Something that has become increasingly popular over the last few years in the wedding photography world, is the inclusion of a pre wedding shoot, or an engagement shoot. Regardless of what you call it, they’re very much the same thing.
What is a pre wedding shoot?
A pre wedding shoot tends to take place in the run up to your wedding day, usually 3-6 months beforehand. Hopefully, this blog will help answer some of the questions you may have as to whether or not an engagement shoot is a good idea!
If you’re currently looking at booking your wedding photographer, you may have found that some photographers list the pre wedding shoot as an optional extra and some include it in their packages. There is no right or wrong in this. Just because one photographer charges or another includes it, doesn’t necessarily make them better or worse than the next wedding photographer. It’s purely their own business choice.
Personally, I fall into the latter category. My feeling is that it can prove an invaluable experience, not only for the bride and groom, but also for the wedding photographer. Why? Well, here goes.
Why have a pre wedding shoot?
Let’s be honest, the phrase ‘I don’t like having my picture taken’ is being heard more now than ever. I think it is because we see ourselves more these days due to smart phones and social media. So why have a pre wedding shoot? Of all the engagement photography sessions I have done, where the bride and groom to be have spoken of feeling uneasy in front of the camera, they’ve actually commented at the end about how it was better than they thought, how it was actually fun, and have gone on to say how pleased they are with the results. It also allows you to know how the photographer works, which, come your wedding day, will allow you to feel more at ease around the camera.
The second positive, but by no means less important, is the relationship building with your photographer. You like the wedding photographers’ work, right? Of course you do, you’ve already booked them. But the pre wedding photo shoot gives the photographer the chance to see how you interact with each other, and it also gives them an idea of what works for you as a couple and what doesn’t, from a photography point of view.
What should I wear on a pre wedding shoot?
Another popular question. The answer? Whatever you feel comfortable in. The idea of the shoot is for you both to be as relaxed as possible, so keeping it informal is a huge help. A pointer is usually to wear something that you might go out for a pub lunch in together. Smart casual is probably the best phrase to use. But, if you both want to wear your comfy joggers or ripped t-shirts then that’s ok too!
As you will hopefully have seen from my website, I work in a documentary wedding photography style, capturing moments throughout the day with less posed pictures, BUT……….I often say to my couples, you will actually spend more time ‘posing’ together on your pre wedding than on your wedding day. There are the moments when you will want pictures together on your wedding day, so there will always be an element of posed direction in these.
Where should we have our pre wedding shoot done?
Along with the wedding meeting to discuss your big day, a pre wedding photo shoot is another chance for you to ask questions with your photographer. It also gives the photographer the chance to see how you are together as a couple. How you interact with one another. It can even be turned into a family shoot if you have children or you can bring along the dog if there is a place you like to go for walks. So when you are thinking about where to have your pre wedding shoot done, if the location is somewhere that is familiar to you, then this can also help you feel more relaxed, as you will be in an environment that you are used to. It could be a forest, a field, a canal walk or even your own back garden. The options are endless and along with input from your photographer, a pre wedding photoshoot can be great fun and an easy way to get to build a relationship with your wedding photographer. As a Wedding Photographer based in Cheshire, there are countless places to photograph a pre wedding shoot, from Manchester city centre to the beautiful countryside just down the road.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss your wedding, I offer the chance to meet up with no obligation to book, so if you’d like to hear more then I’d love to meet you and find out more about your wedding day.