Searching for "Pre-Wedding Shoot" on Google or Pinterest would be enough to scare the most engaged couples. They are likely to be bombarded with a plethora of cheesy poses and clichéd images. Combine this with the belief that they hate having their photo taken or that they don't take a good photo, and a pre-wedding shoot might soon fall down the to - do list of the wedding project. Pre-Wedding Shoot Ideas There are a lot of natural creative images hidden in the search results that truly reflect the relationship between couples. While not all photographers advocate it, a pre-wedding shoot is something I've always offered as part of my service.
Like many other elements of your wedding day, photography is often booked months in advance, so shooting is a great opportunity to catch up and get to know your photographer a little bit better. It might even be the first time I've met a couple of people, having had our previous conversations through phone, email, and Skype.
At the shoot, I'm looking to reassure you about my approach to creating relaxed bride and groom portraits, and make sure you know exactly what to expect in the daytime. This trust means that when the wedding day comes, we'll be able to capture some fantastic images quickly and easily without keeping you away from your guests for too long.
Of course, pre-wedding shooting also means an extra set of images for you to share and enjoy. They're also great to use on signing boards, guestbooks, or if you want to get ahead of the game and pre-print your thank-you cards.
Timing Most of my couples are planning to shoot a few months before the big day. It's a great way to start the final build-up, and if you're planning to use any of the images on a day, it's important to give yourself and your photographer enough time to put the images and prints together.
The time of day for your shooting is probably even more important. My preference is to try to catch the low evening sun during 'Golden Hour' and this is also something that can be taken into account in your discussions about your wedding day itself. I'm always going to keep an eye on the setting sun as the wedding reception starts to swing.
Location Often couples assume that we're going to their wedding venue to shoot, but for me, and most of my photography colleagues, this isn't really necessary. Finding something meaningful to you is more important, and you might consider a location that will give a contrasting image style to the wedding day.
Walks in the countryside are popular, but the city center can be just as beautiful a setting. The more unusual the better it is! I've even been to the movies to create some fun portraits for a couple of movie lovers.
Outfit Your outfit is definitely one of those elements where it's about doing whatever you feel comfortable with. If you want to get dressed up, go for it, but if you feel uncomfortable or overdressed, it's usually shown in the pictures.
I've often seen American photographers offering 'up to three changes to the outfit' but I don't think that's typical here! However, wearing layers can be a great way to get a slightly different look without a complete change of costume. Some of the brides match the shoot with their hair and make-up. Your shooting is also a great excuse for a date, so why don't you book a table and make an evening out of it?
A quick note on handbags; ladies love them, but I'm usually the one left to hold them on pre-wedding shoots! If you're not planning to wear a photo bag, it's usually better to leave it in the car (though some of them do suit me!) Posing Every photographer has a slightly different approach when it comes to posing. I think the most important thing is to put on one side any preconceptions about having your photo taken. You don't have to freeze, you don't always have to look at the camera, and you don't always have to smile. I'm trying to capture images that reflect your relationship, so less is more often than not. I like to think that I'm directing rather than posing my couples in an attempt to keep things looking and feeling real.
In the end, whether you have a shoot before your wedding day is down to you and your choice as a photographer, but don't let those cheesy search results put away what should be a fun experience producing beautiful images and helping you have an even better wedding day.