A Guide To Pre Wedding Photography (also known as: engagement session)


Let me start by saying that I adore pre wedding photography, always have and always will. The possibilities, free of any tradition or expectation, completely excite me. I’m lucky enough to have been able to shoot prior to the wedding day in Miami, Norway, Thailand, Cairo, New York, Bali, Italy, and countless locations across the UK. So what I’m about to write should not be taken in any other way than my wanting the best out of my photography and actually, the best from my couples.

The inclusion {or not} of an engagement/pre wedding shoot in a wedding photography package has always been a bit of a subject that divides opinion.

As I fast approach¬†my ninth full time year in wedding photography I am incredibly eager to refine my entire philosophy; and thus have decided that I’m falling into the ‘or not’ camp. I will explain why…

The most important benefit that pre wedding photography has solidified for me has always been trust.

My style of photography on the wedding day is supported totally by the¬†trust that my couples have in me. I want them to be sure that they are going to look great in the final wedding images, I want to evoke an¬†understanding through¬†having been photographed before of how my photographs can be summed up as ‚Äėthe shots in between the poses‚Äô and I’ve been told by countless couples that the pre wedding helped with¬†these aspects.¬†Let’s face it,¬†it‚Äôs not a regular thing to have a camera pointed at you! Surely anything we can do prior to the day {which can ¬†already be nerve-wracking enough,} can only be a good thing?

Knowing these benefits, and asking those questions of myself, was at the forefront of my mind in my hesitancy to remove it from the collection.

However, it’s growing increasingly important to me that I¬†spend time on my work. I like to grab lunch first, natter away about wedding plans and other bits. Then find a few different locations. Potentially a couple of outfit changes. Another coffee. Often drives to get to incredible scenery. Early on in this photography journey, I found that me (and probably a few of my couples, although they wouldn‚Äôt like to admit it‚Ķ) were¬†just fitting it in¬†and definitely not collaborating on creating something really special.

Let my ego step in for a minute: I want my couples to shout out from the rooftops about having found me. I want them to want to invest in me. In my photography, yes, and in me as a person too. So for me, any lowering of my expectations for myself is not allowed. I want to be increasingly an artistic wedding photographer. To not just offer a service, but to produce artwork that it wouldn’t be cheesy to frame in your home. To accomplish these ideals I need to be striving to make each shoot worthy of my pride.

The older I get I’m also realising that I believe that when people invest, there is more that comes with it. There‚Äôs an emotional investment¬†involved. Think about it, if I buy a coat from Chanel I‚Äôm definitely going to be¬†looking after it more than a coat from H&M.¬†It‚Äôs just the way the world works.

It is understandable¬†that when a pre wedding is part of a package you‚Äôre buying primarily for the main event itself ‚Äď with no choice really whether to remove it or not ‚Äď that you wouldn‚Äôt necessarily push the¬†boundaries with what you want from it. Some have, but that isn’t what we are discussing. I¬†want¬†that Chanel coat to last me a lifetime. I‚Äôm willing to have it dry cleaned, and hung up in a jacket sleeve inside my wardrobe whereas I know my H&M jacket will likely be most found on the floor of my car underneath a toy and some sweet wrappers.

I would really recommend that you do a pre wedding shoot with me. And, if it‚Äôs not something that excites you, don’t worry.¬†You shouldn’t need to pay for it to be included.¬†I’ve photographed a handful of weddings now where the couples haven’t been able to have a pre wedding shoot for simply a lack of time, or logistics just not making it work. We’ve still created incredible work that we are both proud to have been part of.¬†We will still meet up for lunch before your wedding to natter away and set out the plans for the day. You are safe with me, with my camera.

However, if you’ve read this and it’s set your mind in excitable emotion, the possibilities really are endless. That weekend break you’ve been planning in ____ (enter European hotspot here), I could be there to document that. That beach you love to visit with your hamper full of prosecco and strawberries in the summer time, take me with you. It could even just be that I come to your house before dawn breaks and photograph a day in your life; breakfast together with the morning papers in the most soft and beautiful of light. It doesn’t have to just be 50 images of you two kissing/holding hands/cuddling. We can create art. Something a little abstract.

The pre wedding shoot is £250*. For a good chunk of time with me. And a ton of beautiful images completely more unique than you could imagine.

*Expenses will be required outwith 50 miles of the Midlands. 

Pre-Wedding / Engagement Inspiration