Undeniably one of the most exciting moments of your bridal portrait experience (aside from seeing the finished product for the first time, of course!) is the creative concept planning before the big shoot.
Choosing a theme for your bridal portrait can be both a thrilling and a daunting task. After all, the possibilities are endless...
We’ve seen beachy, woodsy, fantastical and decadent stories unfold in the sessions. It’s always a special experience to witness! After seeing many couples and brides select themes that spoke to their personalities and interests throughout the years, we’ve become expert consultants for this important part of the process.
We’ve put together some first-hand tips to help you choose your perfect bridal theme, from brainstorming to finalizing.
Make a (big) list of things you love.
If you’re planning a wedding (or just dealing with your hectic daily life), it isn’t always easy to brainstorm creative ideas. We get know how you feel. That’s why we suggest our clients make a huge list of things they love and then use it as a springboard for inspiration.
The trick is to let your mind go and just keep your pen moving—or your fingers typing. Write down movies, food, people, places, memories, clothing items, music genres or specific songs... Anything goes!
When you come back to this later with fresh eyes, we guarantee you’ll spot a few things to circle and explore as themes for your shoot. This exercise is a great place to start.
Talk to someone who loves you.
Sometimes your family and friends will have amazing suggestions for portrait themes, simply because they’ve watched you grow as an individual (and as a couple with your partner) and have picked up on things you haven’t.
Perhaps a relative will reveal a story in their marriage similar to one in yours, or a sibling will remind you that you always loved reading a certain book as a child. Not only are these moments wonderful to share with your loved ones, but they can sprout into meaningful theme ideas for your shoot.
Channel your inner artist.
This is your chance to be creative, so don’t hold back! Are you craving a portrait with dramatic contrasts? Mysterious, smoky eye makeup? Vibrant, cascading fabrics? Soft romantic floral arrangements? A theatrical backdrop? A certain kind of mood lighting?
Free your mind and imagine what it would be like to step into the most beautiful painting you’ve ever seen. Browse art history books or visit a modern gallery. Watch films from every corner of the globe, or go and see a live performance by a local musician for inspiration.
There are endless mediums through which thematic inspiration can arrive (and stick).
When you’re picking your theme, use caution when latching onto “novel” ideas. If you choose a theme based on a passing trend you’re amuse by right now, you may regret it later when you’re looking back on the experience. If you spend some time choosing a meaningful theme, the entire process will be pure magic as you watch it unfold.
Don’t be afraid to draw from your past, your aspirations for the future, or anything else that resonates with you. It doesn’t have to be “deep” or rooted in your personal history, but your portrait session is an experience you’ll remember forever, so make sure you adore your concept!
However, that said...
...have fun with it!
With the advice above in mind, you should also decide whether the theme is something you want to have profound meaning, or whether you’d prefer something fun and playful that reflects aspects of your personality or relationship.
Did you meet your partner in a curious way? Do you really, really love the color purple enough to color the entire set one hue? Have you always imagined yourselves as royalty? In this shoot, you make the rules! Our goal is to represent your story in a way that truly inspires you.
Finally, be original.
It’s okay to get inspired, but don’t copy someone else—that’s no fun for anyone. The best portraits are authentic reflections of the person or people in them, even if you have a Pinterest board full of images you want to recreate. We’re here to make something magical and original that you will love forever.
After all, there’s only one YOU! And this is your moment.