For bride and grooms-to-be that aren't huge fans of having their photo taken, a pre-wedding / engagement shoot can be something that fills them with absolute dread and horror. The idea of voluntarily having an extra photo shoot on top of a full day of wedding photography, seems like adding to the stress and anxiety that wedding planning can sometimes bring.
However, pre-wedding shoots are in fact perfect for such camera-shy couples. In Part 2 of this post, I will explain how to make the most of your engagement shoot, but below I have listed just a few of the benefits of having a pre-wedding shoot. Let's take a little look...
1. It provides time to get to know your photographer.
Wait! Forget about all things photography for a second (yes I can't believe I just said that either)! One of the biggest benefits of having a pre-wedding shoot is the quality time you have with your wedding photographer. Getting to know each other a little better during a relaxed shoot means that come the wedding day, your photographer will be a familiar face and not simply a stranger with a camera. Feel free to ask them questions, find common interests and have a bit of a laugh and joke together.
2. You get a chance to practice simple poses
I'm not one for elaborate posing that only contortionists can achieve, but simple guidance on the placing of limbs, chins and torsos can really help you to love yourselves in photos. The pre-wedding shoot allows you to practice which stances feel comfortable and flatter you. You can also try different poses over and over without worrying about entertaining guests or rehearsing your speech for one last time. Come the big day, this will make you feel a lot more confident and in control, resulting in wedding photos that will turn your guests green with envy!
3. Your photographer learns more about you as a couple
I love how every couple I shoot is unique. Meeting different people is one of the highlights of my job and I think it is important that your relationship is reflected perfectly in your wedding photos. A pre-wedding shoot enables me to establish the type of couple you are and how best to document this. For example, romantic couples who love to hold hands and cuddle will feel comfortable doing this in photos. However, if you are not a "touchy-feely" couple, it is best to find this out before the wedding day, so we can ensure that how we photograph you isn't at odds with how you see yourselves. You may even prefer some quirky and humorous shots and we can also explore this during the pre-shoot.
4. You can provide feedback on the images from the shoot.
I find it really useful to chat briefly to couples following the pre-wedding shoot to find out which images they did and didn't like. It might be that they preferred the full length shots as opposed to the close-ups, or that their favourite images were the ones in which they weren't looking directly at the camera. Knowing this, I can ensure that these are the type of shots we focus on during your wedding day, which saves time on the day and allows you to get back to your guests that little bit sooner (if you want to)!
5. We can talk about how your plans are going and any concerns you have
I advise couples to have their engagement shoot about 3 months before the big day. This is close enough that any tips or ideas we discuss are easy to remember at the wedding, but far enough in advance that it isn't a last minute stress. It is great to share how your wedding plans are going and any concerns you have - both specific to photography and in general. Wedding photographers know a range of other wedding industry professionals that may be able to assist with any last minute issues or concerns that you may be experiencing. A pre-wedding shoot is a perfect opportunity to iron-out any problems or last-minute hiccups!
Hopefully those of you who were dreading your pre-wedding shoot or didn't quite see the reasons for having one feel more reassured. It really is nothing to worry about and all my couples end up having a really enjoyable few hours out and about with me.
I offer a complimentary pre-wedding shoot with all of my full-day wedding packages as I feel it is so important to build a trusting relationship with my clients before the big day. This can take place at a location that is meaningful to you or be based around an activity that you both enjoy doing together (keep it clean though)!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post all about how to make the most of your pre-wedding shoot.
Have a great week
Ross Willsher Photography
Images as individual as you are