1) Pin the look
Image: Celestine Ang and Kelvin Chua's pre-wedding shoot in Melbourne by L Photography Melbourne
Once you've decided on the theme, look and concept of your bridal portraits, check out the magazines and online for bridal looks that would suit the overall feel of the pictures. If you're shooting at a hotel with colonial architecture, then perhaps old world glamour makeup would be perfect.
If the wild outdoors is more your style, then go for a more pretty, rustic boho look. Just be sure to pick a few options that you can show your makeup artist.
2) Work with your makeup artist
Image: Romantic Coney Island shoot by Love by Cindy Bri
Once you've decided on a bridal makeup look, discuss the references with your makeup artist and work out which look suits your features best.
Not every makeup look you see in bridal magazines or online is suitable for you, so trust your makeup artist to adapt the reference look for your features.
3) Keep it pretty and romantic
Image: Cheryl Wee and Roy Fong's pre-wedding shoot in Europe
Some brides think they have to go all out for their wedding; they try different hair colours or gown designs that are one-of-a-kind but in a bad way.
Remember that the wedding portraits should focus on the couple and you should always look your best - naturally beautiful and joyous.
4) Dress right
Besides the right hair and makeup, dress right for the theme and concept of your bridal pics.
I have come across brides dressed in big, poufy princess gowns shooting at Bishan park and looking totally out of place - a princess running in a park with HDB flats in the background doesn't gel well, imo.
In order to get the right bridal wardrobe to match the look and theme of your shoot, check out the beautiful fashion spreads in Her World Brides and Female Brides, or go online and see how the best bridal portraits are styled.
So if you want to experiment with your hair colour or try the latest trending wedding gown design, just make sure you look stylish, pretty and romantic in an elegant and sophisticated way. We don't want to look back on our bridal portraits years later and regret some of the fashion or beauty choices we made then.
5) Check out portfolios
Image: Nicole Huang and Nigel Goh's pre-wedding shoot in New Zealand by Androidsinboots
Look at various photographers' portfolios and check if their style is what you wish for your portraits. Take note of what they focus on - is it the couple, the bride, the location or the wedding gown?
Is the photographer's style more spontaneous, posed, fashion-forward or experimental? It's always easier to work with a photographer who understands what you want and is used to shooting in the style that you like.
You would be asking for trouble if you book a photog that specialises in journalistic pictures and expect him to shoot fashion-foward pictures that is totally not his/her forte.
6) Note the light/ DI tricks
Image: Wendy Quek and Daryl Lim's pre-wedding shoot in Chiang Mai with Digio Bridal
When checking a photographer's portfolio, take note if he/she uses artificial lights for most of his/her pictures, or natural light.
The feel and mood of a picture depends not only on the location but also the quality of light.
Take note whether the photographer uses a lot of DI techniques and tricks for his pictures; from my experience it's always best to work with photographers who rely on DI for enhancements and not as the main tool for creating the picture, unless there is a visual concept that requires it.