Madlyn : Bridal | McGowan Images Blog


Madlyn : Bridal

I don’t think a bridal post has ever been so anticipated in the history of the world. Ok, maybe princesses, or famous people. But at least in OUR world, this is one of the most anticipated sessions we’ve ever shared. We’re so looking forward to the reaction, especially after the sneak peek we posted a few months ago got such raves!

Put simply, Madlyn is a dream to photograph. She came to us with a vision, an idea that she wanted her bridal portraits to be unusual, and in her words, “maybe just a little creepy”. Partnering with her wedding coordinator/makeup artist/frequent McG collaborator MegB, we came up with a plan for a bridal session in two halves. We wanted to capture both the soft beauty of Madlyn as a bride, and also the uniqueness of her style & personality, and I feel like as a team, we absolutely accomplished that. I personally photographed a couple of my favorite images of all time on this shoot, and I’m so grateful for brides who encourage us to think outside our own box, and give us the space to really create ART for them.

This post really needs no further gilding with words… we just really want you to see the pictures. Enjoy.

This birdcage veil and drop pendant just killed me in the best way.

And for the second half of the session, a little change in scenery… and lipstick.

The piece de resistance, a collaborative effort with a stylist, an assistant, two light techs, and one stubborn photographer…

Madlyn, thank goodness you finally got married. I think if I’d had to keep these to myself one more week, I’d have died in a spontaneous brain-splosion.

Blogstalkers, chime in down in the comment section! And don’t forget to come back at the end of the week to see our favorite images from this beautiful girl’s wedding!

  1. KaylaS says:

    I feel fairly special that I got to take a peek at more of these than most did a one point but all of them together are just killin me! She’s just the prettiest thing and these def go in McGowan Images Epic Photos! Job exelcelletnly well done!

  2. Mad says:

    You’d have thought we’d had a meeting on which ones to put up. You didn’t disappoint in your selection my dear!! I’ve never been so proud of pictures in my life! Thank y’all so much for making this happen!!!

  3. jenn says:

    GAHHH…Just stunning. She’s the most beautiful bride and I love the edge in the last set! I can’t pick a favorite on these – they’re all just too good! Some that did really stand out to me are the 4th pic in the first set, and then then 8th and 12th in the last set. Again, they’re all gorgeous – Congrats!

  4. Kendall says:

    Quit it. Stop. I can’t. Between her hair which pretty much makes me insanely jealous, the ridiculously yummy lighting and the styling – no words. Favorites of the year right here. I know where my best of votes go now.

  5. Mickey Lackey says:

    That is some amazing work! The vision, the composition… just striking. Of course, you had a good subject to start with as well!

  6. MegB says:

    I just… FINALLY!! It’s so nice to *finally* have these out in the open. I don’t think I’VE ever been prouder of a session – and I was standing behind the camera (albeit, brush and other touch up supplies in hand)!! I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks today – if you were debating leaving a comment – please do!! We’d love to know what you think ;))

  7. Monica Farmer says:

    GAH!!!!! Such gorgeousness!!! Absolutely stunning!!! This should definitely be a full spread in Vogue!!!

  8. Courtney says:

    “Killed me in the BEST way!!!” I couldn’t think of a more perfectly appropriate description! These are SO enchanting. I love the elegance, the dark beauty and how every setting completely accentuates Madlyn’s stunning features. They are absolute perfection!! Bravo! Cheers! Kudos! Splendid! More! More! More!

  9. Lexi C. says:

    Wow, just Wow!! I think this goes down as one of my favorites of all time. Meg your ideas are just amazing, and I love how these guys bring it to life. Just amazing work!!

  10. Dawn says:

    FINALLY!! Man, scrolling through this post was like a really great movie… long, with a lot of details to take in, but not enough! And then, of course, you go through it again =P.

  11. Cindy says:

    Amazing job! These are gorgeous images. Really love the smoke and dramatic lighting. 3rd from last is my FAVE. 😉

  12. Adria says:

    Just the perfect combination of beauty, creativity, drive, and plain ol’ talent. That’s really all there is to say. Perfection.

  13. BreAnn says:

    Absolutely stunning. Best McG bridal portraits ever. I love how the second half has a very “Corpse Bride” feel to it. So cool. Plus, she is just so gorgeous – she is perfect in both styles. Very nice!

  14. Heather says:

    I agree with Cindy. LOVE the fog! And the 3rd from the last is my fav!

  15. Are you freaking KIDDING me??!! These are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. ann says:

    Stunning. Epic.

  17. Paige Ann says:

    Gorgeous–absolutely gorgeous. Oh my, those in the fog are breathtaking. The vision and execution were perfection.

