So, what is a pre-wedding photography session and why do I need it?
A pre-wedding photography session is where you meet with your photographer at any point before your big day. This is normally in a scenic location but anywhere close to your heart will work eg. your favourite walk. You'll then spend a couple of hours creating some initial photographs, which will mark the beginning of your wedding journey.
If you're still not sold on the idea, read the next five points and we'll soon get you on the pre-wedding session bandwagon.
1. GET TO KNOW THE STRANGER COMING TO YOUR WEDDING
This is a no brainer. It's the perfect chance to get to know your photographer and they'll soon feel like just another friend. It can feel like a big deal to inviting a total stranger to your wedding, and by meeting beforehand it breaks down any barriers. It's simply one less thing to worry about. I'm a worrier, and if you're too, this is solid advice: book a pre-wedding session.
I strongly believe, that afterwards, your relationship with your photographer will have changed for the better. This will then translate into even more amazing photographs on the day.
It's also a great chance to talk about any special requests you may have. Eg. Uncle Bill is coming from Australia and he's planning to release a load of fireworks at 6.53pm. Wedding photographers are humans too, and the better you know them, the more comfortable they will be: again, this will translate in more emotionaly connected photographs.
2. SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO REMIND YOURSELF: YOU'RE ENGAGED.
Getting engaged is one of life's most thrilling and memorable moments. What did you do after the proposal? Who did you call first? It's a sign that your relationship has changed and you've both matured, like a fine blended whisky?
You're going to pull out these photographs time and time again. What may not seem important now, you may well regret later. I'm sorry to say it, but I know people this has happened to.
Plus, you've probably had to part with a substantial amount of coin. Why not take this opportunity to celebrate the beginning of your wedding journey?
3. THEY CAN BE A LOT OF FUN
A pre-wedding session is basically just a date. But on this date, your photographer is a third-wheel, with a camera. It can be anywhere: a courtyard, garden, forest, beach, mountain, or even your favourite coffee house. The best advice is go somewhere that is special to you. Maybe it's the place where you went on your first date. If you're the adventurous type: Donne your hiking boots and get out in the hills.
I'll let you into a little secret: Great couple portraiture is about connection. Not just between you and your partner, but also about how you react in front of your photographer.
This is why it's important to pick someone who you can be yourself around. If you're nervous about getting your photograph taken, just act like the photographer is not there. Let's face it, we're not always as serious as the people we portray to strangers. This is your date. And if all else fails, just laugh. Because this is why you're together, right?
4. SCOTLAND IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, ACCORDING TO ROUGH GUIDES (2017)
Ok, we don't need a guidebook to tell us that but it does add weight to this final point. In Scotland, we are blessed with some of the most amazing scenery right on our doorstep. You're never more than an hour's drive from an enigmatic glen or pristine loch. Grab yourself picnic blanket and a bottle of your favourite tipple, and this is the stuff dreams are made of.
And if you're not the outdoors-y type, there is the tried and tested method of jumping in a car, and making the most of Scotland's amazing roadside scenery. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone.
5. THEY ARE A GREAT WAY TO EXPERIMENT BEFORE THE BIG DAY
Let's face it, the actual day of your wedding is going to be pretty full on. Pre-wedding portraits, on the other hand, are much more relaxed with the only time constraint being the a setting sun. It's a great way to experiment and see how you and your photographer work together. Do they live up to their website portfolio?
I highly recommend taking the opportunity to be a little silly. The best shots come from when you really let your guard down. A good photographer will make this easy for you. Most of the time following a series of poses just does not work, but if you're stuck for ideas, expect your photographer to offer some great suggestions.
First off, I must say a a huge thank you to Red and Ross, for letting me use their gorgeous pre-wedding photographs to illustrate this post.
I'm going to offer two final tips. I always ask my couples to have one part of their body touching. While this might sound like a bad joke to some: a hand on a shoulder, two hands softly clasping each other, hip holding, hair scrunching, eye contact, foreheads resting, it all makes a significant difference.
The final selection of edited images will certainly make the most awesome wall art for your home. Order an A3 + print and place it on a bare wall to mark the beginning of your life's biggest adventure - together. And you'll soon see why you'll never regret a pre-wedding or engagement photography session.