I promise you, I won't tell you to "smile"!

I have recently been asked a few times about the pre-wedding shoot I offer as part of my coverage and package for my weddings. The questions have been varied, but seem to theme around things like "what's the point" or "I really don't like having my photo taken" and so on. Well, let me clear a few things up for you. There are MANY reasons to have a pre-wedding shoot and when I explain it to couples who initially are reluctant, they totally come round to the idea and embrace it and love the experience. Here's why...

1. They are fun! No, don't laugh, they honestly are! It may fill you with dread having your photo taken, but think of this.....on your wedding day you are going to be the absolute focus of attention and not only will you be being photographed by the professional photographer, but also most of the entire guest list! Its utterly unavoidable so where best to get used to it? When the pressure is off, there is no reason to be worried, at a place you feel comfortable and when you choose. See? When put like that, that's a big, big step in the right direction for you isn't it? 

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These two above were already reluctant, but with a few silly quips, having a giggle, and letting them be them, we got images like this. Its not all about saying "smile"....

2. In your busy planning and life schedule, how often do you get chance to actually spend a bit of silly time together? It would be rare with all the planning, work, commitments and so on that the modern engaged couple have to contend with. So this is a good chance to spend 1-2 hours just relaxing, having fun, doing something a bit different and although I am there, actually having a bit of fun. See, there it is, that word again....fun! 

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These guys above fully embraced the fun aspect....so much so it just became a giggle-fest! How could this not be captured?!!!

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Yeah, it got reduced to this!!! But I hadn't laughed so much in ages. Neither had they! 

3. You get a chance to be involved in something creative and unique to you. No-one else is going to have similar photos and you get chance to be part of hopefully me being a bit creative with the surroundings, my "tools", my eye and it will all end up making for a really lovely image

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These guys absolutely jumped at the chance to do something different. The light was spot on and this shot was done with me shooting through a small piece of aluminium pip to get the flare effect. They had no idea what I was doing, hence the expressions, but the final shot was well worth it and they utterly love this one! 

4. You can meet at your venue if you like! It's a good chance to get to know your photographer, but an added bonus is that if you do a shoot at your venue, then the photographer and yourselves get to go around the place in your own time, discuss the wedding, the plans, check the place out, give a more detailed plan of what's going to happen. 

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I met with these guys at their incredible and unique venue where they were having an outdoor wedding, but the reception was to be inside. I decided to have a look around while they took 5 mins off and I looked out of a window in one of the rooms and looked down and saw them canoodling below.....I had to take the picture didn't I really? 

5. You don't have to go to your venue if it's not convenient. The idea is you go where you like. Why not try somewhere you think might be a bit different or interesting? Will certainly make the photos unique to you and that little bit more special. 

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A maze anyone? Took us absolutely aged to get in and out. Completely lost and a total riot, but the picture was worth it. 

6. It might be a chance to go somewhere that is special to you and capture yourselves in that place before the big day. The place you first met, the place where you proposed, the place that just has that little bit of something for both of you....why not capture that thing that means the most to you? 

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A special place to these two.....wasn't far from their home, but still meant a lot to them. 

7. Imagine this.....it might actually be the last time you get photos taken of yourselves while you're not married! Why not make special memories of that time? Marriage is amazing, the wedding will be incredible and the rest of your lives will be magical. But there is always going to be that time before the rest of your lives and that's also worth remembering. Photos like that will be worth a lot to you in the future, that's for sure.

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Life for these two changed (for the better) in such a short time after their marriage (the hair changes for a start!) but what a gorgeous reminder of how it all was before the wedding? 

8. It doesn't have to be just about you! The pre-wedding shoot is so much more than just making great memories (but you will anyway)! It's about getting used to the camera, me giving you some small pointers ready for the big day so the images don't look forced, being a bit creative and doing something different, me seeing how you react to the situation so I can get a handle on how to deal with things and get you all to relax and so on....its informative, instructional but without being too preachy. Again, that fun element has to come into it. It's designed to get you relaxed so you don't freeze not just for me, but for every other person who will be pointing their camera at you on the big day. I realise that just this can fill you with dread, but it can also be entirely liberating. So if you think that its more of the things above, then why not make it more of a shoot for yourselves? Got pets that are dear to you? Bring them along! Got something that represents you that gives you comfort and would like to be photographed? Sure, why not! Check out these guys.....

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Such a horrid rainy day, but went ahead with the shoot anyway.....indoors, in their house! Time to the wedding was short and these guys have very busy lives (one is a vet, the other works high up in academia). But there was something else that was HUGELY important to them they wanted involved in the photos..........

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Yep, this precious little bundle of fun had arrived! Busy busy busy, but what a lovely chance to get all those things done for the wedding AND get this gorgeous family photo?

9. Lastly, that word again....fun. When you weigh it up, with the getting to know each other, the spending time with each other, venue recce's, that somewhere special, the pointers to good photos and so on, it's just got to be fun! And it is! Once you have relaxed and you realise I am just getting you being you, together, with a few pointers, then it all makes sense. None of this rubbish "say cheese" and sit there and smile stuff. No siree! If you want the worst photos of anyone, you go ahead and tell them to smile. It just won't happen. This on the other hand is a chance to just capture you and your personalities, those precious things that mean a lot to you, get insights into each other and just go and have a cracking laugh. If a beer or a G&T or a glass of vino involved (mine's a red please!), then all the better! 

So there you go. Any reason now to NOT do a pre-wedding shoot? If all you take away from this is that it gets you prepared for your big day and all those cameras pointing at you, as well as mine, then surely that's reason enough? Isn't it a lovely bonus to have all those value added extras eh?

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If you would like to get involved and want to know more, check out the rest of the website and see if you like what you see. I have a few places left for 2018 and still taking bookings for 2019, so feel free to get in touch if you want to ask any questions or you're interested in a chat about booking me. Happy to talk! Look forward to hearing from you! Byeeee!