Why a Pre-Wedding Shoot?

Popular wedding photographers nowadays offer wedding couples more value-added services to not only deliver a professional product but also to ensure that they themselves have an easier task on the day to create the images both the wedding photographer and the couple wants.

A lot of wedding photographers offer pre-wedding or engagement shoots either as part of their packages or as a separate add on. You might wonder what the purpose or benefits of a pre-wedding shoot is and why you should consider having one.

Wedding photography is an art form and good wedding photographers will aim to tell the story of the day in images that are candid and captures the moments as they happen during the day. But most of us are strangers to being photographed by a professional photographer, so we don’t know what to expect when faced with an intimidating black lens pointing straight at us.

The purpose of a pre-wedding shoot is for wedding photographers to get to know a couple and put you at ease in terms of being in front of a camera and having to look comfortable, spontaneous and of course romantic. Since posing doesn’t come natural to most people, it is the job of professional wedding photographers to do as much as they can to ensure that a couple is totally at ease come the wedding day. That why it is also important to like your wedding photographer since she will be spending more time with you than your groom on the day of your wedding! Most grooms feel the pre-wedding shoot is unnecessary and in my experience it is not something they are looking forward to. Yet, at the end of the session both the bride and groom normally had so much fun that they are looking forward to the photo session on the wedding day.

Couples in love like to be romantic but it is my task as wedding photographer to make sure that you are also at ease getting flirty with someone present. The more romance you can put into your posing on the day, the more beautiful your images will look. During the pre-wedding shoot we have more time to play than on the actual wedding day. I therefore spend a lot of time explaining to couples what it is I want them to do to create a certain look. We laugh and joke a lot, act silly and generally have an awesome time. It is very common for couples, come the wedding day, to already know what I want before I even ask them what to do. Time spend during the pre-wedding shoot therefore saves a lot of time in terms of directing a shoot on the wedding day.

I encourage couples to go to a little bit of trouble when planning their pre-wedding shoot. Sure, you are organizing a whole wedding and you are not likely to have a lot of time on your hands. But doing things a little bit different in terms of outfits and location will ensure you have a gorgeous pre-wedding couple shoot that will produce images you will cherish a life time. It is also common nowadays for couples to use photos from the pre-wedding shoot for table decor, guest books or sign posters on the wedding day.

7 Essential Services You Must Look For When Hiring Wedding Photographers

When hiring a wedding photographer, you need to choose someone who offers a complete service even if you are not going to avail all of them for your wedding. Why? You will never know if the wedding package you will avail is enough until you’ll see the inclusions. Be reminded that some photography studios have set packages that may include and exclude other services, and those exclusions may be under a separate category or as miscellaneous service.

A wedding package you will typically see from a professional photographer may be into separate packages. A full offering of services usually includes those that are in the miscellaneous services and this category may be called “special wedding package” or something similar to that effect.

Now bear in mind that special wedding packages are usually expensive than those that only include digital photography and video coverage. Of course, the more services included, the higher the price. The only question here is if you’re going to avail the special package or resort to the typical wedding package. It’s really up to you to decide, but you must look for these other services just in case you change your mind and want to have a complete package for this special event.

(1) Digital photography

As a general practice among professional photographers, the digital age has brought them to new heights and edge in the technological realm. It is common for photographers of our time to use digital gadgets aside from digital cameras. They are using computer software and hardware for faster and better resolutions compared to the film-type cameras of yesteryears. This service may include the pre-wedding photo shoot, during the day itself and after the wedding.

(2) Digital video coverage

For capturing the moment while it’s happening, pros use digital video cameras to provide lasting memories complete with audio. Editing is also done digitally via computer with the use of specific software to edit and add music.

(3) On-spot video editing

This is one of the many add-on services that many pros offer today. It involves video coverage and editing on the same day of the wedding and the edited video is shown during the reception. This is a great way to share and see the ceremony altogether during the reception so everybody can enjoy it not just the couple and their families.

(4) Projector and wide screen service

This is common nowadays particularly during weddings. Memoirs, flashbacks of the couple’s love story, dedications and well-wishes from family and friends, and the digital photo slide presentation at the hotel/dressing room and church may be shown during the reception. The couple or their families can arrange the service and slides, and give them to the photographer on the day of the wedding for presentation.

(5) Additional photographer/videographer

This is essential if you are planning to have a location wedding and if you have hundreds of guests. Taking more pictures and videos than normal would definitely need more pros on the floor to capture all the special moments. It’s best to have additional photographer and videographer on hand if you are planning for this type of wedding.

(6) Albums and framed blown-up photo/s [including Guest book, a set of magnetic wedding photo album/s, 2 mini albums for parents]

These services are actually standard for wedding packages. But some couples who do not have enough budget may omit these add-ons. However, it is quite ideal at least to have the couple’s album and the guest book as part of their memoir.

