Surviving Wedding Portrait Sessions - Vidpro

Surviving Wedding Portrait Sessions

We photographers are in on the secret. Wedding day is not wrapped around the time we need or want. If that were the case we’d be taking portraits for hours on end since there is something absolutely delicious about a bride dressed in a fabulous gown, hair and makeup perfected, every detail meticulously placed. We cannot resist the urge to grab every angle, location, expression and composition.

Even on the best-planned wedding days, timeframes often need to be reworked and tweaked on the go. As wedding photographers, it’s imperative to be able to budget out portrait time and get the most out of it.

Here’s the scenario. The bride and groom have decided that they don’t want to see each other before the 7 p.m. ceremony on a rainy Friday evening. After the ceremony, family pictures and travel to a location, and we’re left with 15 minutes to knock out the bridal portraits. How do we possibly get the portrait quantity and quality we need to satisfy expectations?



Four Survival Tips to Knock Out Portraits on a Time Budget

Choose Your Location and Stay Put

It’s very difficult to move people from location to location without using a lot of precious time. When push comes to shove staying put is the very first survival tip.

The World Revolves Around the Bride

Setting up the gown just so is no small task! Get the gown set and move everyone around her. Starting with the bride’s back to the camera allows you to slowly turn her throughout your session to twist that train around perfectly.

Get Every Angle and Focal Distance

Get into a pose. Get low. Get high. Grab a full length, three quarter and close up. Go super wide and even macro for the rings.

Heads, Hands, Eyes, Expression

You don’t have to change the entire pose to change the look of an image. Remember, it’s way more difficult to move bodies than it is to change expression, move hands or heads or where someone is looking. Grab a smile looking at the camera, a smile looking at each other and make sure you get those close-up, full body and 3/4 length.


Going through a sequence of poses that transition easily is priceless in a time pinch. When faced with a schedule crunch avoid trying new things or exploring creativity too much. Stick with what you know, make deliberate choices and only change locations when time allows.

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