How to Capture an Iconic Bridal Portrait

When shooting wedding photographs, portraits are often just as important as the candid, in-the-moment shots. They capture the bride and groom looking their best at a crucial time in their lives, and they’ll be cherished for years to come. In this video, photographers Justin and Mary demonstrate how to capture what they call the “iconic bridal portrait”:

What makes an “iconic” portrait? A classic example would be carefully lit, posed rather than candid, and fairly serious in mood. Lighting is key, and the tool Justin and Mary use to achieve perfection is the beauty dish. This provides a crisp, dramatic light often used in fashion and beauty photography (hence the name). To soften the shadows made by the beauty dish, a reflector is held on the opposite side.

Recommended Gear for Bridal Portraits:


A reflector fills in shadows for a polished look.


This pensive close-up of the bride is a perfect example of an iconic portrait.

Whatever the setting or gear used, the goal is to capture a peaceful moment removed from the often hectic pace of a wedding day.

“We can take a picture of somebody’s grandmother on day one, when she was young and in love . . . Through our pictures, we can say that whatever happened in this family, it always started with love.” – Mary

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