How to Manage Being a Bridesmaid AND Photographer | Tip Tuesday

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A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to stand by one of my best friends as she married the love of her life! You may want to sneak a peek at Lisa and Brice’s wedding day HERE! What you might not know about that day is I had a double duty that day. I was a bridesmaid AND a photographer!

I was first asked to be a bridesmaid and then because of some circumstances I was given the opportunity & the blessing of photographing the beautiful wedding too! It really felt like an honor to be able to give my friends the best kind gift I know how to give with my abilities. I also was super excited because Lisa knows how to throw a DANG good wedding!!! Pinterest perfect!! To see more of the beauty from that day, just follow the link I posted before!

The purpose of this blog post is to help a photographer who might also be in a similar situation! Here are my three biggest tips on navigating being a bridesmaid AND the photographer for someone you love’s big day!

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1. Bring Help!

I had both my regular wedding second photographer, Bri, AND my intern, Holly, there to help assist me. I wanted to make sure we were capturing and giving Lisa and Brice the same kind of experience as every other Be Merryed Bride and Groom, and in order to do that I needed extra hands and eyes. Bri took over as First Photographer whenever I needed to be in the photo. I did most of the directing for posing and just hopped into my place before Bri snapped the photos! As a bridesmaid you really are only in the big group bridal party shots and the bridesmaid photos. Because she wanted me in the wedding as her best friend FIRST, we decided Bri and Holly would photograph the whole ceremony and I would stand beside Lisa and enjoy this moment. Lisa and Brice understood this “risk” (not a real huge risk because both Bri and Holly know what they are doing) but they understood it wasn’t me.

2. Decide Where You are Needed and When

I opted out of being in the getting ready photos because Lisa had so many other bridesmaids to make the background beautiful and you wouldn’t of even noticed me there! I still was in the moment and experience with the girls but my physical body didn’t make a difference to the photos.

I also opted to be the main photographer during most of the reception even though we discussed Bri taking over most of those duties. It was important to me to be hands-on during this time!

Lisa and I decided on my “work” times ahead of the wedding day. I wasn’t starting my work hours until 12 pm, so from the time we got to the salon until then, I got to hang out with everyone else and enjoy the pre-wedding festivities! When 12 pm hit, I whipped out the camera and started to “work” while still being engaged with the activities happening around me!

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3. Prepare Ahead of Time

Being in a wedding party means you are part of a lot more than just the wedding day itself. To make sure Thursday & Friday I could be fully present as a bridesmaid, I made sure to prepare SD cards, camera batteries, printed documents, etc. early in the week. That way I could spend time with everyone Friday after rehearsal and not worry about my gear not being ready to go early in the morning!

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Most of these pictures just look like me doing my regular wedding duties as a photographer…but trust me, I don’t usually look that fancy on wedding days…haha!!

*The hardest part for me was to try and tone down my “kind-of-bossy-kind-of-work” voice during bridal party and family portraits. I didn’t want to be the meany pants, but from the outside it could have looked a little chaotic! That, and also trying to not be super sweaty in all the portraits 😉

I hope this helps a photographer out there who might be in the same situation as me! Remember to breathe and your friends chose you for a reason – they love your HEART and your WORK! Feel honored and drink extra water! You’re going to need it!

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