A couple of weeks ago now, I met with a couple at their wedding venue, Hylands House, for a pre-wedding photoshoot.
More and more couples are now having an engagement photography session. Is the rise of the pre-wedding shoot just a fad, or is there a good reason for it? A few photographers still argue against them – but I’m a fan of the pre-wedding photoshoot to such an extent that I include it in all of my wedding photography packages.
Learning to work with your photographer
The biggest reason, in my opinion, is for the couple and their photographer to learn to work together. My photographic style is all about allowing people to relax and capturing natural moments. If you’re not used to being in front of a camera, relaxing is easier said than done. You tense, the ability to act natural ebbs away – and that can’t help but reflect in your body language and therefore in the pictures. I’m sure we’ve all seen those wedding pictures with forced smiles and stiff poses; maybe even been in them!
In a pre-wedding shoot, you’ll get used to how your photographer works. Every photographer has a unique style, and their own balance between posed and natural imagery. You’ll get used to how they give instructions, and the photographer has time to concentrate on bringing out the best in you; the angles and lighting that are most flattering for you as individuals. These are things there’s generally no time for on a wedding day.
Where I can, I combine a pre-wedding shoot with a visit to the wedding venue. This allows the couple and I to figure out together some of the best places to get pictures around the venue – and even try some shots in these settings.
The couple get to see the pictures soon after the shoot, and well in advance of their wedding day. This lets them see some real results from their photographer, giving them the confidence that their wedding photos will look great and they can relax and trust their photographer.
Have Fun and Get Great Pictures
If you’ve picked the right photographer for you, you’ll have a great time on your photoshoot; it’s a fun activity to do together as a couple. Some photographers will schedule in half a day or more for the shoot, but with me a couple of hours is about right.
Of course, you’ll also get some great pictures from your engagement photography session – and they can show a different side of you to your wedding photos. These could be used on your invitations, in your album – or just for display or on social media.