One trend in Indian weddings that has stuck and growing every wedding season is the pre-wedding shoot. And for all the good reasons though. The shoot gives the couple time to savor some special moments while sealing them behind the lens. The pictures will serve as a repository of memories to take you back to mise-en-scène. And lastly, the romance-filled snaps give you a perfect aesthetic for IDA, aka Instagram Display of Affection.
Apart from being the source of memories and gram-worthy pictures, the pre-wedding portraits also have practical uses. First, they can become a wonderful addition to e-invites – which have gained traction during Covid-19. Second, the pictures can be used as a prop in your wedding events. Think ceiling hangings of polaroid duplicates, slideshow at your Sangeet LED, and a display of them at the wedding entrance. Lastly, the images can be enlisted on your official wedding website or Instagram page.
No wonder, a pre-wedding has become a mandatory and exciting part of wedding revelries. But before you head out to your pre-wedding shoot, here’s a 10-point guide to prep yourself right.
#1 Plan Your Shoot
It’s only logical to strategically plan your shoot, considering it happens alongside the hustle of wedding planning, Two to three months before the wedding day is ideal, so you can make full use of images on social media and wedding collaterals.
If you’ve planned to book a particular place, like a studio or a landmark, make sure you book as soon as you can. They’re always in demand and you might miss your favorite location if you delay. For couples planning to fly out of the country for the shoot, scheming a full itinerary to make full use of the trip is crucial.
#2 Pick A Common Photographer
You will be enticed to book separate photographers for your wedding and pre-wedding so as to incorporate your top two choices without having to make the dreaded choice of picking one. However, it is most advisable to make a common choice for both. Why? Because it will help you build a rapport with her/ him. The conversations and discussions after every shot aren’t possible on the wedding revelries, for obvious reasons. But on a pre-wedding shoot, you can take a look at the photos, suggest what you’d want to change, and gather the photographer’s suggestions as well. It helps you understand the chosen vendor’s personality as well as giving the other person the room to understand yours. This, trust me, will translate into great wedding pictures.
#3 Don’t Scrimp On Research
Zeroing in on finding your wedding vendors may be one of the few instances when social media stalking is highly encouraged. Whilst going through your curated list of photographers – a mix of social media research and word-of-mouth, don’t scrimp on your due diligence. Take a look at the reviews, past work and if possible, speak to any of their past clients.
Selecting a wedding photographer, according to me, is an essential part of the planning. Because no matter how good your wedding decor or makeup is, if they aren’t captured well, there’s no point. Take your time and trust the vibe you get during your initial conversations with them.
#4 Be You
In all the wedding and bridal advice that we throw at you, this one has to be the most important one. All the wedding decisions you take should reflect your authentic self. Don’t simply follow the herd. Maybe a fancy location with lots of props worked for your recently-married friends, doesn’t mean it will work for you as well. Perhaps you like things simple. Think denim jeans and a white tee on both of you with candid, cozy frames in a living room. Or high heels and an evening gown in a scenic background. Discuss with your partner what comforts and reflects your relationship is the best. Considering you’ll look to them in your later years, you’d be able to feel happy about doing what felt right at the time.
#5 Settle On A Style
You can’t fit glamorous, evening finery, candid, artistic all in the same shoot. If you do go into the shoot with these expectations, you will end up feeling disappointed in the end. Instead, narrow down on a particular style that fits into your vision as a couple and convey the same to your photographer. Stick to a sensibility and avoid any impromptu deviations later.
#6 Refrain From Re-Creating Pinterest Boards
While it’s easy to obsess and try to replicate the inspirational content you have saved, it’s not something many wedding vendors or ex-brides will vouch for. The ‘inspirational’ content is meant to take ideas from and maneuver them as per your style and personality. Let your Pinterest board serve as a starting point for your vision and layer it with your natural disposition to reach an end-point. However, if you’re stuck on a portrait or idea, do convey and discuss it with your photographer beforehand. It’s best to work with the reality at hand and leave room for the changes. In the end, let your cameraman work his charm. After all, that’s what you hired them for.
#7 Timing Matters
Be aware of when you plan to opt for the shoot – the weather, sunlight – all of them can matter to capture the desired aesthetic. If you’re planning to shoot indoors, most of these factors will nullify, but for an outdoor shoot, these factors need due consideration and planning.
#8 Opt For A Special Location
One quick search on Google for pre-wedding locations in your city will list innumerable places. But, you should stick to a location that is meaningful to you as a couple. Did you two meet in college? Get permission from authorities for a shoot on the premises. Cafes were your prime place to hand out while dating? Book for a cafe setting as a backdrop. Did he propose on the beach? Then a beach shoot it is. A location that’s special to you will automatically make you feel at ease.
If you and your partner have dreamt of getting a pre-wedding shoot at an exotic location but don’t wish to fly off for pre-wedding, try and club it with your post-wedding shoot. Of course, you can have a smaller pre-wedding shoot prior for customary purposes. And let the post-wedding ones be the gram-worthy pictures you want to use for social media.
#9 Avoid Being Too Experimental
If your personal style has always been simple, sober, and elegant – stick to it. And if it’s all about being glamorous and loud – show up like that. Just be yourself, if you are camera-shy, this is the ultimate solution to be comfortable in front of the lens. If your and your beau’s style clashes, that’s okay. Just make sure you feel at ease with yourself and you will automatically feel confident with each other. The same will be reflected in the pictures as well.
#10 Pose Naturally
Most couples feel the pressure to pose a certain way in their pre-wedding shoot. You’re not a professional model and your photographer isn’t expecting you to be either. Just have fun and pose naturally. If you feel like Monica and Chandler – add some sass to your poses but if you’re more like Phoebe and Mike, let the quirk factor resonate in your portraits. Just make a date out of it.