What is a pre-wedding shoot?
If you follow any of the wedding blogs, then you will probably be familiar with this idea but for those of you who aren’t, a pre-wedding shoot or engagement session is when you meet up with your photographer before the wedding to take some images of you both as a couple. Often couples use these images for ‘Save the date’ cards or on their wedding websites or even as a signing boards on the actual wedding day. Sometimes they just keep them to themselves!
Why choose a pre-wedding shoot?
There are so many benefits to planning a pre-wedding shoot. The one consistent thing with my job is that when it comes to meeting couples for the first time, usually one of them is worried about having their picture taken. And I get that…I really, really do. If I’m totally honest with you, there’s a reason that I chose to be behind the camera! I pull all kinds of strange and freaky faces when faced with the other side of the lens as anyone who knows me will testify….in fact, I have to fight an overwhelming desire to run screaming into the horizon! However, it’s something I’ve had to practice and get used to and in doing so, it’s given me a fabulous understanding about how my couples feel. As a result, everything about how I shoot couples portraits is centered around making you feel relaxed and calm. It’s also very much about laughing and having fun! A pre-wedding shoot introduces you to how it feels to be in front of the camera before your actual wedding day and it will remove any fears and nerves you might have about doing so. It can also help with removing any possible ‘Chandler’ faces too!
The other fantastic thing about a pre-wedding shoot is that provides us with the time to get to know each other. I think I can say with my hand on my heart that cultivating a relationship with my gorgeous Brides and Grooms is absolutely at the heart of my business. I genuinely care about every wedding I do, so creating a service that is personalized and professional is just so important. Most couples tell me that taking time out before the wedding to take pictures, helped them understand how I work, how much fun it can be and cemented a sense of trust between us.
Where do pre-wedding sessions take place?
I have photographed pre-wedding shoots on beaches and boats, up mountains, in hotels, on fairground rides and steam trains and even in the sea. With an engagement shoot we are not limited by the constraints of a wedding day so choosing a location where you can be yourselves can really be fun! Is there something you love to do together…a hobby or passion that you both share? Is there a place that is really special to you both? Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a hot-air balloon ride together? Fabulous! Lets go for it! If however, a nice country walk is more your thing, then that’s great too! Pre-wedding shoots can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. It’s totally up to you. Each year I shoot a number of engagement session abroad too, so if you have a burning desire to have pictures taken from the top of the Eiffle Tower or overlooking the canals of Venice, then anything is possible. What I love about these shoots is that it gives you a chance to express who you are individually and as a couple…..and to have fun with it! I always say to couples that this isn’t something you are going to do very often, so take advantage of every possibility.
The finer details
Usually I will discuss the shoot beforehand with a couple to gage what kind of experience they would like. Some couples bring along a few outfits to get a few different looks, some dress up while others feel more comfortable being casual. Some brides see it as a great opportunity to have their hair and make-up trial but if this isn’t possible, I do offer packages where professional hair and make-up is included. For some it is just about getting used to the camera while for others it is the chance to get dressed up and get some truly gorgeous images of them both.
Arranging a date and timings
Engagement sessions can be captured a year in advance if that’s what you’d like but most couples choose to have them around 8-10 weeks before the wedding. This allows plenty of time should you wish to order a signing frame for the wedding. The actual shoot itself takes between an hour and an hour and a half. I choose to photograph pre-wedding shoots mainly during the week either in the early morning or about an hour before sunset, as this is when the light is at its most beautiful.
If you would like to book a pre-wedding shoot with me prices start at £495. I am offering a 10% discount if booked by the end of July 2015* so do get in contact with me for further information.
*The pre-wedding shoot can be taken at any time but must be paid in full at the time of booking. This offer is open to all couples even if you have not currently booked me for your wedding.