a group of women standing next to each other.

How to Take Photos of Bridesmaids (+ Wedding Day Tips)

From perfect posed shots to captivating candids, here are 9 pro tips on how to take photos of bridesmaids.

I’m going to talk about how to take photos of bridesmaids in this article, so if you’re a wedding photographer, stay tuned!

And sure, we’ll discuss some posing, but mostly we’ll focus on taking quality photos that the bride will love.

Often it feels like we wedding photographers only focus on things like coming up with a new Pinterest-worthy pose or outlandish creative shot. 

What our brides really want is a nice photo with their bridesmaids so they can remember their wedding day and the support of their best friends.

So let’s start with remembering our priorities as we dive in. 

How to Take Photos of Bridesmaids: 9 Tips

Below are nine tips for how to photograph bridesmaids.

We’ll start with how to think about the photos and move toward how to shoot them.

1. Consider Your Priorities When Deciding How to Photograph Bridesmaids 

Before you go off and spend an hour photographing the bridesmaids, take a minute to consider your priorities for the wedding photos. 

That way, you spend your time focusing on what’s actually important rather than on what you feel you need to do.

From my experience, the bridesmaid photos most likely to get printed are as follows:

  • One or two really nice group photos of the bridesmaids where everyone is sharp, smiling, and looks good. Maybe an elegant one and a fun photo.
  • Individual shots of the bride with each friend or group of friends from a particular phase of life.
  • Candid moments of the bride and bridesmaids throughout the day that capture their emotions and personalities.

That’s it. If you think about it, you’re shooting an eight or maybe 12-hour day and you might take thousands of pictures and deliver hundreds. 

From those hundreds, your bride might print a dozen for her wall, each friend might print one, and then you’ll design a wedding album that tells the story of the day. 

I’ve never designed a wedding album with a super large number of posed bridal party pictures. A few photos to choose from where everyone looks good is the main goal for group shots.

2. What’s Your Wedding Photography Style?

a group of women standing around each other.

Your wedding photography style might be different than mine.

As you can tell by the description above, I shoot in a more photojournalistic style – meaning I prioritize candid moments over group shots in terms of time invested. 

If you’re a more traditional wedding photographer and your couple is hiring you to take a lot of posed photos, then by all means, take a lot of posed photos.

But don’t just shoot for the sake of shooting, don’t just spend an hour on something because you think you need to.

Time on the wedding day is valuable. One bride’s time divided by all her wedding guests is not very much time per guest, so make it count.

Your bride and groom may have hired you for the type of photographer you are, so be sure to cover the wedding in a way that reflects their expectations.

3. Quality Over Quantity for Posed Bridal Party Photos

a bride and four friends

Even if you’re going to take a variety of bridesmaid photos, focus on quality over quantity. 

Make sure everyone is sharp and looking their best. Pay attention to your framing and composition. And pay attention to the light.

As I said in the intro, what our brides really want is a solid photo with the people she chose to stand up with her on the wedding day.

The specifics of what that photo looks like are up to you but don’t be so focused on the variety that the quality suffers. 

Before you move on to a different pose, make sure you nailed the moment.

Instead of a different pose, sometimes it’s more efficient to shoot the same moment with a longer lens, especially if you spent a long time positioning the wedding dress.

In general, if it’s a big dress, I try to move the bride as little as possible.

Don’t forget to make sure everyone is looking at the camera with their eyes open. Take enough shots that if someone blinked you still nailed the shot.

4. Consider the Experience the Wedding Party is Having

A bride laughing

The wedding day isn’t just about the photos – though sometimes it sure seems that way.

The wedding day is about joy, love, and community.

Make sure you don’t turn the entire wedding schedule into a photo shoot to serve yourself.

Instead, make sure you consider the experience that the bride and her friends are having on the wedding day.

Personally, I’d rather they remember the fun they had together and forget the time I spent posing them.

5. A Little Nice Light Goes a Long Way

Looking for nice light is the easiest way to ensure you get beautiful bridesmaids’ photos.

For these photos, my definition of “nice” light is typically soft, diffused light that will be flattering on the faces of the people.

Sometimes you can look for open shade or angle the women so they don’t have harsh shadows on their faces.

While background is important, especially if the bride chose a venue with incredible views, the women are more likely to care about how they look than how the background looks.

6. Don’t Forget About Intentional Composition

When choosing your lens, be sure to choose based on where you’re shooting and what you’re trying to get in the frame. 

You want to be able to get a full-length shot without cutting anyone off in weird places.

Pay attention to the background and try not to have any trees growing out of anyone’s head or other distracting elements that will take away from the people.

While you might love your low-number aperture lens for that beautiful bokeh effect, make sure that all of the bridesmaids are sharp

7. Posing the Bridesmaids

a group of women standing next to each other.

Personally, I like to not get overly complex with my posing. 

Often I start by just telling the bridesmaids to line up, and they’ll automatically line up in a way that reflects their expectations of what a bridesmaids photo will look like.

