Many couples hire a professional photographer just because they want their precious pre-wedding time captured in vivid detail. However, even though pre-wedding photography may be viewed as being relatively easy the fact is that many photographers get it wrong. The most common reason for getting it wrong is the wrong prep which leads to mistakes that cannot be fixed even with lots of photo editing. So, in order to get your pre-wedding photography right make sure to follow through the points discussed below.
Start by asking the couple a few questions
As a photographer you should have a formal discussion with the couple prior to the shoot. The objective of the discussion is to ask what they would like to see and what they think will set their photographs apart. You should try to find out what the couple wants so that you can set things up accordingly.
Choose a theme
Choosing the right theme for the pre-wedding photo shoot will help to make it easy to plan other things. Ideally, you should have already discussed and agreed upon the theme with the couple as mentioned in the step above. There are a number of different themes you can choose from which include fantasy, old school, fairy tale, science fiction, romance etc. As the photographer you need to agree upon a theme that is technically possible and something which you can easily get the props for.
Pre-wedding photography session timing
Even though you may want to overlook the timing of the shoot but experienced photographers will tell you that it is a very important element. Ideally, you do not want to schedule a photography session just a day or two prior to the wedding but rather a month or so prior to the wedding. Then you also need to get the time of day right, ideally day shoots should be done between 6-9 in the morning and after 4pm in the evening prior to the sun setting. This is when there is lots of natural light which makes photography a lot more beautiful.
The fair majority of pre-wedding photographs look great because a beautiful location was chosen. Even though the location may not really be all that special but it needs to be a place that allows you to create unique and beautiful images. You’ll also want to choose a place with some nostalgia like where the couple first met, where they went on their first date or place where the man proposed. This will help you create some drama and capture images that stand testament to the couple’s love. Pre-wedding photography sessions should only be done in a studio if you or the couple are in a hurry for some odd reason. In the studio the background and props can help to add beauty and charm.
Plan for the costume
This is another element of pre-wedding photography that needs to be planned with the couple way ahead of time. Ideally you’ll want the costumes to be regular clothing but with a dash more color and style. For instance, you certainly do not want the man wearing a suit and the woman wearing a ballroom dress if the shoot is at the beach where they first met. You’d want the man to be in shorts and a shirt but with a colorful cap and the woman to be wearing a similar outfit. The outfit will also need to fit the theme that you’ve chosen.
Don’t rely on post-production photo editing
Photo editing is an excellent tool which you can use to spice up your photos. However, unlike wedding photography you cannot retouch every photo to the point where there is perfect, flawless skin and wrinkles shirts etc. because it just looks too unnatural. So during your pre-wedding photography session you should forget about the possibility of using image manipulation programs and focus more on getting a great shot. Later minor color, gradient and levels adjustments is all you’ll need to get the photographs that the couple loves. Creative Image Photography suggests that photographers reserve photo editing only for photos that look strange either because of incorrect exposure, shutter speed issues or bad lighting.
Mark has probably arranged over a thousand pre-wedding photography sessions during the course of his career. As a wedding photographer he has always insisted that wedding couples come in for a pre wedding session just so that they can add that extra bit of style and charm to their album which is not otherwise possible.