When I meet potential clients, I often harp on about the importance of the Pre-wedding meeting.  It’s such an important part of my style and process.

So using the recent pre-wed of John & Kelly at the lovely Oulton Hall last week as my models, let me explain the reasons why they rock…

1. A practice shoot allows a couple to experience how it feels on that side of the camera before their big day. Which I won’t lie, is often weird.

2. It allows us to nosey round the venue so I’ve got my bearings on the day & we can find & reuse the best locations again on their big day, come rain or shine.

3. Even if the couple do feel nervous & awkward at the practice shoot, they get to see those images before their big day and (hopefully) love the relaxed moments I caught of them.  By seeing relaxed images of what they thought felt odd and weird gives them faith that I’ll be able to do this of them in their wedding finery, which in turn makes them more relaxed in front of me.

It feeds itself, if you know what I mean, and eventually my favourite couples say, “Do what you want with us, we trust you!”

4. The pre-wed shoot not only helps us find spots, but also allows me teach a couple how I’d like them to behave, and eventually learn to publicly display their love without fear, while pretty much ignoring me!  Making this look relaxed isn’t always so easy to do, so at a one-on-one pre-wed is a better time to practice this than in front of all your wedding guests!

5. The couple get a cool set of printable/postable casual images from a full-on portrait shoot in their civvies; their favourite of which can make a great closer on the final page of their wedding album.

6. I get to try new ideas out in post-production, keeping things fresh for me and allowing me to gauge the clients tastes when processing their wedding pics.

On the pre-wed images I might try bold post-production, eg. high-key processing (above) or faded 60’s tint (below), but generally I try to ‘process’ the wedding images into a punchy colour or a timeless b&w/sepia, so as to help the images not date badly.  The images I’ve shot since I started have the same post-production feel and I try to avoid passing fads like painting red roses back into black & white images (spot colour) or putting blurry edges, texture overlays over images.  I try to let the image do the talking.

7. I get to photograph shoes!  As a teenager I worked at Leeds’ various shoe shops (once for £2.69 an hr if I rememember!) and after years of wedding & music photography, I find myself drawn to footwear.  I think they say a lot about someone.

Either that or I’ve got a foot fetish and I’m some kind of pervert!

8. It shows how weather is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to getting nice images!  When I met Kelly & John it was grey & drizzling (gotta love England’s climates), and I could tell they we’re disheartened and had hoped for some glorious evening sunshine to skip about in, but as I often say to clients, blazing sun generally isn’t our friend when it comes to even lighting.  Clouds diffuse & soften the light, and I’ve always got a set of white brollies in the boot to pull out for up-for-it couples who’d like to dance in the rain.

It was great to meet Kelly (sirname: Zazzi! How cool is that?!) & John at Oulton Hall for their pre-wed (to see more of the hall at a past wedding I shot at Oulton Hall click here). We got a fantastic set of images and inspite of the weather they learnt all they needed to set them up for a great shoot on their big day!

So there you have it – that’s why pre-wedding meets are so important and why I include them in all my wedding packages!

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