Then I can make adjustments. Here are the main ones I usually make:

  • Have them all hold their flowers at the same height. Flowers actually make posing easier because it gives the bridesmaids something to do with their hands, but you don’t want the flowers covering their faces.
  • Have them angle in toward the Bride so the photo looks more connected.
  • Equalize the spacing between everyone so that it looks balanced.
  • Make sure to spread the wedding dress and ensure no one is stepping on it. If it’s a big wedding dress, you can have the girls standing next to the bride tuck their feet under it.

8. Types of Posed Bridesmaids Photos to Shoot

Now, let’s cover the types of bridesmaids’ photos to shoot, from finishing touches to the dance party. 

Again, you’ll want to think about your photography style and priorities and adjust these tips accordingly.

As I mentioned, I tend to focus on quality over quantity. I want a nice solid photo of all the bridesmaids together and smiling at the camera.

From there, I like to have them look at the bride and tell her how beautiful she looks because that results in smiles, laughter, and interactions.

Some bridal parties will want to get a fun shot, too so take whatever fun photos they want.

And finally, I like to get a shot of each bridesmaid with the bride or any other combinations that might result in pictures that they’ll want to print for their desks or fridges.

If there’s a flower girl, get the wedding party shot with and without her, and make sure to get one of just the bride and flower girl.

If it helps you to be more prepared on the day, you can go armed with a bridesmaid photo shot list.

9. Candid Bridesmaids Photos

Bride and bridesmaids with bouquets

Since I try not to spend an excessive amount of time on posed wedding party pictures, I end up with time to get great candid shots of the bride and her friends.

During the “getting ready” photos portion of the big day, I’m looking for fun and intimate moments between the bride and her bridesmaids.

Sometimes the getting ready photos will be glamorous because they’ll be in matching robes. Regardless, capture whatever chaos is happening before, during, and after the bride puts on the wedding gown.

I’m looking for laughs or tears or anything that shows the personalities of the closest friends the bride has chosen to support her on her special day by asking them to be bridesmaids.

I continue to try to capture the bridesmaids as the ceremony time approaches and the bride starts to get nervous.

During the ceremony, if the bridesmaids cry or laugh, that can be an intimate photo to capture.

Then I try to capture their personalities and interactions during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. 

If the bridesmaids are having a blast on the dance floor, you want to capture a great shot of the best girls having their best time.

Summary of Tips for Bridesmaids Photos

When it comes to Bridesmaids’ photos, make sure you’re focusing on the right things. 

At the minimum, get a sharp, well-composed photo in nice light. The best photos will have real smiles and emotions.

From there, when you photograph bridesmaids, you can add your own style and preferences to where you spend the valuable wedding day minutes.

FAQs About Bridesmaid Wedding Photos

How long should bridesmaids’ pictures take?

Every photographer is different in how they shoot bridal party photos and how much time they spend on them, but you might budget 15-30 minutes of time for bridesmaid pictures.

It’s a balance between getting enough photos and being efficient with time on the wedding day. And don’t forget the bouquets, as it can slow you down if you have to hunt them down.

How do you stand in bridesmaids’ photos?

Typically, you’ll angle your feet and hips towards the bride but open your shoulders up towards the camera. Hold your bouquet around your belly button so that it doesn’t block your face.

The wedding photographer will give you any other instructions based on particular compositions.

At what age do you stop being a bridesmaid?

Age doesn’t matter for being a bridesmaid; it’s generally based on the age of the bride and her friends. A younger bridesmaid may be a junior bridesmaid or a flower girl. If the maid of honor is married, she can be called a matron of honor. Bridesmatrons doesn’t sound as good, though.

How do you smile in bridesmaid photos?

Try to smile naturally and not just with your mouth – smile with your eyes.

Who walks in first in bridesmaids?

Typically the order in which bridesmaids walk down the aisle is based on where they are standing at the front. The first bridesmaid will stand furthest from the bride and the second one next to her, and so on, until the last bridesmaid, the maid of honor, who stands closest to the bride.

Can bridesmaids walk down alone?

Bridesmaids can walk solo or in pairs.

Who walks with the maid of honor?

The maid of honor either walks alone or with the best man depending on how you arrange your procession.

How soon should bridesmaids have their dress?

Order your bridesmaids’ dresses with enough time for the dresses to arrive and any alterations to be done.

Generally, people recommend six months but it really depends on the lead time required from the company you’re ordering from.

11 Tools for Wedding Photographers

Check out the 11 essential tools and apps every wedding photographer should be using this year.

Includes limited time discounts.

Learn more here
brenda bergreen

Brenda Bergreen is a photographer, videographer, writer, and storyteller based in Colorado. She specializes in Colorado wedding photography and adventurous storytelling. When she’s not behind the camera or the keyboard, you can find her adventuring with her family.

Leave a Comment



Enter your email to be sent
today's Welcome Gift:
19 Photography Tools

🔥 Popular NOW:

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.