible way to turn what might seem like an ordinary image into something that will at least make you do a double take (and hopefully keep your eyes on the image for a few extra seconds or more). We use prisms to reflect people and things (a window or the floor, for example) across the room and into our images. Check our examples below (btw, we use the Nikon D750, Nikon lenses, and Nikon SB-910 AF Speedlights).

sandrprismedgettingreadydavid(50mm, ISO 160, f/1.8, 1/125 sec @ Firesky Resort & Spa)
sandrprismedgettingreadydavid-2(50mm, ISO 160, f/1.8, 1/125 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-5(50mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, w/ Gina Schroeder Creations)
sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-6

(50mm, ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/125 sec)

We also use prisms to “double the fun” by reflecting our subjects within the frame. This is a technique that we think is loads of fun to experiment with.

sandrprismedgettingreadyhawaii-2(50mm, ISO 64, f/1.8, 1/200 sec)sandrprismedgettingreadycandrj-7(50mm, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/100 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadydandt-5(50mm, ISO 200, f/9.0, 1/200 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadydandt-4(50mm, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/250 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadycandj-4(50mm, ISO 160, f/4.0, 1/160 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadycandj-3(50mm, ISO160, f/5.0, 1/160 sec)sandrprismedgettingreadybobby(50mm, ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/160 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadydandt-2(24mm, ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/250 sec)

sandrprismedgettingreadycandj-2

(50mm, ISO 160, f/2.5, 1/200 sec, w/ Make Me Up Maria)

Include The Vendors

Brides and grooms hand pick vendors to be a part of their wedding day, and we are all about including them in their getting ready shots; makeup artists and hairdressers are a favorite subject for us. These shots become true “snapshot moments” for our clients. We only do all day coverage when we shoot weddings and are known for hanging with our clients from the very moment the curling iron hits the bride’s locks! And not only is including the vendors who make the couple look their best part of telling the story, but it’s also a great marketing strategy as you can pass your rad vendor images on to the vendors themselves.

sandrprismedgettingreadycandrj-3(50mm, ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/200 sec w/ Makeup By Brooke Nicole)
sandrprismedgettingreadyhawaii(50mm, ISO 64, f/1.8, 1/200 sec)sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-8(50mm, ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/40 sec, w/ Hair by Andy Biggs)
sandrprismedgettingreadydandt(24mm, ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/250 sec)sandrprismedgettingreadyericalindsay(50mm, ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/125 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadycandrj-6(50mm, ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/100 sec @ Hotel Valley Ho)
sandrprismedgettingreadycandrj-10(50mm, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/100 sec)

sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-7(50mm, ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/125 sec)

Shoot “On Location”

Since we fancy our style to be not only artistic and modern but also photojournalistic, we follow our clients wherever the day takes them.

(Rewind: HOW TO CREATE RAD RECEPTION IMAGES: DRAG YOUR SHUTTER & LIGHT UP THEIR PARTY)

We get stoked when our clients get ready in places that aren’t their venue. Heck. We outright encourage it! In other words, wherever they go, we go: and we love it! It’s our favorite when the groom and his men head out for a shave at a rad barbershop on the big day and the bride hits up her favorite salon. These are perfect opportunities to create the most interesting, personal, and beautiful images to add to your clients’ wedding day collection. And these are additional, great opportunities to establish vendor relationships.

sandrprismedgettingreadykimsalon(24mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/160 sec @ Headlines 2000 Hair Studio)
sandrprismedgettingreadykimsalon-4(24mm, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/160 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadykimsalon-3(24mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/200 sec)

sandrprismedgettingreadykimsalon-2(24mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/160 sec)
sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-3(24mm, ISO 125, f/3.5, 1/200 sec @ V’s Barbershop – Arcadia Phoenix)sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-2(24mm, ISO 125, f/3.5, 1/200 sec)sandrprismedgettingreadykandr-4

(24mm, ISO 160, f/3.5, 1/200 sec)

sandrprismedgettingreadykandr(24mm, ISO 125, f/3.5, 1/200 sec)

Conclusion

Our goal is storytelling and documenting memories in an epic way. We want our images to be moments that are frozen in time and that our clients will cherish for generations. That said, we’re all about not missing a beat as we snap shots of our couples and their vendors, prisms in hand, while the couple gets ready for their most special day. Don’t let those “getting ready” moments pass you by as they’ll be images that are an integral part of the couple’s wedding day story (and will help the couple relive their day over and over). Rocking out your getting ready shots can do wonders for your own inspiration for the rest of the couple’s big day as well, so if you get the chance, jump in the car with your bride and/or groom and adventure with them wherever the day takes them.

We’d love to hear about what ideas you’ve tried while your clients are getting ready. And head over to our growing Facebook community and post some of your favorite getting ready images!

Amii & Andy are a wife and husband team of rad portrait and wedding photographers (Sunshine & Reign Photography) who absolutely love life and are generally just stoked! Yeah! When they aren’t photographing or writing and teaching about photography, you’ll find them off on a seriously legit adventure with their little ones, lifting weights in their garage, training jiu-jitsu, refining their archery skills, or surfing every chance they get. And on the rare chance they escape off on a “date night”? Yep! They’ll find a wedding to crash (true fact).

Website: Sunshine & Reign Photography
Instagram: @sunshineandreign

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Cary McCaughey

    Super rad. I have one but barely ever touched it! It will be breaking out this year :-D

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  2. Justin Haugen

    great photos Andy and Amii, nice write up!

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  3. Jamie Ivins

    Another stellar article. Really love the prism images! Do you have a specific prism you would recommend?

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    • Andy & Amii Kauth

      Thanks, Jamie! There is a link in the article! We like the 6″ Amlong ($16.90 on Amazon). We also have some crazier stuff like a crystal ball, a crystal pyramid, etc. If you drop them, they can chip or break so we always have a couple extra on hand. :)

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