Making the most of your Couples Shoot!
A Couples Shoot (also known as an Engagement Shoot or Pre-wedding shoot), is a great opportunity for you, your partner, and your photographer to get to know each other. If, like me, you’re intimidated by being in front of the camera, then a couple’s shoot is the perfect time to get rid of these fears, and to help you feel comfortable in front of the camera before your big day.
Your photographer is a professional, and will spend their time talking to you both and getting to know your story! These sessions are also a great way for you as a couple to get to know your photographer. So don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your photographer isn't just another wedding vendor, they are by your side for most of the wedding day. So it is much better to form a connection with your photographer before your wedding day.
But how can you make the most out of these sessions??
One of the biggest things to consider is the location of your shoot. Speak with your photographer to discuss potential settings, but bear in mind any potential travel restrictions.
You could also consider where you got engaged? Would this location be available?
Nevertheless, you don’t have to be in the most amazing location to get amazing photos! The location helps, but your photographer can find angles and compositions to show the landscape in its true beauty. For example, the photo above was taken at a local lake. What you can't see, however, is that to the right of the image is a building site where new build houses are being constructed, and behind the camera is a building estate with parked cars!
What time should we plan the shoot?
Timing is half of the battle with photography. Your photographer can advise on times they are available for the shoot. However, work with them to arrange the shoot at a time that the lighting will help your desired effect. For example, prime photography time is Golden Hour. This is the hour prior to sunset as the light bounces around the horizon producing beautiful golden lighting in your shots. A lot of photographers like to work at Golden Hour as it creates some amazing photos.
Most photographers dislike bright harsh sunlight. If you have a photoshoot at noon on a glaring summers day, the lighting is high in the sky and can create harsh shadows and bright highlights. This will completely change the outcome of your final images.
You may be a couple who prefer dark city shots using artificial lighting and flash. Speak with your photographer and discuss their style and abilities. They may be able to offer a blue hour shoot. This is the hour after sunset when the light turns a blue colour. There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to the time of your photos, so speak with your photographer to understand their preference and work out the timing of your shoot.
What should we ware?
Your style is your style. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in! Dress up or dress down, these are your photos so make sure you feel good.
Remember, this isn't your wedding day so you don't have to dress formal. This could be a chance to show your personalities in your own way.
Consider your outfits together, do they work as a pair? They don't need to be matching, but you should be dressed to the same level. Are one of you planning on waring a smart outfit while the other is planning something more casual?
There are no rules on what to wear. But consider the location you have picked and select appropriate footwear. No heels on a mountain slope! Also consider the time, weather, and duration of the shoot. Whatever you chose, just be yourselves, and feel comfortable in the clothing you pick!
What should I bring with me?
The best advice is to travel light. Don't bring anything that you don't want in the photographs. Extra bags, and coats can get in the way. Your photographer will be taking photos while you're walking and talking between yourselves as this provides some really nice candid photos. Below are two suggestions you could bring to your couple’s shoot.
FLOWERS! Flowers aren't just for your wedding day! It doesn't need to be anything special, just a bunch of supermarket flowers, but you can try and tie them together with some twine to create a handle so you can walk with them. This really adds some colour and context to the photos!
BUBBLY! Perhaps flowers aren't your style, how about a bottle of something fizzy? Again, nothing special! It doesn't need to be expensive champagne, some supermarket prosecco works just fine. It's something for you to enjoy while on your shoot! It can also make great photos when you pop the cork!
Use the session to break the ice and get rid of any nerves you may have about being in front of the camera! Get to know your photographer, get to know which photos suit you, and your partner. Most importantly, make it yours! Dress how you like, at a location that’s special with the person you love, and let the photos speak for themselves.