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Caitlin Sullivan is an Indianapolis-based wedding, portrait, and commercial photographer.

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@CAOSULLI

Hi there, I'M CAITLIN!

Hopeful joy-digger. Colorful photographer. Serving hearts rooted in celebrating the life and love around them — and within them.

Photography

Capturing A Bride & Her Bridesmaids 8 Ways To Photograph Women in Their Best Light

What could be more fun as a creative, whose brand is built around joy, than to photograph a bride cheesing it up with her best gals?

Today I want to talk about ways to set yourself up for success as it relates to getting beautiful imagery of a gorgeous bride and her bridesmaids.

1) Pull the bride out in front of her bridesmaids and shoot wide open. In this photo, I placed Jenna in front of her bridesmaids and shot this image at 2.5 aperture with my 50 mm 1.4 Sigma lens. By shooting at 2.5, this puts Jenna in focus while blurring out the “supporting cast” just enough in the background to still make out their faces and their joy. This is always a must have image for me because I love the dimension it adds to my galleries that I deliver to my couples. I typically take the same photo with the groom and his groomsmen.

2.) “Flowers at your belly button.”  As a female, I know my insecurities when dressed in formal wear almost always center around my midriff. Placing the flowers at a woman’s belly button puts her a little more at ease and not only is aesthetically pleasing for the chance to highlight the happy florals, it also gives ladies something to do with their arms. I do not like lose limbs in photos and I’m always looking to avoid them. I adore this image of Katie and her best gals!

3) Close in those gaps. Yes, let’s get uncomfortably close here! When I line up bridesmaids, I always tell them to “close those gaps”.  Hip to hip. While it may feel a little too close for comfort, I promise the resulting image will give you all the feels for your best girls – just like Amanda and these beauties! 

4) Place the bride and her bridesmaids with their backs to the sun. I’m not suggesting you can’t get beautiful images in full sun but shooting your subjects with their backs to the sun always offers consistent light on your subjects’ faces. You can tell by the shadows in this image of Liz and her bridesmaids that the sun is behind them and to the right – offering beautiful, creamy light across all of their faces as the light bounces off the sand onto their faces. Ah, now I’m ready for a beach vacation. Who’s with me?!

5) Cheek to cheek. Oh yes – this request sometimes comes with the oddest of looks back in my direction but yes, I want YOUR cheek on HER cheek! Let’s really feel the love like Katie and her sister in this image. 

6) If shooting tighter, shoot down on your subjects. You can’t see me taking this photo, but I’ll tell you right now I was slightly on my toes and shooting down on Casey and her sisters. We all are around the same height. The reason why I’m shooting down is because it is most flattering on a woman’s figure. Think double chins. We all have them if caught in the right light = from below and shooting up. Shooting down on your subjects ensures you are capturing a woman in her most flattering light. 

7) Find a natural reflector and photograph them there. This is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for success. What do I mean by this? Anything in front of your subject will naturally reflect that color of light up on your subject’s face. If you place a bride on black pavement, you will have a harder time illuminating her face. When you line up your girls on a setting like Elizabeth and her girls below, that bright light from the stone will bounce up on their faces giving your image a little more “pop”. 8.) Have your bridesmaids walk together in a line. Having your girls walk together does two things: 1) It gives your bride and bridesmaids something to DO which affords them the comfort to act more natural in front of your camera. 2) It gives you a chance to capture their gorgeous dresses as they move about in them. Kim’s amazing wedding day was THE WINDIEST I’ve ever photographed in my life. I’m crazy about this series of images I captured of them walking together to Kim’s ceremony!

Planning a wedding and want to make sure you have images you love of you with your best friends? I’d love to connect with you. Click here to holler!