Let's start by describing the morning preparations...
I always try my best to convince couples to have their Bridal (or sometimes Groom) preparations photographed because it’s a perfect visual lead-up to your wedding pictures, during this time I capture so many great moments and good lighting always help capture these in a more elegant way.
Brides often get very paranoid in regards to preparations photography because they'll feel uncomfortable being photographed with no makeup on or some seem to think that I will be in the room with them while they are getting changed into their wedding dress, I can reassure you now that's not how it works! I am very courteous to the Brides needs and will always leave the room prior to anyone getting changed, and I just ask to be called back into the room once you feel comfortable. Each Brides comfort differs from person to person; some ask me to return once the back of the dress is due to be fastened and some call me back once their fully clothed, either is fine.
How can I help improve the photographs during my preparations?
Lighting, lighting and more lighting, I can't over exaggerate this enough! I would recommend getting prepared in a clean spacious room with windows that let in enough daylight to light the room evenly whilst the lights off, this can be easily achieved by renting out homes or getting ready in a bed and breakfasts instead of hotel rooms because most hotels contain signs such as 'no-smoking' and very peculiar carpet choices. Also, please ensure you're not getting natural light confused with florescent lighting, florescent lighting is blue and will make your skin look blue/green when being photographed.
Often I arrive shortly after the hair or make-up professional arrives but the most common occurrence is that some hair professionals often unintentionally prioritise your seat location near or next to a plug or power supply which tends to be the darkest corner of the room with the least flattering light, obviously you want your photography to be amazing and usually once the team have set camp it is quite difficult to move locations so my advice to you is to open all the curtains in the room so you can get as much natural light as possible and also position your chair so that you are sat in that natural light, getting everyone to work around you.
My aim is to arrive at the wedding ceremony location 45 minutes prior to the wedding starting, the consequence to this is that if you require a photograph of yourself in your wedding dress or a fun portrait session of your bridal party and bridesmaids then you will need to be in your wedding dress earlier than expected, this is not always necessary as you could potentially be getting ready really close-by.