Creative Ideas For Spring Pre-Wedding Shoots

By Geoff Harris

How to Photograph a Spring Pre-Wedding Shoot

DSC_35751We're approaching the peak season for pre-wedding shoots, with more and more couples now expecting this as part of the package. Even if you aren't shooting the actual wedding, you might get asked by a friend or relation to do one to help them save money, so here are some tips to ensure it's a success.

1) Don't force it on people


Although many couples now expect a 'pre-wed' as standard, others aren't bothered. They might not have the time, or feel shy and self conscious, just regarding photography as a necessary evil of the big day itself. So you should treat it on a case by case basis, but don't be afraid to offer a pre-wed to help sway a wavering bride.

Explain that it's a great chance for you all to get to know each other in a much more relaxed environment than the big day, which will then result in better images when they actually get married.

2) Work together on the location


Ideally you would do the pre-wed at the location where the couple are going to get married. This gives the advantage of consistency, and you can also hunt out some cool places to photograph them on the actual day.

This might not always be possible though, in which case get the couple's suggestion of alternative venues, rather than forcing them to drive out to a photogenic beauty spot that they don't feel much of a connection with.

A scruffy local park where one partner proposed might be a much more evocative location for them!

3) Take (some) control

While you need to take control of a pre-wed to some extent, don't become a control freak. Let the couple wear the clothes they feel most comfortable with.

Maybe they can bring along props like bikes or running gear, that reflect joint passions or how they met. When it comes to the actual photography, aim for a mixture of posed portraits and a more candid, documentary style.

Encourage the couple to be affectionate, but don't force it – some couples are more touch-feely and demonstrative than others. You may need to get them to relax and stand in the best light, however, so be proactive where necessary. This will also make them more confident in your abilities.

Returning to the subject of light, make sure you check the weather forecast in advance and suggest rescheduling the shoot if it's going to be grey and wet. The timing of the pre-wed is crucial too. Try to avoid doing it in the middle of a very sunny day, as you will be battling harsh shadows and blown-out highlights.

4) Go through the shots together

Once you have edited the images (always shoot raw to give you the most leeway and highest resolution files) sit down with the couple and get their feedback. You will soon get a sense of the kind of images they like, which will give some invaluable pointers to shooting the big day. Remember, you want happy clients, so they will gush about you on social media and recommend you to other family and friends who are getting married!

Further Study

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Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) - the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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