Q: My fiance and I are both shy people, so we want to spend plenty of time in front of the camera before the big day to get used to being photographed. Can you tell me more about pre-wedding shoots, and how far in advance of the wedding do you suggest we book a session?
A: Denise says – A lot of photographers include pre-wedding shoots within their package, as not only is it a great opportunity to have a look at your chosen venue and select locations to shoot on your wedding day, but it also gives the photographer an insight into how you interact as a couple in front of the camera. Most couples have never had professional photographs taken and don’t really know what to expect, so the pre-wedding shoot helps to put them at ease before their day. It’s also a chance to confirm timings and details and any group photography requirements. I usually suggest a pre-wedding shoot six weeks before the big day as all times and details would usually be finalised at this point. It’s close enough to the wedding day to reconnect with the couple, as in most cases a photographer would not have seen them since the initial booking.
A great answer by Denise. I wanted to add a few things to what she said, without repeating what I have already mentioned in my previous blog post.
I invite couples to an engagement shoot at an early stage, so they can get a feel for how I work and they get to sample my photography first hand. Both important factors when choosing your photographer. I think an engagement shoot helps the couple decide that the photographer is right for them. After all, all photographers work differently.
Following the initial meeting and engagement photoshoot, I will arrange to meet the couple around two months before the wedding to go through the entire day with them. I have a checklist of classic and traditional shots I go through with the couple to see which they require and which they don’t. Often when they see this list, there are many shots that they had overlooked and I am often thanked for how thorough I am. Timings are checked and verified with the couple and slots are assigned through the day to allow for group shots and the romantic shots of the couple. I then send the couple a confirmation letter detailing everything we discussed, listing all the shots they wanted and also those that they don’t.
Some photographers my take a wedding booking and turn-up on the wedding day and start clicking away on their camera, but for me, these meetings are all part of my customer service – I’d hate the couple to overlook a group shot, of say, auntie and uncle who travelled far from abroad, come the wedding day.