Pre wedding photoshoot has gained popularity in recent years and has now become a lucrative business. It has the potential for making a lot of profit but also has some challenges such as finding the right locations, choosing the right angles, and breaking the ice for the nervous couple.
So what can you do to tackle the challenges? Here are important pre wedding photography tips for photoshoots to help you smooth over the process and create stunning images that will make your clients happy.
Let’s get going with pre wedding photoshoot ideas:
1. Use a longer lens for more heartfelt and flattering shots
A longer lens is a staple of pre wedding photoshoots, as it produces beautiful images that not only complements your subject’s best features but also create a beautiful background blur that helps keep the focus on them.
Mid-range lenses like a 50mm lens can create distortion that makes the subject look plump and unflattering, so go for an 85mm or 200mm lens for pre-wedding shots (unless you want to have a landscape shot with the couple, and in that case, go for the short lenses).
Using a longer lens will also make the couple feel more relaxed, as you don’t have to stand too close to them to get the romantic closeup shots. For the couple, it’s hard to act naturally when there’s a camera right in front of their faces, so having it at a distance can help put them at ease.
2. Shoot in Burst Mode
Shooting in Burst Mode helps you catch any fleeting moments between the couple, scenes that are unexpected but can turn out amazingly because they’re natural and real.
The beginning will always be the trickiest when the couple poses stiffly and awkwardly. But usually, after the pose, they will loosen up and act naturally, and this is your golden opportunity to get some really good shots for pre wedding photography.
3. Set your shutter speed
When shooting in Burst Mode, be careful with motion blur. You can avoid this by setting your shutter speed manually, using your lens focal length as your guide. The longer the lens, the more you need to increase the shutter speed to avoid blur.
Tip: As a rule of thumb, your minimum shutter speed should be 1/focal length.
This works well for many photographers, given proper handheld technique and lens image stabilizer, but in case you still get a blurry image in this minimum shutter speed, the safe option is to increase it to 1/focal length*2 for optimum results.
For example, if you use a 200mm lens, the minimum shutter speed should be 1/200, or 1/400 to be on the safe side.
Bear in mind that this works for the effective focal length, so if you use a cropped camera, you need to multiply the lens focal length by 1.6.
You can read this article for more details about minimum shutter speed for handheld shooting.
4. Talk to the couple beforehand
Different couples have different ideas for their pre wedding photoshoots.
Some couples want it to be simple and natural, while others opt for more glamorous, editorial shots. It’s important to discuss this before doing the session, so you can deliver exactly what the clients envision.
The best way is to meet them, but it’s not always possible, and in that case, phone or Skype call will do. Dig deeper into their stories, personalities, and important matters. How they met, what themes they have in mind, and if there are any remarkable moments in their relationship that can be incorporated into the session.
Couples have usually formed ideas before they meet the photographer, but it always helps when the photographer can come with more creative ideas for the engagement session.
5. Scout the location(s)
After meeting the couple and listing of their ideas, start scouting locations for your pre wedding photoshoot session.
A park for a casual shoot, an old and ornate building for vintage and dramatic look, or a rooftop with the city landscape for a modern look are some of the ideas. The best way is to visit the locations, taking note of the lighting, the permission or fee if required, the crowd, and all the details.
Keep in mind your clients’ personalities when looking for locations. Shy clients would probably be awkward and uncomfortable being photographed in a crowded place with all eyes on them, so try to find a quieter alternative for them.
Even if you don’t use all the locations you’ve scouted, keep a list of them for your future reference.