For me personally to answer this question; the only reason I would have a pre shoot would be, to meet your photographer and help yourself to become more relaxed in front of the with camera however meeting up for a coffee and a chat can tell you a lot about the photographer but the main reason for booking a particular photographer should be you like his style!
Some couples tell me that they are into candid shots and don’t really want to do a pre-wedding shoot. All they want are candid shots that show how people are having a great time at their wedding.
Another reason could be for portraits? How often in your life, have you done a professional photo shoot? And what’s the best time for that than your wedding… when you have most probably slaved at the gym for months to be in your best shape, gone for beauty treatments and spent a thousand dollars or more on your gorgeous gown?
To be honest, I never had a pre-wedding shoot for my wedding, my wedding Photographer was from Bath who said the most important thing is to ensure you set aside some time on the wedding day for portraits, which I totally agree with.
Some of my clients come up with absolutely creative ideas for their reason for having a pre-wedding shoot, and I love that. I think the first thing that people think of when wanting to shoot a pre-wedding is the question, “Where should we go?”. So here are some tips for brides and grooms who are planning on getting a pre-wedding shoot done.
1. What is your personality like?
Are you a bubbly person, an extrovert who loves to laugh a lot and chat nineteen to the dozen, or are you an introvert who prefers to sit with your books and enjoy quiet moments with just yourself and your fiancée? Are you a hopeless romantic at heart? Your photos should reflect your personality. So if you’re a quirky, non-conforming kind of person, the type of location you choose would reflect that.
2. What kind of images would you like to go home with?
If you are a person who loves nature and all things beautiful, you might not choose to go to an abandoned building for a shoot. Do you love images that are dramatic or prefer natural looking images? Are you a vintage type of couple who love classic looking shots? You can always communicate all of this to your photographer.
3. Coming up with a theme
If you have a theme in mind, that would help in your planning. For example, you might want to do a picnic theme in the park…and so you need to think of what kind of props to bring – a picnic basket, a mat, a bottle of wine, wine glasses, books, food or snacks, anything that you think fits the theme. If you have in mind a vintage theme, then what are the types of items that you need to make your shots look interesting?
4. Does a particular location mean something to you?
Maybe you are drawn to a particular country house because you love the architecture of the place or the natural beauty of that land. We have some fabulous venues here in Somerset so check out some of these. Do some research on places that you love, and tell that to your photographer!
5. Let the photographer choose the time of day
Some locations look better in the morning than in the evening. I’ve been to the same location in the morning and evening and come up with completely different images. The direction of the sun illuminates locations differently at different times.
So I hope that these tips help you in planning and deciding if a pre-wedding shoot is for you.
Just remember it’s not something you have to have, a professional wedding photographer doesn’t need to meet with you beforehand or scout out the location, he should be extremely knowledgeable, know his equipment and be able to capture beautiful images in any location, any time of the day or year.