How to survive bridal prep as a photographer with a Y chromosome
So many people, approximately seven, have asked me, ‘Is it intense doing bridal prep?’
More often than not, you’re the only male in a room with at least half a dozen women, a few empty bottles of Prosecco and a Jacobean Banquet next to boxes of hair and make-up supplies.
Through mistakes and collating my wandering, nebulous thoughts, I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s all about treading carefully, thinking twice before speaking out loud and sticking to a few basic rules.
I will dispense this advice now…
Knock on every door.
You never know who stands behind that panel of wood, and most importantly, how much clothing they have on at that particular time. Knock firmly but politely. Also, make sure you’re not the one who’s stood there in your underwear.
Lay some foundations.
There aren’t many brides or bridesmaids that will be delighted to hear you clicking away whilst they haven’t yet had makeup applied. This is a good time to shoot details, take another picture of shoes or drink that third cup of tea that will have you hopping around, desperate for the toilet during the vows.
‘Did you enjoy your last night of freedom?’
I don’t know when this phrase became popular, but I think it sounds quite creepy and, essentially, questioning the moral fibre of the bride on the morning of her wedding.
I said it once and it dawned upon me, just as the air left my lungs to project those fatal words, how crass it sounds. Lesson learned.
‘Oh, don’t worry - it’s not a super close-up lens.’
When make up has been applied and you’re doing your thing, it’s pretty much nailed on that someone will say, ‘Oh God, don’t get too close with that.’ All technical chat goes out of the window at this point. Just do your duty to relax everyone.
Treatment: Apply the vocal diffuser outlined above.
If there is still tension, maybe apply a gentle laugh followed up with, ‘It can’t see up your nose.’
‘Can you Photoshop me to make me look better?’
Never say a flat out, ‘Yeah, sure. No problem at all.’ That is just rude, mate.
Whether you take these on is your choice - we all have our own styles and approaches - but trust me on the sunscreen.