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A small percentage of brides opt to create an album of glamorous or even sexy images of themselves before the wedding, which can then be presented to the groom on the wedding day. This may involve location work undertaken in the bride's own home, or might take place in a suitable hotel room with large windows and good light. Studios can also be used but often prove to be rather sterile.

The first step is probably to establish for what purpose the bride wants the images. The most common reason is that, on her wedding day, she wishes to present her new husband with a set of tasteful but slightly suggestive images of herself. The next stage is to agree on the clothing she will bring to the session to create an atmosphere consistent with her objectives. She might choose suitable lingerie, nightwear or even some mixture of her own underwear and her husband's clothing. Whatever the decision, she should have available at least two or three different outfits.

Make-up is important for a session such as this, as is preparation of the bride's hair, although loose free-flowing hair is often appropriate. The photographer's objective should be to encourage the bride in whatever direction makes her feel beautiful in a way that her husband would appreciate. The eyes of the subject are critically important to the establishment of the required atmosphere, and the woman should therefore be encouraged to take particular care with eye make-up.

Pictures of this type are rarely revealing, but it is important to talk openly with the bride to clarify how much of her body she wishes to reveal. Some subjects will inevitably be much more daring than others. In general, use a standard or portraiture lens and work fairly close to the subject. Large out-of-focus areas of the body are often suggestive without being revealing.

Clearly with this type of photography, it is important to have a photographic relationship with the bride based upon mutual respect and trust. Good images can only be obtained when the subject relaxes, reveals her innermost feelings for her husband, and communicates these through the camera. The photographer must therefore do everything possible to relax the subject. Talk to her, laugh and joke, put her at her ease or even play some appropriate music.


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