My Pre-Wedding Photoshoot – How to Plan for Your Perfect Photoshoot?
Why take pre-wedding photos? First, it lets you get comfortable with your photographer so that you will be more prepared for your wedding day. But the most important reason, these photos will be your keepsake the rest of marriage life.
To be honest, we initially wanted our wedding to be as simple as possible. No pre-wedding photoshoot at all. Just a small luncheon with our families and closed friends. But the idea sparked off when I was wearing my customized gown specially designed by Michelle HuiMin from Bridal Veil. I thought, it would be such a pity if I don’t document it. So in the end, we decided to look for photographer. We met Melvin from Multifolds whom we clique off quite well. Then my university friend, Li Yi, contacted me as she is running her own wedding decor in Singapore called Styled Story. With such a great combination, my pre-wedding photoshoot was a bang!
Planning a photoshoot can be quite mind-boggling, because there seems to be so many things to think about – my hairdo, makeup, outfit, lighting, weather, poses etc. Here are some tips to help you plan your pre-wedding photoshoot. Let’s calm those nerves!
How to Plan Your Perfect Pre-Wedding Photoshoot
1. Do you have a theme for your pre-wedding photoshoot?
Is there a story you want to tell through the photos? Are you thinking of the place where your love story started, or a superhero style photoshoot because both of you love superheroes? If you have a theme for your actual day wedding and you want to incorporate it into your pre-wedding photoshoot, do it! Grab ideas from Pinterest. Trust me, it’s my best friend now.
Before you call the photographer, have a heart-to-heart with your better half about what kind of engagement photos you’d like — posed or candid, formal or casual. I also suggest the option of getting a professional wedding stylist to style the photoshoot. They are the ones who can put your thoughts into reality. I never heard of wedding styling before I met Li Yi from Styled Story. Similar to food styling, she plans the theme of the shoot and gathers the necessary parties for the photo shoot. Having her for my pre-wedding photoshoot is like money drop from heaven. She makes our photoshoot such a breeze and added that extra spice and creative punch to your album.
2. Outdoors or Indoors?
Where are you going to shoot? Is it going to be the beach, nature or a city landscape? Or a restaurant where you had your first date? Decide if you wish to have your photoshoot outdoors or indoors. Do you prefer a day shoot or night shoot? If you are considering going overseas for your shoot, plan early please. A tip for everyone who is planning a photoshoot outdoor, make sure you find a location with a toilet nearby so that you can quickly touch up and change outfits.
3. Find your favourite photographer
Once you got a “feel” how you want your pre-wedding photoshoot to be, look for a suitable photographers who are experienced in taking such theme. Look through each photographer’s galleries to get a sense of their style. Also, think about how much budget did you allocate for your photoshoot? It really depends on how much these photos meant to you. Also, from the pre-wedding photoshoot, determine with the photographer is suitable for your wedding day. Make sure the images and people are in focus (unless they’re meant to be grainy). Make sure people look relaxed, and not spooked by the camera. Some photography vendors include the print-out service in their packages. Be sure to clarify what is included as some freelance photographers only specialize in the shooting itself and will pass you the digital version only.
4. Props, props, props!
Create a meaningful backdrop for your photos by revisiting nearby sites that are significant to the two of you, or even recreating it from nothing! Props can add a lot of life into your photos. For me, I wanted very much to have a beautiful farmer’s market because that’s the place that I would definitely go whenever I am overseas. It really helps to save a lot of time for us when we engaged services from different vendors like flowers using With Every, fairy lights from Midnight Sparks, garden cake from Butter Studio, food from The Disgruntled Chef and vintage props from Styled Story.
5. Plan your outfit
Is it going to be casual shoot or full bridal shoot? What kind of outfit are you wearing? Any accessories (necklace, earrings, hair veil) to go along with it? Who is doing your hair and makeup? What kind of shoes are you wearing? You should really think about it early so that you can start sourcing for the suitable items. Communication is important, so speak to your bridal studio and makeup artist to discuss further. Trust me, they have done enough weddings to share and recommend. For me, I totally forgot about the jewellery part. Thank goodness Michelle HuiMin from Bridal Veil offered us some jewellery to pair with the outfit. And of course, I did a trial makeup at Clara’s place before the wedding to make sure we set our expectations right.
I also suggest to get your manicure and pedicure done according to the colors that you are going to be wearing for the session. Go for Joan from PrettifyMe The Nails Bar. Remember that you may be photographing your wedding band, let your photographer know so he can do some detail shots. Read about my ring selection at Michael Trio.
6. Pick a day
Plan enough buffer time between your photo shoot and when you need the photos, in the unlikely event of wet-weather or last-minute crop ups that might cause the shoot to be postponed. Have one or two back-up dates prepared. Make a booking with all the necessary parties ahead of time, and also with the venue if it is not a public one. Once you have a short list of people you are working with, tell them early to make sure they are free on your date.
7. Recee your Photoshoot Location
If you have some time, I strongly suggest heading down to your shoot location for a recee. Note which days and which spots are less crowded. Or work with your stylist to discuss what creative ideas can be done on the location. Be sure to ask your photographer for advice, as they would probably have done shoots in those popular locations before.
For me, we initially plan to do our photoshoot in an abandoned hut in Punggol where we can light up the beautiful hut and also witness sunset. Recee was done and we were very excited about it. Unfortunately, on the day of the photoshoot, there were construction workers at the location and they say we cannot do our photoshoot there. So it was a last minute decision to do it in a small park nearby. So remember to think of contingency plan if you are going to shoot in public places.
Also, while you are recee-ing your location, find out where the nearest toilets are. If it is an outdoors location, find out where the shades are. Because mine was done at a park, there was no toilet nearby so we had to make sure we clear our bowels and we brought a make shift dressing tent so that I can get changed for outfits.
8. Just Enjoy the Day
When the day arrives, just enjoy it! Try not to sweat the small stuff, like a relocation of my photo shoot because the photographer and stylist will take care of it.
For me, I went to my makeup artist house for makeup before heading to the location. Allow your photographer to keep you on schedule, to frame the shots and to know what will look best. Remember to get close to your better half. Plan to get a few affectionate close-up pictures: hug, hold hands, sling your arm around his shoulders. You’re in love, show it off!
Hope this guide has helped you plan for your shoot! Just remember to do your homework early so that you won’t be stressed out. If you liked this post, please do share it!
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
Fresh blooms, a delectable spread and romantic fairy lights – that’s what I want my pre-wedding photoshoot to be. A FRENCH FARMERS’ MARKET! Read about our interview with The Wedding Scoop.
Big THANK YOU to the following vendors:
Photography: Multifolds Photography
Wedding Dress and suit: Bridal Veil & The Men’s Club
Rings: Michael Trio
Makeup: Clara Song
Flowers: With Every
Lights: Midnight Sparks
Cake: Butter Studio
Food: The Disgruntled Chef
Wedding Styling and Vintage Prop Rental: Styled Story