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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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Bridesmaid AND Photographer | How I Made it Happen For Photographers



You saw Katie and Josh’s beautiful fall wedding two weeks ago…and I was the photographer AND a bridesmaid!! I’ve gotten dozens of questions about how I managed both roles for Katie’s big day, and I’m going to share all of my secrets with you in this post!! Katie was such a sweet bride and is also a photographer herself, so we were able to map out a timeline of the day that allowed me to be present for BOTH roles! If you have a bestie or a family member that wants you to be IN their wedding AND the photographer, here are some things to ask yourself:

  1. Do you want to be present as a bridesmaid during the ceremony, or do you want to photograph it?
  2. What time does PHOTOGRAPHY coverage need to start? This will determine when you need to get your hair and makeup done!
  3. Do you want to be present as a guest during the reception, or are you comfortable photographing it?
  4. Do you need to bring extra shoes/a change of clothes for any part of the day?
  5. Which is more important to the bride: having you IN the wedding or having you PHOTOGRAPH it?

In my situation, Katie hired me as her photographer FIRST, before asking me to be her bridesmaid. Because of this, having me PHOTOGRAPH the wedding was her top priority! In some cases, especially if the bride is a family member or life-long friend, having you present as a BRIDESMAID may be the top priority, and that will change how you approach the wedding day! Because being the PHOTOGRAPHER was the top priority to Katie, here is how we broke down the wedding day:

Getting Ready:

Because I knew I needed to start photographing details at noon, I was the FIRST to get hair and makeup done (starting at 9am!) That way, I could be ready to go and also have some time to hang with the girls before photographer-mode kicked in! The even bigger plus side is that I got to photograph the details in yoga pants 😉 I photographed details and Katie’s bridal portraits, and then Drew photographed the pictures of the bridesmaids helping Katie getting ready, so that I could be in those photos! I made sure that I photographed the GUYS getting ready before I got dressed-so I could take a little break from running around to be present during those moments!

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This is where things get tricky! Drew and I left the bridal suite to photograph the reception and ceremony details before the ceremony started, and then I went to stay with the girls before the processional began. Because having me as the PHOTOGRAPHER for the ceremony was Katie’s top priority, here’s what we did:

1. Drew was photographing guests arriving and the processional. I hid my camera (with lens attached and settings ready to go!) behind the DJ table.

2. I was the FIRST in line in the processional. I waked down the aisle and stood at the altar until the second bridesmaid took her place.

3. As the guests attention was on the processional, I snuck out of my spot, grabbed my camera, and started photographing the rest of the ceremony! Once Katie and Josh were announced husband and wife, I handed my camera over to Drew and popped back in line for the recessional.

*If your bride wants you to be IN the ceremony (and present at the altar the entire time!), then I recommend hiring a THIRD shooter that you TRUST for this part of the day. Have them photograph the ceremony with your second shooter, so that you can focus solely on the ceremony and not on the images!

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We photographed family formals as usual, and then I photographed the groomsmen first! Then, Drew took over and I was in the bridesmaids photos and photos of the full bridal party! I was also in charge of detail shots of florals before popping in the photos myself 🙂 Once the bridal party was finished up, I took over with portraits of Katie + Josh (and they are some of my FAVES, might I add!)

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We scheduled the reception the same way as the ceremony! I was introduced first, and then grabbed my camera (with lens, flash and settings ready to go!) and photographed the rest of the reception as usual (while pausing for a few extra dance breaks that normal) 😉

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also love:

Katie + Josh

Megan Robertson | Fall Senior Session

Caroline + Costa | Sweetheart Session

  1. […] can you do both? That’s impossible”. Well I thought the same thing for a while, until I read Hope Taylor’s blog post when she had the same […]

hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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