Earlier this week, my partner & I spent a couple of hours with our incredible wedding photographer Fraser Cameron for our pre-wedding shoot. It was such a lovely experience I knew I wanted to chat about it with all of you, show you some of the photos he captured, & share my advice for making the most of the opportunity if you’ve been considering having your own couples shoot.
What is a pre-wedding shoot?
A pre-wedding shoot, also sometimes known as an engagement shoot, is essentially a couples photoshoot which takes place with your wedding photographer in the run-up to your big day. Sometimes it will form part of your wedding photography package, but if not most photographers will be happy to add it on as an extra.
When you say couples photoshoot, a lot of people will immediately start picturing those super cringey American-style prom photos with awkward poses, forced smiles, & zero chemistry, but my favourite pre-wedding shots are ones which capture the connection between a couple in a really natural way, & that’s definitely the direction we went in.
So, why have a pre-wedding shoot?
If you’re on a budget, the idea of splashing the cash for an extra set of photos might seem like an extravagance but I honestly can’t recommend it enough.
The main incentive for us was that it gave us the opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera & with our photographer. Neither of us are naturals when it comes to getting our photo taken by someone else, so the chance to practice before the big day was too good to miss & it’s honestly eased my anxiety massively. Rather than stressing about how I’ll look in my wedding photos, I trust Fraser to capture the love we feel, which at the end of the day is all I can ask for.
On a more practical note, we’ve set up a wedding website & I’m beyond hyped that we now have tons of beautiful couples photos to fill it with. Sure, we had selfies & some old photos of us together from when we were students, but not many, & nothing compares to the high-quality shots we’ve got now. Given that lots of our guests haven’t actually met my partner & I together it’s nice to give them a sneak preview of us as a couple before the big day.
How to make the most of it.
If you’re thinking about having a pre-wedding shoot (or any kind of couples photoshoot), here are my top tips for making the most of the experience:
- Ignore your surroundings: There’s no getting away from it, kissing your partner while strangers walk past is awkward as hell – the only solution is to block out everything around you & focus on your partner. I honestly thought this would be the part I’d struggle most with but I found it surprisingly easy to let go & just enjoy the moment.
- Don’t stress about your clothes and makeup, but do think about them: I worried for weeks about what to wear & how to do my makeup, but in the end I settled on a low-maintenance look which I knew I’d feel confident in. My only advice is to make sure you wear comfortable shoes & a kiss-proof lipstick (I can’t recommend Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick enough).
- Pick a meaningful location: We debated where to have our pre-wedding shoot (Edinburgh Zoo was a top contender) but in the end we settled on the University of Edinburgh, which is where we first met. Not only did the main campus offer a range of different backdrops, but it also means the photos have an extra layer of meaning which the Zoo – fun as it would have been – just wouldn’t have had.
If you have any further questions about our pre-wedding shoot just let me know in the comments below & I’ll do my best to answer them.
All photographs taken by Fraser Cameron.