Lighting and Posing Techniques for Iconic Bridal Party Photos

Using styles and techniques learned by studying the portraits in high fashion editorials like Vogue, wedding photographers Justin & Mary have been out there creating some pretty iconic bridal shoots. In the video below, you’re welcome to take a walk through the photo shoot to see how they’re doing it:

To capture the iconic bridal party group portrait, Justin & Mary us a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 35mm lens. Their three light setup involves 3 Profoto B1 Air Flashes, an extra large white umbrella, and a 5′ Octobox. A silver and white reflector helped to fill in some of the shadows on the subjects’ faces.


Part of the lighting setup for a bridal party shot.

The idea for the shoot stemmed from having too many photo shoot plans rained out or otherwise made impossible due to the weather. Her solution was to create a simple lighting setup that could be moved indoors and would replicate some of the glamorous editorial spreads she studied in magazines.


Bridal Party Shot

“I feel like what our couples really love the most about this style of shot we’re getting is that it’s not the expected, and it’s not what every other wedding photographer out there is doing.”

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One response to “Lighting and Posing Techniques for Iconic Bridal Party Photos”

  1. mur_phy says:

    This is the type of bridal groups that we did for over 30 years in the times before the concept of Photo Journalism style as introduced by Denis Reggie became the norm with image makes creating thousands of images during a day.

    Nicely lit and quite a nice pose with maybe a few modifications to keep in mind.

    First it would preferable to place the lady on our right in place of the lady in the back at the rear as that lady has a better height for end placement.

    On the seated groomsman on our left, change the hand placement so that his finger of the R hand will not point toward the camera. Always a good idea to close the hands into a loose fist.See the other seated Groomsman.

    Also, first off, it is best to have the Bride on the Right of the Groom as she is dressed in white and the eye tends to go to brightest and lightest in an image so rather than the viewer’s eye passing the groom to the bride it is led from Bride to Groom. Also when posing the Bride’s bouquet, move the flowers to one side so as not to cover the gown or create and enlarged stomach area– show her curves.

    When placing a hand on a shoulder (generally unnecessary, place the hand behind the shoulder so that the fingers again don’t point toward the viewer/camera.

    With the man standing in the rear, moving him slightly to his R would improve his positioning in the image also.

    These are just some refinements that one can do and often are easier to see in a completed image that during the time of the image taking process but if one begins to see these types of adjustments than can be made to improve images the greater is the feeling of accomplishment when one offers the images to the Bride and Groom.

    Just a few thoughts so hopefully they can be used constructively.

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