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Getting married can be one of the most exciting, emotional, and scary days of your life. It’s not only an extremely important transition, but you’re ideally surrounded by those most dear to your heart, celebrating your love and future to come. As a top wedding preparation photographer, Lake Shore Photography and Video captures every minute detail of this joyous occasion, from those last-minute essential getting ready shots to when the lights slowly turn back on at the end of the reception.


Every once in a while, we have clients who, for whatever reason, ask us to arrive at a later time or limit how many photos we take of them in the morning. While it makes sense that some might prefer getting their photo taken after their makeup and hair has been done — of course, if this is the case for you or your partner, we honor your request and wishes — getting photos of you in the early stages is a really sweet beginning to your wedding story.

Every couple is obviously different, and it’s essentially up to you when you would like our wedding preparation photographer to arrive. That being said, we always secretly hope that a bride and groom allows us to capture those tender moments when you are getting ready for the big day. No two couples are the same, and therefore, no two wedding or preparation processes look the same, either. Capturing your individual process truly adds to what makes you and your partner a couple. Again, while it’s up to you when you would like our wedding preparation photographer to arrive, keep in mind the following reasons as to why getting ready photos are so crucial to telling your complete story:

1. Getting ready wedding photos are essential to illustrate the full story of your wedding day

More often than not, your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be the people closest to you and your significant other. So not only is this a great opportunity for you and your friends to get some goofy shots you’ll treasure forever, but it’s also pretty unlikely all these people will be together in the same room again with you. Getting pictures of these pure moments will help you preserve these memories. Even more, a lot of couples decide not to be with each other the night before their special day or even see each other at the beginning. When your partner sees the photos our wedding preparation photographer takes of you getting ready for the first time, he/she will be able to truly understand and experience what you were going through before you stood at the altar saying I do.

2. The beginning of the day is when you look your best

At the start of the day is when you look your best. You just got your hair and/or makeup done, or just got a fresh, clean shave, and are ready to go. Your flowers are fresh and your dress (or tux) have no wrinkles. Essentially, everything, including you, is at its peak. Who wouldn’t want photos of them glowing with anticipation?

3. When a bride is getting ready, it’s the perfect time for a photographer to warm up

When our wedding preparation photographer arrives, we won’t just sit there for an hour taking tons of photos of you getting your hair and makeup done. While this time is key for getting some major shots, it also gives us the opportunity to test out different angles, camera lenses and lighting, as well as time to get some creative juices flowing.

4. Getting ready photos give our wedding prep photographer the chance to photograph those extra details

You’ve spent months if not years planning for this important day, from what flavor cake you want to how long your first dance will last. You’ve put so much effort into each little thing about this day, and most of your bridal pieces — like your dress, veil, and shoes — will likely not be worn more than once. This is also the time when our wedding preparation photographer can capture shots of your invitations, rings, dress and any other wedding detail that might be personal to you and/or essential to telling the story of your big day. 30 years from now, you’ll be able to go back and relive it as if you were actually there.

5. Taking getting ready photos gives you and your bridal party the chance to become more comfortable in front of the camera

One of the most useful parts about using this time to take getting ready photos is that the bridal party, family members, and the couple themselves will be able to meet our wedding preparation photographer and become familiarized with the camera. Taking getting ready photos is a great way to help everyone, especially those who may be a bit more self-conscious, become accustomed to being photographed. This will be helpful because when the time comes to take bridal party photos, everyone will feel much relaxed and the result will be unbelievable.


Our wedding photography process begins by talking to you and your partner about what package works best for you, and setting up a meeting. At our initial meeting, I get as much information as I can about you as a couple and determine which style of wedding photography you like best. As we prepare for this meeting, we create a list of questions that we will ask you, so come prepared to make some choices!

We won’t just talk to you about our work; we will bring wedding photo albums to showcase examples that we’ve done for other couples to help you understand and get a better idea of what we can do for you. We will discuss what details you’d like photographed, who is most important, etc. It’s important that you share any creative vision you might have with us beforehand, so that we can easily shoot any specific getting ready shots you might want the day of.

On your wedding day, we recommend that our wedding preparation photographer arrives with an hour left of preparation. While you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen are busy getting ready, our wedding preparation photographer will begin by taking photos of the scenery and atmosphere, as well as getting really great and creative images of all your wedding details and essential accessories.

After this, we will begin photographing the groom and his groomsmen while the bride finishes getting ready. In the last minutes of the hair and makeup stage, we will be getting some last-minute closeups of the bride getting ready. Our wedding preparation photographer is unbelievable at capturing the little candid moments that you will undoubtedly miss as you’re getting ready for your big day. Immediately following preparation, we will shoot individual portraits of the bride and groom. Since the day has not become completely hectic yet, we can take the time needed to take perfect shots of you and your partner.



Out of all of the excitement that comes with your wedding day, the last-minute touch-ups and anticipation usually produces the best candid photos of your entire day. Not only do getting ready shots show you having fun with some of your best friends, but they also serve as a reminder of your very final minutes of single life. You and your best friends will be able to fondly cherish these pics, and it won’t hurt that you will all look astonishingly beautiful in them, too. Here are some tips from an experienced wedding preparation photographer on how to take the best getting ready photos:

1. Pick a spacious setting with a lot of natural light — Since you’ll be spending a large amount of your day getting all dolled up in this room, make sure to choose a pre-wedding location with a lot of extra space. There is a good chance that tons of people will be in there with you when you get ready, and there’s nothing worse than feeling cramped on an important day like this one. Also, to capture the best getting ready photos, make sure the room you’re getting ready in has a well lit window or lights that can be turned softer, to capture natural light.

2. Clean the room — While getting ready can be a very exciting time and we love the celebratory champagne in the morning, it’s really important to throw away any loose trash, hang up any extra clothes and dresses, and hide all suitcases in the hallway or under the beds. Not only will having less clutter around help you stay calm and relaxed, but will also help our wedding preparation photographer take formal, clean photos of you and your bridal party.

3. Have the bridal party match — Getting ready photos look so much more classy if your bridesmaids are showing off their adorable bridesmaids color-coordinated outfits or robes, or flower crowns, whatever it might be, that makes them match in some way. Instead of wearing different types of shirts in various colors that could clash, it’s important to make sure that what your bridesmaids wear reflect the overall theme of your wedding to make your getting ready portraits feel like a ton of extra thought was put into them (which they were!).


Located in the heart of Chicago, Lake Shore Photography and Video is one of the best wedding preparation photography companies in the city. With more than 15 years working in the photography industry, we know just what it takes to make sure your wedding day preparation photos are as candid, authentic, and memorable as possible. Our goal is to capture those little candid moments of you throughout the day so you don’t have to pose until your cheeks are sore.

Let us document one of your life’s greatest moments, so you’ll be able to relive it for years to come! Call us today at 847-687-2336 or contact us here and speak with our experienced wedding bridal preparation photographer for a free quote!

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