One of my very favorite parts of every wedding day has always been the opportunity to capture the details at the start of the day. From the beautiful shoes to the heirloom earrings passed down from generation to generation, capturing bridal details is always special. Over my 7 years as a wedding photographer, I discovered best tips for styling the details to capture them in all their glory. When you’re pressed for time (or arrive to a dark hotel room and feel a sense of panic), remembering these 3 tips for styling bridal details can come in handy! You can also get even more info on how to styling and capture bridal details best in my Top 3 Styling Kit “Must Haves” free workbook!
Choose Your Light with Intention
Most of my getting ready photographs are captured with soft, directional window light. I turn off any incandescent bulbs in the room, setup my background adjacent to a window, and take advantage of that gorgeous light. This tends to work best for two-dimensional shots captured directly from above, but I also love it for shoe shots and bouquet photographs! When my window light is too harsh or creates defined shadows leading away from the light source, I’ll use a reflector or a large white object in the room to direct light back toward the object (pillows work great if you’re in a pinch!).
Use Composition Creatively
The key to any good detail shot is composition! Keep in mind The Rule of Thirds when positioning items within the frame to create a more visually dynamic photograph. Keep your eye peeled for reflective surfaces, mirrors, and textures that allow you to craft a more creative interpretation of the scene. Whenever I have multiple pieces to consider in a single frame, especially in invitation shots, I like to make sure that the overall frame feels balanced. If I place the earrings to the right side, I want to make sure there is something countering that “weight” on the lefthand side of the frame.
Utilize Shallow Depth of Field
I always photograph details with a prime lens and generally keep my aperture, when possibly, between f/2 and f/2.5. Everyone has their sweet spot with photographing details and I have fallen in love with the gorgeous bokeh that I can achieve when shooting nearly wide open! Shooting with a shallow depth of field also allows your eye to glide directly to the focal point and fades any distracting elements in the background! Add in sheer or shimmering foreground an background elements when shooting with a macro lens and you may feel transported into another world.
Pro Tip: Whenever I am sparse on details, I forage for extras around the bridal suite or outside and add those items to the couple’s items!
I can’t wait to see the beautiful images you style and create with these tips. If you’re ready to take it a step deeper, I have a free download for you of my Top 3 Styling Kit “Must Haves!”