Why You Should Have A Bridal Session

Hello and welcome to the Justin and Lauren Photography blog! We are Justin and Lauren, photographers based in Charleston, South Carolina. Our journey began in 2015 when we met during training to become photojournalists for the U.S. Air Force. Our passion for photography has only grown since then, which led us to start our own business. We’re your photographers for all kinds of events– Weddings, engagement and couple photos, branding, and more! If you’re interested in learning more about us and what we offer, visit our website! We love taking photos in unique locations, so if you’re up for traveling to a beautiful, secluded and peaceful location, we’re going to get along just fine! As your photographers, we are dedicated to providing you with the best of the best in images and an unforgettable experience. Candid photos are some of our favorites to capture. We pride ourselves on being raw, real, and authentic. We also provide prints, canvases, and albums. Contact us today so we can help bring your dream photoshoot to life. We can’t wait to meet you!



Our last article talked about some of the best wedding venues in Charleston! Choosing your wedding venue is arguably one of the most important decisions in the wedding planning process. As photographers, we’ve had the pleasure of shooting weddings at various venues! If you’re interested in checking out some of the most gorgeous venues in the Charleston area, we encourage you to check out our last post!



Today, we’ll be talking about bridal sessions and why you should have one! Bridal sessions are typically formal photography sessions that are used to get individual portraits of the bride in her full dress or outfit, before the wedding day. This is due to the fact that sometimes there isn’t enough time on the actual wedding day to get a lot of individual portraits– Therefore, having a bridal session is a great option to get those shots ahead of time. The photos taken during a bridal session are generally kept a “secret” until the day of your wedding, where they are often unveiled in a display at the reception. It’s a wonderful way to surprise your guests! If you’re interested in learning more about why you should have a bridal session, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.



First off, bridal sessions are an opportunity to do a run-through or test of hair and makeup styles, as well as use a test bouquet. Not only does this give you a chance to make sure that your hair and makeup are done exactly how you want them, but it leaves some time to tweak things if needed. For example, you may have been set on having an updo for your wedding day, but you realize that you don’t like the way that it looks in your photos. This will allow you more time to work with your stylist to find a hairstyle that you like. If you feel that you look perfect in your bridal session photos, then you will likely have less anxiety about your looks on your wedding day! Additionally, sometimes brides envision themselves holding a very large bouquet. However, once they’ve held that bouquet for a couple of hours during their bridal session, they realize how heavy it is and that they feel uncomfortable holding it.



Besides a trial run of hair and makeup, this can also be considered a trial run of your dress. By the time you have your bridal session, you’ll likely have already made alterations if necessary. But spending a few hours wearing your dress and taking photos in it will give you an idea of how comfortable it is. If the dress doesn’t feel perfect, you won’t feel perfect! So, it’s important to test out how much you actually like your dress before the day of the wedding. The session will also give you time to figure out the best way to walk in your dress. For example, if a dress has a long train or is a bit snug in certain areas, you may need to adjust the pace that you walk. The same goes for your shoes– You may find out that those heels are not the most comfortable, or that you need more time to break them in.



A bridal session also provides an opportunity for the bride to get comfortable with their wedding photographer, as well as get comfortable in front of the camera. Your photographer will show you how to pose like a pro, so you don’t feel awkward in front of the cameras on your big day! For us specifically, we try to stay away from stiff and robotic poses, and instead, we give action prompts to encourage natural reactions and movement. This is also a great time to talk with your photographer about everything you want to get out of your photos, both during your bridal session and on your actual wedding day. Are there certain aspects of your outfit that you want to capture? Perhaps you splurged on really cute shoes for your wedding but they’re hidden beneath your dress, or you’re wearing earrings passed down from a family member but no one could tell unless they were up close to you. A bridal session is the perfect time to make sure you get the shots you want of those intricate details so they can be displayed in your wedding album for years to come.



Some brides choose to have their bridal session at their wedding venue, which is a great way to become acclimated to the venue you will be at during your big day. It can also help you seek out particular areas of the venue that you may want to have photos taken at on your wedding day, with your bridal party or family. However, some brides choose a different location for their bridal session. This could be at a location that means a lot to you, such as walking around your hometown. Or you may want to give your photos a more fairy-tale-like effect, such as taking photos on the beach or using a field of flowers for your backdrop! It’s all up to you and what you want your photos to look like.



The actual day of your wedding can feel hectic. There is typically a strict timeline to adhere to, and it is easy to get caught up in the moment as you are mingling with friends and family. While your wedding photographer will most definitely be taking photos throughout the day, there may not be as much  time to get those individual and more detail-oriented shots that you’d like. If there is a specific location other than your wedding venue that you would like to have pictures taken at, it may be difficult to squeeze that into your schedule on the day of the wedding. There will be no rushing or scrambling, trying to get some photos in before the wedding or reception begins– A bridal session allows you that time and flexibility you need to get the photos that you want, so you won’t look back at your wedding album and wish you had gotten to do more. And, you most likely won’t be as nervous during your bridal session as you will be on your wedding day. This allows for a laid-back and stress-free photo session!



Having a bridal session done also allows for ample time to get the portraits printed before the wedding. Whether you want them printed on a canvas to display at your reception, or smaller prints to give out to friends and family, the beautiful shots taken of you all glammed up and feeling like a princess are sure to impress!



Bridal sessions are classic and, most importantly, fun! They are great ways to create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come. We hope you found this article helpful, and that you are on board with booking a bridal session! We love being able to capture authentic moments of our clients, before and on their special day. At Justin and Lauren Photography, we dedicate ourselves to capturing the unique beauty of those special moments in your life. We are located in Charleston but are available to travel– In fact, we have tons of places we just have to see on our bucket list. Let’s have an adventure together! If you have any questions about our services or would like to book a session, reach out to us today so we can meet in person or over Zoom to talk about your ideas and help bring them to life. We would love to connect with you!



Hi friends, we are Justin and Lauren! Our journey into photography started in 2015 at the same time we first met: during training to become photojournalists for the U.S. Air Force. Over the years, our passion for photography has only grown, and we finally decided. “Why not us?” and began our business. Today we provide wedding photography here in Charleston, SC, as well as engagement, couples, and branding photography for the Charleston area.