(7) Add-on services [miscellaneous]

Add-ons are usually miscellaneous services that couples may or may not want to include in their wedding package. These are usually not included in the standard packages offered by professional photographers, but are there just in case customers want to add more.

Add-ons may include tarpaulin, additional photographer/videographer on top of the scheduled professionals, additional assistants particularly for location or out-of-town weddings, additional wide screen and audiovisual services.

Choosing the right photographer is the key to getting all the services that you want. If you have the budget for it, it’s best to avail the complete package inclusive of select add-ons to capture all the memories of your special day. A budget package with select services may also be chosen especially if you are tight on your budget. You can always talk to the photographer and ask for advice so you can come up with an ideal price.

4 Ways to Save on the Wedding Photos

For most couples, the wedding photographer is worth the investment to get a personal catalog of long-term memories. While it is best to hire the services of a skilled and knowledgeable photographer, it can be a significant expense. But, there are several steps that can be taken to save money on this particular service.

Here are four useful tips to cut the cost of hiring a wedding photographer:

Book early

A simple way to save money on a wedding photographer is to book early. Many photographers offer a discount for the early bookings. So, when a wedding date is secured, it may be worth making the search for a photographer one of the first priorities to organize. Alternatively, it may be possible to pay a significant percentage of the payment up-front in return for a discount.

Go with a digital package

A further option to save money is to ask the photography for a digital only package which saves on the printing costs. It may seem expensive to just buy the digital rights because you are just getting a disc of wedding photos. But, you get to print only the photos you want which can save quite a lot compared to letting the photographer print out and charge for every photo taken during the wedding and reception.

Plus, this can save by having the option to email copies of the photos to family members or friends, instead of having to print originals.

Reduce the time

Hiring a photographer for less time can have a noticeable impact on the price quoted for the photography contract. They will be charging for fewer hours and will have a lot fewer photos to develop. For instance, it is possible to only have the professorial take the photos at the church, while the photos for pre-wedding festivities can be self-taken. Also, a groomsman or bridesmaid can be tasked with the job of taking the more relaxed photos at the reception. By cutting the hours for the professional photographer to a minimum, it is possible to pay a lot less money.

Referral discounts

Many wedding photographers take on new business through referrals and word of mouth recommendations. Therefore, a chosen photographer may have a referral discount scheme in place which gives a reduction in costs after you refer a new customer to them. This is possible by talking to friends that plan to get married in the near future or even sharing a few of the photos on social media.

Best Gifts From the Bride to the Groom on Their Wedding Day

Admittedly, the wedding day belongs to the bride. For the most part, she is center stage and as such, it is easy to over look the groom. After all, how long does it take him to done his tuxedo and accoutrement? As a wedding photographer I know- barring all the shots of Jack and assuming he and/or his groomsmen know how to knot a tie, I can tell you that it doesn’t take long. Think minutes instead of hours. That leaves for a lot of down time.

Let’s face it, most boys could benefit from some guidance when it comes to passing the time before the ceremony!

Here are a few tips for the bride to fill in the time and let her future hubby know just how special he is to her:

1. Write a love letter for him to find. We never get tired of reading how much our partner loves and appreciates us and what better time to declare these things than the quiet time before the ceremony? If you are experiencing writer’s block try making a list: “10 things I love about you” or “3 reasons why I’m excited to be marring you”. Have a friend deliver the letter for you or place somewhere obvious where he will find it.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words… Seeing your smiling face will be a delight and charge up the anticipation. If you are taking his last name, let him know how exited you are with an image of you holding a sign saying “The future Mrs.___”. Plan ahead by booking a boudoir or pin up session. You can have a small album made of your sexy self or a single portrait to really give him a reason to smile at the alter!

Spice up the letter or photo with a spritz of your favorite perfume and a lipstick kiss.

3. Send him a small, meaningful gift that reflects his interests and reaffirms that you understand him and plan to make his life with you a special one. Examples can be tickets to his favorite sports game, a concert, the opera, golf tee time, a massage-whatever you feel would make him smile and appreciate you.

4. Have a friend or room service deliver his favorite meal. As the adage says: the road to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Your wedding will be a long and emotional day requiring a lot of energy. Sending him a snack is a tasty gesture and ensures that he has the chance to eat. (Remember to eat something yourself, chances are you won’t have the opportunity again for quite some time.)

5. Have a bottle of whiskey or his favorite drink sent to his room. There is nothing like a drink to calm the pre-wedding jitters and you can be sure the boys will be toasting to you.

6. Leave a box of cigars for him and his groomsmen. I’m not a smoker but cigars have traditionally been a symbol of celebration and some boys will be boys. If you are marring that boy who would appreciate a fine cigar with his groomsmen than this gift will not only make him feel very cool but also provide your wedding photographer with a great prop.

7. Send him a video message. Make it fun, heartfelt, silly or even dirty. Sing him a song. Do a little dance. Let him see how happy you are to be marrying him today!

With a little forethought and effort, you can make the best day of his life even better!