A pre-wedding or engagement shoot is a photoshoot that usually takes place 3-6 months prior to your wedding day. It is a lovely way of telling the story of your relationship in the romantic months leading up to your big day.
Having a pre-wedding photoshoot provides a great opportunity for you to get to know your photographer, especially if you’re hiring the same one to document your wedding day. You will feel more comfortable on your wedding day if you get to know your photographer’s personality and the way they direct a photoshoot.
For your photographer, it gives the chance to get to know you as a couple – your personalities, how romantic you are towards each other and how at ease you feel in front of the camera.
Planning your photoshoot
Your completed engagement album should tell your story and portray the emotional connection between you. Think about the staging, location and the narrative you want your album tell – where you met, the things you enjoy doing together and your future dreams as a couple.
You may want to keep things simple with a casual photoshoot that tells the story of how and where you met. You could re-enact your first meeting or portray the hobbies that you share. For example, if you both like sailing, you could use a harbour location as the backdrop for your shoot.
For a more traditional concept, take a look back in time and delve into your cultural heritage. Display those cultural elements in your photographs by wearing traditional attire in a location with a cultural vibe.
If you enjoy the finer things in life, you may want to take inspiration from the silver screen. Ramp up the glamour with immaculate styling, beautiful gowns and grand locations that will look fabulous in black and white or full colour pictures.
Let your imagination run wild and have fun planning the style and theme of your pre-wedding shoot. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, research the concepts that have worked for other couples. Your photographer will be able to help and can advise you of pre-wedding concepts that have worked well for couples they have worked with.
Putting your plan into action
Once you have decided on a concept for your pre-wedding shoot, you need to think about how you can bring all of your ideas together. It’s vital to research every element including wardrobe, location, the weather and what type of pictures you want – black and white, full colour, sepia or spot colour.
Think about timings. Consider that you may be shooting in a location that is popular with tourists or that is busy at certain times of the day. Also think about the length of the photoshoot, how hot or cold you might get and whether you will need to eat and drink on location.
Talk to your photographer about your ideas, discuss any problems they can see along with the best approach to put your desired photoshoot into action.