After the date has been set, it is time to start thinking about all the little details that will make your wedding just as you have always dreamed it. One of the first items to check off your list is the photographer and appointments for your bridal shoot.

To help you get ready for this important day and look beautiful in front of the camera, we called several professional makeup artists, hairstylists and photographers for tips on preparing for your bridal portrait. This how-to-guide will help you create a picture that you and your spouse will treasure for a lifetime.


What should I look for in a photographer?


First of all, you have to like their style. Write down your top picks and then visit their Web sites. Decide if their style of photography is what you like, and then visit them in person. - Darrick Wilson, Darrick Wilson Photography, Little Rock


When you meet with the photographer, make sure you feel comfortable with them because they are going to be with you through every step of your wedding. They are going to be there when you are getting ready, when you are nervous, when you are happy, upset, etc. They are going to be in your face the whole time, so pick someone who makes you feel comfortable. - Debbie Brower, Image Forward Photography, Texarkana

How early should I book the photographer?



Book the photographer right after you decide that you want to use him or her. Think ahead, because wedding photographers can only do one wedding per day, and the most popular months could be booked a year in advance. For me, the most popular months this year were May, June, October and November. - Jason Hudson, Hudson Photography, Fayetteville


As soon as you know when the final alterations on your dress will be finished, talk to your photographer about dates for your bridal shoot. Do not wait until the last minute, because available dates could be booked and you need to allow time to get the portrait back before the wedding. - Larry Odom, Focus Photography, Little Rock


What should I do to prepare for my bridal shoot?

Schedule a consultation with your hairdresser and the person who will be doing your makeup. Try to make this appointment at least a week before your picture so that you will have time to fix anything you don't like. Also, color your hair at least one to two weeks before your pictures or your wedding. If you don't like it, you will have time to change it. Plus, there will be time for it to fade a little and look more natural. Keep your hair dirty the day of an up-do. - Mina Roy, Frisor Mina Salon, Little Rock

Ask your florist to prepare a bouquet for the picture. It should be comparable to what you will have on your wedding day so you can see if you like your whole look together. Plus, it gives you something to do with your hands at the shoot. - Debbie Brower, Image Forward Photography

Get on a good skin regimen to clear up skin issues before your picture. Also, do not get your brows waxed or a facial at least two weeks before the shoot. - Lindsey Carpenter, Glo Limited, Little Rock

Think ahead before you make the appointment for your bridal shoot. Pick a time that allows you enough daylight for an outside location but that also allows you time to get your hair and makeup done that morning. Make all the appointments so that you can get to the studio or location on time. - Ashley Carson, Ashley Carson Photography, Little Rock


How should I do my makeup on the day of the shoot?

Make sure that the person doing your makeup knows that it is for a picture. I often recommend brides visit the Mac counter in Dillard's because they have a great knowledge of makeup for photography. - Jason Hudson, Hudson Photography

Try not to wear glitter makeup. It looks pretty in person, but the camera does not view it that way. I've found that the glitter only shows up in one spot and it looks odd. It will sparkle on your nose, cheek or eyelid and then nothing else! - Larry Odom, Focus Photography

When you go for your consultation, take pictures. This will give you a better idea of how it will look under the camera on the day of the shoot. Also, wear more makeup than usual. Use base and powder to cover your imperfections, especially if you will be shooting outside. Also, apply foundation all the way to your neckline, if not farther, so that you will have an even skin tone. Individual false eyelashes are also really beautiful if applied correctly. Highlight the eye right underneath the brow and make sure that you bring powder with you to keep shine away. - Lindsey Carpenter, Glo Limited


Use earth tones on your eyes. Make your eyes stand out, not your eye shadow. A bride should look like herself, but a better self. She should look beautiful and radiant. - Debbie Brower, Image Forward Photography

What should I think about when choosing a location for my bridal shoot?

You don't have to have an elaborate background, just a pretty setting if you want the focus to be on you. If you want to have the focus on the background, then that will help you decide what location you need. - Darrick Wilson, Darrick Wilson Photography

Pick a place where you are comfortable and that reflects you, but keep in mind that some places are public. So before you pick a city park or a downtown location, keep in mind that we cannot rearrange tours or shut the place down. You may be limited to using a public restroom [as a dressing room] and you might have to work around tourists or people in the background. - Larry Odom, Focus Photography


If your wedding is in the spring or summer, but you want a fall look in your pictures, take them ahead of time. Also, try to make your appointment for a time of year when you won't be sweating outside. - Ashley Carson, Ashely Carson Photography

What should I bring to the photo shoot?

Remember to eat at least a small meal before the shoot. - Darrick Wilson, Darrick Wilson Photography

Bring everything you will need for your wedding day to the bridal shoot. Remember things like your slip, shoes, veil and makeup for touchups. - Debbie Brower, Image Forward Photography

After you leave the salon and head to the shoot, make sure you bring bobby pins, lip color, oil-blotting sheets and hairspray. - Mina Roy, Frisor Mina Salon


If you are shooting at an outdoor location, do not wear your actual wedding shoes. Wear heels, but cheap heels; no one will ever know the difference. Also, remember your dress will probably get dirty. Just expect to get it dry-cleaned between the shoot and your wedding day. - Jason Hudson, Hudson Photography


Remember to bring an emergency kit with Shout wipes, needle and thread, and makeup. Also, bring special jewelry to wear that day. Wear something that is important to you or that you want featured with you and the dress. - Ashley Carson, Ashley Carson Photography

Bring a friend to help you get around and set up that day, but limit yourself to one or two people. If you bring an entourage, there will be too many people present and often too many opinions represented. - Larry Odom, Focus Photography