A pre-wedding photo shoot (or engagement session) is  a session that you book with your photographer a couple of months before the wedding. Many of our couples book a shoot with us to get comfortable in front of the camera, and they will often use their images to add an extra personal touch to their wedding.

Here are 9 reasons why booking a pre-wedding shoot with your wedding photographer is absolutely essential.

1. Eliminate camera nerves

Let’s start off with the most important one – getting rid of those camera nerves. I got married in 2011 and even though I’d had countless people in front of my camera lens, being photographed was an entirely different story. I found myself camera shy and without any idea of what I was supposed to do. In hindsight I feel we should have had a shoot with our photographer prior to the wedding to build a rapport with them and get comfortable in front of the camera.

Booking in a pre-wedding photo shoot with your photographer will give you an opportunity to get to know each other, and get a feel for what to expect on your wedding day. You’ll gain an understanding of how your photographer will direct you on your wedding day to get the best images. If you book a pre-wedding shoot, on the wedding day I can guarantee you’ll feel completely at ease, which will reflect in your photos.

2. Get a hair and make-up trial

A pre-wedding shoot is a great way to “try out” your hair stylist and make-up artist before the big day. You’ll get to see how you’ll look in professional photos, and advise your style team if you want any adjustments made for your wedding.

3. Create a guestbook

You’ve probably seen them before at weddings – a plain guestbook with ruled lines and not much else. Why not create a beautiful personalised signature guest book with images from your pre-wedding shoot? We work with our couples to create a stunning hard-cover photo guestbook with images from your pre-wedding shoot. I love watching the guests crowd around these at wedding receptions, writing their messages and flipping through the whole book. The signature guest book becomes a keepsake which you can flip through and remember your day and the well-wishes of the people who were with you.

4. Use your photos in a reception slideshow presentation

For something truly special, you can feature photos from your pre-wedding shoot and even the wedding day itself, at the reception. Set aside 5-10 minutes in the evening, pick some beautiful music to go with it, and wow your guests with a slideshow highlighting your love story.


5. Include your photos in your invitations and save the date cards

I recommend doing your pre-wedding shoot around two months before your wedding day, so that it gives you enough time put together a signature guestbook or canvas. It also leaves some breathing room before your wedding so that you’re not stressed or rushed. Some couples also choose to use one or two of the best images from their shoot as part of their save the date or invitation cards.

6. Feature your photos in your wedding album

A wedding album tells the story of the biggest day of your lives, and your love story. What better way to start the story by including some images from your pre-wedding shoot? It’s a fun and informal way to start off your wedding album.

7. Get some beautiful images for wall art

Of course you’ll display some of your favourite wedding images on your wall. How about mixing it up with a few fun and colourful prints or canvases from your pre-wedding shoot? You can display one or more of your favourite images on a canvas at the entrance to the reception, and then take it home to display in your bedroom, dining or living room.


8. Get photos in a different location to your wedding day

On your wedding day it’s always a good idea to choose a location that’s somewhere between the wedding and reception venue, to maximise time for your location photos. Sometimes you may also be limited to location choices because of what you’ll be wearing (for example, you may not want to wear your wedding dress down to the beach or to a location with heavy winds).

A pre-wedding shoot is perfect for getting photos done somewhere completely different to your wedding day. For example, you may want to get some photos at a certain spot where you often spend time together, or where the proposal happened. Some couples even have their pre-wedding shoot at night for a moody, intimate vibe.

9. Guide your photographer

Use the images from your pre-wedding shoot to tell your photographer which photos you like and why, so that they can focus on those types of images on your wedding day. This will help ensure you get the photos you were expecting on the day.

Have I convinced you how important a pre-wedding shoot is? If not for any of these compelling reasons, book a shoot just to have some much-needed time out with each other. I often get emails the day after from couples thanking me for giving them some forced chill-out time (with the added benefit of a set of gorgeous images to keep forever).

Interested in booking a pre-wedding shoot with me? Contact me to book now. Spaces are very limited due to my hectic wedding schedule!