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How to Prepare for a Pre-Wedding Shoot: 7 Tips for Brides-to-Be

Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you’ve taken the first step towards your happily ever after, you’ll surely want to make the memory last. One way to do this is to have a pre-wedding photoshoot.

Also known as an engagement photoshoot, a pre-wedding photo session is more than just a means to take pretty photos to display during your wedding banquet. You can search for studios to rent for a photoshoot that can be a wonderful way to click excellent shots.It is an opportunity to document your relationship and capture your feelings for each other in photographs to cherish forever.

If you’re not familiar with this kind of photoshoot but you want to give it a try, here are seven tips that can help you have the best pre-wedding session ever:

1.   Think About a Concept That Captures Your Love Story

What makes an engagement photoshoot special?

Some may say it’s what you wear, while others answer it’s all about the clever angles and awesome backdrops. But what matters most is how well the resulting images showcase your love story.

To make sure this happens, you have to work with your wedding photographer to come up with a concept that truly captures your love story. Look back at old photos and let the memories resurface.

Set aside time with your partner and have a sit-down meeting with the photographer for this very purpose. Bring old pictures that you and your future husband can look at and let the wave of nostalgia spark inspiration for the photoshoot.

Once you recall all those precious memories, take note of the moments you consider the most special, and highlight them in your pre-wedding photoshoot concept.

Besides memories, you can also identify the interests you share with your future husband. These can be a favorite book, music, or movie, or even activities that you both love. Whatever the case, incorporating your interests into the photo concept helps showcase who you are, how you began, and where you’re headed as a couple.

For instance, if you both love hiking and your best moments were spent in the great outdoors, the photoshoot concept can include a mountainous backdrop.

Adding something that truly reflects your relationship and conceptualizing around your shared interests as a couple also helps make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera.

2.   Wear Something Comfortable

When it comes to pre-wedding shoots, it is best to wear something you can comfortably move in. This is because clothes that are too clingy or too tight can leave you feeling uncomfortable throughout the shoot, and that will show in engagement pictures.

Rather than wearing something you’ve never worn before, choose an attire that you’re most comfortable in. Of course, you can still buy a new outfit, but be sure to try it out first before the photo session.

Don’t forget to consider how an outfit would look in a photograph. Here’s a pro tip: Select pieces that have a good flow as you move, especially when you’re doing the engagement shoot outdoors.

3.   Don’t Skip the Salon

If you have a complete set of hair and makeup products and are confident with your skills, you can skip this part and move on to the next tip.

But if you have no experience in doing makeup for photos or are worried that you might mess your hair up, it would be smart to hit the salon before your pre-wedding shoot. Pictures require slightly more saturated makeup than what you usually wear every day. This is to avoid making you look washed out in the photos.

4.   Avoid Going Overboard with an Entirely Different Look

After getting engaged, you might feel a bit of an adrenaline rush that could drive you to make impulsive decisions. Do not give in to this rush, especially when it comes to your appearance.

Be it a sudden change in hair color, hairstyle, or facial hair grooming, always think it through first before making any significant style changes. Remember that these pictures should reflect who you are, and you’ll want to look like yourself when you look back at your engagement.

5.   Find Your Special Place

Location is vital in every photo session, but its importance in a pre-wedding shoot is even higher. That said, make sure that you find a special place for this activity. Don’t just settle for your neighborhood park just because it’s cheap and the easy choice (unless it’s where you met your partner or you share special memories there).

Ensure that the photoshoot location reflects your love story and looks good in pictures at the same time. It can be a beautiful sunrise at the beach, a corner-street café, or any spot that evokes romance.

Once you find the perfect spot, look for different areas within the place where you can shoot. This will give the photographer good choices for angles when snapping images. Don’t forget to ask permission or secure all the permits necessary to shoot in the place.

6.   Set the Shoot During the Golden Hour

Besides the place where the photoshoot takes place, you also need to think about the time when it should be done, especially for outdoor photo sessions.

Certain times of the day are better for photo-taking because of the natural light available. Of course, the best time to do this is during the golden hour – that moment just before the sun sets when it shines golden rays that are at the right angle to make any image look glorious.

7.   Listen to Your Partner’s Opinion

Many brides tend to forget this, but one thing is as essential as any aspect of the shoot: your partner’s opinion.

Remember that you’re not the only one posing for the shoot. And since you’ll also be sharing a lot of things soon, you should already make a habit of listening to your significant other and asking what he thinks.

For the photo session, make sure that your man is comfortable with the idea, as not everyone is comfortable with fancy photo sessions. Work with him on the concept and the other details of the shoot, like the location and your outfit.

Remember that there’s nothing worse than a grumpy partner during an engagement shoot, so always ask for his input. If there’s a concern, talk about it so you can come up with a compromise that works for everyone.

Capture Your Happily Ever After

Besides hiring a professional event photographer to take your pictures, you have many things to prepare for in a pre-wedding photoshoot. Use this list of tips as a guide to ensure that you capture the beginning of your happily ever after in the best way possible.


American artist Shea Winter Roggio is a documentary and fine art photographer living in Dubai, UAE. Shea Winter Photography LLC provides documentary, editorial and commercial photography services, along with video, television, and film production services, and retails photographic souvenirs such as fine art prints, canvas and frames.

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