Planning Your Pre-Wedding Shoot

Pre-wedding shoots are so much fun, and they’re a great chance for me to get to know you both, away from the stress of wedding planning, ahead of your day, so that I can really capture your personalities and your relationship on the day of your wedding. I love them for this reason alone! But they’re also a great practice run for the big day – so you’re used to having your photo taken by me, you know what to expect, you know the kind of things we’re going to do, and if you’re running late on the day, we can get everything we need in 10-15 mins with minimal direction by me. Which is fab for you as that means 10-15 mins of (relative) alone time together while I stand back and snap away!

The question most people ask is “What should I wear?” – I always say the same thing – wear something that you feel comfortable in – I can’t stress this enough! Any awkward straps or fiddly gaping clothes will drive you mad on the day, and (I know this from my own experience) continue to bug you every time you look at the photos afterwards! I love bright colours, especially yellows and greens in photos – however, the first rule still applies, if you’re not comfortable in bright colours, then go with what you love. In terms of coordinating (and this goes for family shoots too), I always suggest similar colour palettes, ie colours that work together rather than clash – and similar levels of formal – you look a bit odd if  you wear a party dress and your significant other turns up in shorts and a t-shirt. I also try to get people to avoid bulky clothing, as it just doesn’t photograph well, but don’t leave yourself uncomfortably cold either – you can always take a coat off if it’s freezing outside! The below is quite a nice little diagram about how to choose colours – it is from a printing company talking about logo design, but I think it works in this context too!

In terms of location, I offer pre-wedding shoots with my packages in Brighton and in central London (zone 1) – Brighton has some great areas and you can get a vast array of photos there, from the beach to the Lanes to the parks and the Pavillion. In London, there’s the option of the tourist spots, the South Bank or the Royal Parks, or the more off-beat locations such as one of the many markets, or around Old Street for a more urban feel.

The best time of day is either around two hours after sunrise, or an hour before sunset – this is when the light is at its most beautiful and softest, leading to stunning warm, flattering light. I’m always happy to get up to meet the sunrise, and love it when my clients are too! Midweek evenings work really well for London shoots, but I do have the odd weekend available as well.

Without fail, all of my couples that have a pre-wedding shoot tell me afterwards that they were nervous beforehand, but actually it was fun, and they’re so pleased they did it. It’s a fab warm-up to the big day, and makes the portraits on the day one less thing to worry about. It takes around 45 minutes generally, and we walk and talk, I snap photos here and there, all the time ensuring that you’re relaxed, focusing on each other and not the camera most of the time. So many of my couples love that they get to spend 45 minutes really *with* their partner, enjoying each other’s company and relaxing together amidst the hecticness (yes, that can be a word!) of last minute wedding plans




Eliza Claire