Hi everyone, I hope you're all well and keeping safe, healthy and happy.

In today's blog, I'm going to share a quick and simple tip that is guaranteed to help you get the best and most flattering shots out of your morning preparations. Without fail!

If you'd rather not read this 1000+ word blog to find out what it is, I'll cut to the chase:

Have your hair and makeup team sit you next to a window and turn the room lights off.
That's it!

Well, there's a little more to it than that, but essentially, that's the principle in a nutshell.
I'll elaborate a little below, but first, a few words about bread (specifically, Pretzels).

What have you all been doing to keep yourselves busy during lockdown?
My wife has been learning Spanish and cross-stitching, and I've been baking bread. Lots of bread.
Although, it's not been easy since yeast is basically impossible to find at the moment. That's fine though, I've had a sourdough starter on the go since December, which is basically wild yeast and there are plenty of recipes where this is a suitable replacement (Don't worry...this is going somewhere wedding-related, I promise!).

A few days ago I made a batch of Pretzels, which came out looking pretty good and were very tasty (8/10...I'll nail it by the time lockdown is over). I decided to take photos of them to post on my Instagram stories, but it was late in the evening, there was no natural light and the tungsten light in my kitchen was making them look pretty gross.
I allowed myself to eat one cheeky Pretzel and decided to wait until the morning so that I could use some of that sweet, sweet window light.
As I was taking photos in the morning light that was pouring in through my kitchen window, I started to think about the part of a wedding day that I enjoy filming the most. Bridal Prep.

Natural window light is king. Ask you hair and makeup team to sit you next to a window.

What do Pretzels have in common with Bridal Prep? Well, Nothing...It's that natural light that got me thinking.
It's what makes bride prep shots look truly beautiful and elegant, and it's why during every pre-wedding call, I tell all of my brides to ask their hair and makeup team to sit them next to a window.
My approach to wedding film making is to remain as hands-off as possible, but there are a few small steps that I'll take to make sure that we can get the most out of your wedding film, and one of those steps is to turn the lights off in the room whilst I'm filming shots of you getting ready.

Let me try and Illustrate my point by using the photos I took of my Pretzels:

Wedding Videographer

The photo on the left is the photo that I took with the room lights on.
Hopefully, you can immediately see what the issue is here.
The light is flat and uninteresting and there's a really unappealing orange tint from tungsten light bulbs (the light bulbs most commonly used in all light fittings).
The whole thing just looks generally amateur, gross and unflattering.
It's this same orange tint that I'm trying to avoid when it comes to filming you getting your hair and makeup done.
We want your make up shots to look elegant, beautiful and flattering. These shots of the film are meant to capture you at your most beautiful. It's an intimate part of the day and crucial to the emotional build-up of your wedding film. I'd absolutely hate you to be taken out of the moment because you notice that something looks off about your makeup and skin tones.

The photo on the right is with nothing but natural window light.
The only thing I did differently, was to turn the lights off and move next to a window. It literally took 2 seconds to make those changes, and they have made the world of difference.
The light is soft, dynamic and interesting. There's no unnatural colour tint and everything looks a lot more flattering and elegant (and tasty, right?!).
In fact, I noticed that every photo in the book where I got the Pretzel recipe uses natural window light. Literally every photo.
And that's because it's a simple trick that takes seconds to implement, but gives consistent professional results, and hopefully, you can see how these principles apply when I'm filming your bride/groom prep.

This approach is SO simple and SO effective, but it sometimes takes a little bit of discussion between your suppliers in the morning.
Generally speaking, your hair and makeup team will have arrived before your video/photo team, so they'll take the lead on where they sit you.
They've got their job to do and the needs of their job will dictate where they set up. I totally get this. They'll need a spot that they can see you clearly and move around freely. They'll also probably need somewhere with a table handy for all of their equipment.
That's all understandable, and I'd hate to give advice that made anyone else's job more difficult, but with your videographer and photographer sharing clips and images on social media (and tagging all of your suppliers from the day) it definitely benefits them to have their work look the absolute best it can.
Take the lead if you can and find a spot by a window before they arrive. Natural light really does benefit everyone!

"Natural Light really does benefit everyone"

Ring lights won't fix this.

Some makeup artists get around any potential issues by bringing a ring light along with them. This makes some sense because ring lights don't have that awful orange tint to them, however, photographically speaking, they still don't look flattering and will still end up making for pretty terrible and unflattering prep shots.
Window light, Window light, Window light. I cannot stress it enough. Literally everyone will benefit from it.

Pick a spot with some space to breathe.

So, as a bonus tip, I'd also recommend choosing somewhere that allows you some space.
You'll have a fair few people around you whilst you're getting ready. Your bridesmaids will be fussing over you, your hair make up team will be doing their thing, and you'll have your photographer and videographer wanting to their best for you as well.
That's why I'd recommend making sure that you aren't huddled into a tight corner or crammed into a small room and you give yourself some space to breathe.
Your photographer and videographer have done this hundreds, if not thousands of times, so they'll have a good instinct of when to give you space and when to get their shots, but it might not as easy for everyone else if they're excited for you and want to fuss over you!
You've invested a lot to get to this point, so try not to get set up in a cramped corner of the room, where you might end up feeling overwhelmed.

So that's it. The key to looking beautiful and elegant in all of your preparation shots.
Sit next to a window and turn the lights off!
It really is that simple.

Thanks for reading and look after yourselves!

Eric | BBF