  18. Audree says:


  19. Ashlie says:

    This is EXACTLY the style I love. And a little of what I went for in my own wedding. This makes me want to take bridal portraits all over again! Maybe I’ll have to plan something with you guys when we reach our 5 year anniversary in about a year and a half from now…

  20. Natalie says:

    I mean! These are just ridiculous! My sister might be the most beautiful woman in THE world 🙂

  21. Leesa says:

    amazing! absolutely breathtaking!! I love the out of ordinary and how excited you get about making truly original art with your photography!

  22. Lynne says:

    Not to discount the work that you guys all did, and I don’t even know Madlyn, but my guess is you couldn’t take a bad picture if you tried. Gorgeous subject. Now, to McG and MegB – you make something already beautiful just POP off the (web) page – not everyone can do that. Lots of people can make people “pretty” or take “good” pictures, but what you did here is just magic. Well done!

  23. Angela S says:

    These are fabulously spooky and perfect for this season! Ya’ll did an awesome job with the photos, props, makeup, and the girl is just gorgeous too! Shout out for bringing in a fog machine (I’m assuming it wasn’t photoshopped in). Great job light/tech guys!

  24. Carolyn says:

    Wow! Stunning and breathtaking shots! Beautiful subject and awesome creativity. Madlyn rocks being photogenic!

  25. Vanja says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorite sessions you guys have ever done (and all of your work is amazing)!

  26. Loren says:

    Perfect. Perfect. Stunning. Perfect. I can’t . . . with the words and sentences. Just . . . GAH-LEEEE! Gorgeous.

  27. Toi says:

    OMG OMG OMG!!! This shoot was prettier than I even imagined! I love the image you started the post with but, as a country girl, I absolutely love, love the one where she is sitting in the chair with the collapsed barn behind her! Then I love the one with her birdcage veil & she is looking down with her arms crossed. Then, with the black veil, my favorite is the very close-up of her looking to the right. Her beautiful eyes, dark red lipstick and a black birdcage veil? Geez, nothing gets much better than that!! I love the ‘dark’ ones, especially the 2nd & 3rd pictures. McG absolutely hit a homerun out of the ballpark. It makes me so proud to know I get to have a McG & Me day with you. Hopefully, some of your creativity will rub off. Awesome job!!

  28. Toi says:

    Oh, sorry my response was so long. I got a little too excited!! 🙂

  29. Amber B. says:

    oMG!! Are you kidding me. Best. Photo. Shoot. Epic. Y’all are amazing and she’s stunning!! Oh my goodness!! Ok I’m happy to be saving to do a boudoir with Chelsea and MegB!! This and the Vegas plane shoot in the desert last year are my fave!!

  30. bobbileigh says:

    The black and white in the first set and then the second one with the fog are just perfection. The first one is perfect bridal just beautiful and the second one is so different and I just love them both!

  31. Willum Lackey says:

    I said it the first time any of the sneak peeks were revealed 4 months ago, and I’ll say it again, that I am sorry to everybody for making this such a torturous wait for the McG’s, Madlyn, and whoever else had been waiting to see her bridals. Seeing her in all of her full wedding day glory for the first time the day we got married was more than worth the wait. Thanks again Chelsea and Mack!

  32. Lori says:

    I am just in AWWW of these pictures… They are the most beautiful I think I have ever seen.. Madlyn is a beautiful woman, but these pictures reflect her inner beauty as well.. Gorgeous is the one word that would use to sum up her pictures..

  33. Stephanie Polk says:

    Wow. I see Mady everyday as a coworker and friend . Work and planning this wedding have given me the opportunity to see many sides of her personality. The photo that I absolutely love is the one with the big smile on her face, head looking left. It captures her natural beauty and sweet, happy spirit! She is beautiful inside and out! Amazing photos. Thank you

  34. Ty Craven says:


  35. Lisa Michelle says:

    DUDES…… chills, ENVY—in so many greens, and pure lust. When I look at images that, A. make me wish to God that I had taken them, and B. make me wish to God that I was half as beautiful as the woman in the images, I just…. wow. Pure Gold my friends. And I would LOVE to have her images plastered all over my walls. Creepy? Hmmmm…. Amazing doesn’t even describe it. I’m lusting after all of you…. watch out!

  36. Ashley says:

    WOW she is beyond gorgeous–that hair!!

  37. Mandaroo says:

    Seriously she is absolutely gorgeous! Like a porcelain doll! Seriously the very first picture is my favorite! Stunning!!!

  38. Jean Simmons says:

    You’ve captured the essence of Madlyn’s beauty….inside and out!

  39. Jordyn Pitts says:

    I’m sitting here trying to come up with something to say that could even remotely describe how I feel about these photographs….but instead, I just keep scrolling back through them. I think that speaks for itself. I feel the need to paint some of these…they’re just so amazing. McG and MegB do it again!!

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