Do Satin Dresses Photograph Well? Here’s What You Need to Know

Your wedding dress is one of the most special and important clothing items you’ll ever buy, so you want it to be perfect. You have your eye on a beautiful satin dress, but you’ve heard that it may affect your wedding photos.

So do satin dresses photograph well?

The answer is that it depends. 

If you have your heart set on a satin dress for your wedding, keep reading to find out the challenges they can present and things you can do to ensure that your dress is photographed beautifully.

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Do Satin Dresses Photograph Well?

Satin describes the way that many different types of fabric can be woven to produce a soft, shiny finish. Because of that shine, there can be challenges when it comes to photography — namely, that bright or colored lights can reflect off of the satin weave and make the dress look different than it does in person.

Many people who get married in New York City choose fancy locations where the lighting will be beautiful but not even. There might be:

  • Low, dramatic lighting
  • Bright, flashing lights
  • Or even colored lighting

This can create a problem for an inexperienced photographer who doesn’t know how to operate under those circumstances, especially when it comes to a satin wedding gown. 

However, the potential quality of photography when it comes to satin gowns relies more on the expertise of the photographer and not the material itself. For a seasoned photographer — as you’ll find at Julian Ribinik Photography — who has been working for many years to produce a consistent, strong style, the dress material and lighting don’t matter. A true professional will make your wedding photos look great no matter what.

3 Challenges With Photographing Satin Wedding Dresses

As we’ve said, the right photographer will make sure your satin dress photographs well. But here are some things to look out for if you choose satin for your big day.

#1: Satin Reflects Light

Satin is highly reflective of light, which can create glare in photos — especially when you are photographing in an area where the light is uneven.

Popular New York City area wedding venues such as … 

… and more have lots of low, dramatic, or uneven lighting that is perfect for creating an elegant event, but may not produce the best photos of your satin dress if you don’t have the right photographer.

#2: Satin Creases Easily

So now you know that the shininess of satin doesn’t have to ruin your wedding photos. But is it an easy fabric to take care of?

Specifically, does satin wrinkle?

Satin dresses do tend to crease easily, and they can look wrinkled or crumpled in photographs if the gown is not positioned or placed correctly.

Fortunately, a skilled photographer with a keen eye can ensure that your photos reflect the true beauty of your satin gown. The right photographer will keep an eye out for creasing and make sure that your gorgeous satin gown doesn’t look wrinkled in your wedding photos.

#3: Pure White Gowns Can Look Fluorescent in Photos

Pure white gowns reflect the most light and can create a fluorescent or glaring look in photos. A bright white gown can also cause many of the details that make the dress so special to get lost when photographing it.

If you want a white wedding dress, you may be better off choosing a shade like ivory or cream over pure white, especially if you want a satin finish.

But if you have your heart set on the brightest white for your big day, make sure you have chosen an experienced wedding photographer who will produce stunning pictures of it.

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Is a Satin Wedding Dress a Good Idea?

Absolutely. Any dress can be photographed well by a trained professional. Instead of considering what type of dress will photograph the best, consider what photographer will do the best job. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your gown choice for beautiful photos.

Is satin flattering on you and have you fallen in love with a dress of this type? Then go for it! You should have the dress you love on your big day.

If You Love a Satin Dress, Here Are 3 Things You Can Do to Ensure Your Wedding Photographs Turn Out Well

If you’ve said yes to the dress of your dreams and it happens to be satin, there are some things you can do to make sure your dress looks like it’s fit for a queen in your wedding photos.

#1: Make Sure Your Dress Fits Properly

Most wedding dresses will not fit properly right off the rack. They need alterations — especially if they have a satin finish.

If your dress doesn’t fit just right, it will show in the photos. Make sure any needed alterations are made to make your satin dress fit like a glove.

And don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t feel the alterations were done right the first time! Sometimes it can take two to three sessions of dress fittings to get it perfect.

#2: Choose a Skilled Photographer

If you plan to ask your cousin from Hoboken to take your wedding photos with his iPhone, don’t be surprised if you get back pictures of a glaring white satin dress.

Even some professional photographers don’t have the know-how to make your dress look its best, no matter how shiny it is or what light it’s set in.

Only a highly experienced photographer, like Julian Ribinik, has the knowledge to properly photograph satin dresses and help create the wedding photos of your dreams.

#3: Pick Your Photographer’s Brain on the Best Lighting and Photoshoot Locations for Your Dress

If you don’t have your heart set on a specific location yet or you’re trying to choose between a few different venues, discuss it with your photographer. 

Experienced photographers have shot weddings all around the city and will be able to look at your dress and give you some tips about which lighting and photoshoot locations will work best with a satin finish.

What to Discuss With Your Photographer if You Choose a Satin Dress

If you have already picked your dress before you’ve chosen a photographer and you’re worried about their ability to photograph satin, you should discuss this with them.

Whatever the Ask to See Example Photos They Have Taken With Satin Dresses

An experienced photographer should be able to show you their portfolio, including wedding photos featuring satin dresses.

Closely examine the photos and see if they’re up to your standard. If the dress … 

  • Looks beautiful on the bride
  • Shows every detail; and
  • Doesn’t look shiny

… in the photos, then you can trust the photographer to produce high-quality photos of you in your satin wedding dress

Ask What Precautions They Will Take to Ensure Your Satin Dress Photographs Well

An experienced photographer should be more than willing to “shed light” — pun intended — on their expertise regarding taking pictures of satin wedding dresses.

Whether it’s … 

  • Using special equipment
  • Featuring direct vs. indirect lighting
  • Using specific angles
  • Or other techniques

… your photographer should have a plan around how he or she will create the most beautiful memories of your wedding featuring your satin dress.

Consider Julian Ribinik Photography for Your New York Wedding

If you’re planning a wedding in New York City, you can’t make a better choice than Julian Ribinik Photography.

Experience matters and Julian Ribinik Photography has it. You want your wedding photographer to be able to produce gorgeous photos — no matter your gown type or location.

We will pull out all the photography tricks we’ve learned through the years to make sure your gown — and your entire wedding day — is lit and photographed beautifully.

Contact us today!

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Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography

330 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

(212) 256-1646