Usually at this time of year I’m heading out every weekend to shoot weddings or pre-wedding shoots during any other available time. Due to the current Covid19 nightmare that we’re all living through I’m very much missing being out with my camera at the moment. So I thought I’d delve back into my archive to find some favourite images from pre-wedding shoots over the past 5 years or so and discuss the benefits a pre-wedding shoot has to offer.
Almost 10 years ago when I first set up Aaron Collett Photography I offered pre-wedding shoots as part of my standard package. Doing this enabled me to shoot as much as possible which was really important when I was trying to find your ‘own style, approach and look’. It was also a great way to build rapport with couples who had booked me to shoot their wedding day. It also really helped with building my confidence interacting with couples – believe it or not I’m quite introverted!
But the benefits are not just for me! Most importantly having a pre-wedding shoot is a fantastic way of getting couples to feel confident in front of the camera. Most people are used to taking a quick selfie or having a quick group photo taken on a night out (remember those?) but when it comes to a full blown portrait shoot a lot of people are completely out of their comfort zones. I very often hear people say they’re camera shy or that they don’t like their photo being taken, or that they don’t like how they look in photos. So, a pre-wedding shoot is a brilliant way of helping to overcome that anxiety and apprehension. Of course the first few frames that are taken will feel a bit surreal, but I guarantee that after a few moments you’ll feel totally at ease with having your photo taken. For me I’m looking to capture personality and connection. This means the focus is less on posing and more about getting you both comfortable and encouraging you to simply be yourselves.
Fast forward to the present and I still absolutely adore doing pre-wedding shoots. Shoots are now available as an additional option to wedding packages. For me pre-wedding shoots now offer something a little different for my wedding couples. It presents the opportunity for the couple to have some portraits which are a little different from those that would be taken on a wedding day. Plus, wedding days aren’t about the two of you just having your photo taken. On your wedding day you want to spend the day with your family and friends, and I want to capture all of the fun and energy between you all. Of course we’ll definitely spend some time taking some great portraits but this in reality could be limited to 15-30 minutes in total. With a pre-wedding shoot we have a little more time to play around with and you won’t be feeling the pressure of keeping to specific timings.
A pre-wedding shoot can be taken in a totally different type of location from the wedding day. Locations for pre-wedding shoots can be somewhere that has special meaning to the couple. Whether that is a local park or woodland area where you’d regularly walk, the town or village you live in, or maybe even the place where you both got engaged. In fact, I’ve now photographed a few pre-wedding shoots at the locations of proposals, from Silverstone Racing circuit to the Dorset south coast, I really am up for anything! Alternatively how about photos in the streets of your home town. Believe it or not some of my favourite pre-wedding photos have been taken down the back streets behind shops and warehouses. I’m always on the look out for interesting textures and colours on shoots around town and the brighter and bolder the colours the better! I’ve been luck enough to do shoots all over the country including London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, The Cotswolds, to name just a few!
Pre-wedding shoots can take place at a completely different time of year to your wedding. Having a summer wedding but love the colours of autumn or spring? Then lets do your shoot at your favourite time of year. If its colder we can always tie it in with a visit to a coffee shop for a hot drink and cake…! And, if you’ve got a four legged furry friend that needs walking anyway then bring them along and your pooches can get loads of attention and camera time too!
I also use pre-wedding shoots as an opportunity to get experimental with things. Sometimes I’ll shoot the whole session with one focal length, maybe dust off the tilt-shift lens (god I love that lens), maybe try out a few techniques that I can then use on the big day itself. I quite often hear from couples that its the images from the pre-wedding shoot they get printed up large and display in the home as opposed to the wedding day photos, where those images are more about telling a story of the day.
Enough of my ramble now… if you’ve made it down this far give yourselves a pat on the back! Below are a few favourites from the past few years to take a look through!
So there you have it! My thoughts on pre-wedding shoots. If you really love the idea of having one then please do let me know. If I’m already shooting your big day and would like to add a shoot then get in touch and we can look at when we can get something booked in. If you’re looking at this and have recently got engaged but not yet planning your wedding but fancy a pre-wedding shoot, then please get in touch! They really are great fun and you’ll get some great images that you can display at home.
Get in touch here and lets chat a bit more!