Monday, 16 March 2009

Pre Wedding Photoshoot tips

As I mentioned earlier in my blog, I am counting down to my best friend's big day, and therefore writting up loads of wedding tips entry.

Taking picture before the bigday (so called pre-wed pictures) has become a norm particularly in Asia. Had never heard people done it in UK for sure. However, I like the idea of it. Many times, wedding is such a busy affair. Don't talk about posing for picture, it's lucky enough that you can be able to seat and eat your dinner peacefully that very day. This situation is commonly found in Asian country whereby wedding is involving tons or relatives and hundreds of guest. Setting another time a side just to take picture may be a good idea. So, to those of you that are GOING to get married, and thinking of doing prewedding pictures, here is my 2 cents worth of opinion and experience.

Assume that you have discuss all the nitty gritty of the price, this is the checklist you should consider.

1. Get the expectation right
Believe me, you are not the only bride that expect everything to be perfect. But it's necessary to tell other people what you expect to avoid disappointment.
Before selecting a photographer for your pre-wedding picture session, make sure you know what are you getting. Ask him to show his work. Don't pick a certain photographer because you like "several" of his snaps (which you happen to stumble on when visiting his shops or website).
Be very careful, obviously enough many photographers only show the "nice" picture, which may happen to be one or two that shown to you (among hundreds of his shoot). So my take on this : ask him to show a set of picture belong to ONE couple, at least you know, from hundreds of picture he took for that couple how many of them fell to your "expected" criteria.

2. Choosing Location
Choosing location can be quite difficult, especially when you are in singapore where all the nice places are either too common for wedding photoshoot or else it isn't free. I guess my take on this is to continue to search on the net, forum is a great place whereby you can find out great place.
The following picture is taken at some unknown places nearby Changi airport. (Belive me, is not that I don't want to share where it was). There is no sign post or anything there. I told him that I wanted to take a picture whereby there is a lot of pine three, and so he brought us there. (Location 1)

Here is another location, I happen to find out about it from a magazine. The place was actually a temple at amoy street, Thian Hock Keng. This is a touristy place and not so common for wedding shoots. (Location 2)

3. Discuss with the photographer
After you know what are you getting, now you need to tell your photographer what you preference. Tell him what kind of "feels" you wanted to potray, e.g romantic, fairytale, victorian classic, modern retro, or even just for fun. Do let him know is there certain things you are not comfortable with (in term of pose or may even be location). Some people prefer to do no kissing scene, some people prefer to have their face looking to the camera all the time etc. Here is several picture from moreno studio to illustrated what I mean.
Just for fun

Victorian Classic

Oriental Classic

Romantic Timeless

4. Choosing the dress
There is an easy rule of thumb when it comes to choosing your dress for the photoshoot. "Stick to your theme". If you choose oriental classic, try not to wear white ballgown dress, and if you choose Victorian Classic, avoid choosing plain gown with minimal accessories. Rules applies for hairdo's and make up.
Be careful with photoshoot in traditional outfit (korean, chinese, japanese, dutch outfit... you name it!!). It may looks fun, but think further before choosing traditional outfit. There are people who carry international outfit very well. I've seen one of my high school friend's wife to be wearing international outfit and I think she looks great in it. But after seeing so many couple's album, I think 90% looks weird than good.Here is my proof! (Which one looks "weird"? you decide!)

click on the image to enlarge

And the rule applied to us, I thought both of us look quite silly in other country traditional outfit, mainly because we simply don't look japanese or korean enough to wear their traditional outfit. Anyway, I believe as chinese the best result is still (obviously) with Chinese traditional outfit because we naturally carries the looks.

5. Any back up plan should the weather turn sour?
Even though weather in some area are predictable, it's always a great idea to have a backup plan should out of a sudden the weather condition takes it turn. Sometimes it worth to take indoor picture while waiting for the weather to get better. But on the other case it may be a good idea to reschedule the photo taking to another day. Sometimes it worth to provide alternative indoor place such as hotel's lobby, train station, museum etc as alternative plan.

6. Write a schedule for "the" day and discuss it with your photographer
It's normally took a whole day to take pre-wedding shoots. This normally cover 2 to 3 place depends on the proximity. So be realistic that you couldn't cover limitless number of places. For example, my first location (Location 1) cover up different kind of scenery, from white pine trees, grass wheat (lalangs), and shrubs.

7. What to do the night before the photoshoot?
I hope you managed to sort out the above list before this day coming. The night before photoshoot normally second most worrying after the night before the wedding day. But trust me, worrying won't help. Keep a list of things to bring (accessories, hairclip, shoes, bouquet, etc) for the photoshoot, make sure you arrange where to eat or may be bring some food from home, don't sleep late so that you'll look fresh on the next day.

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Wiki Lee - fotoExpression said...

wow... i didn't know you chose one of photos in your blog... great :D

nice blog... definitely very nice of you to share some wedding tips...

keep up the good works.

PS: are you in london?

Jessica said...

Hello Wiki Lee, Thanks for dropping by! Well, I am not quite sure what you mean but I hope many brides to be took benefit of my 2 cents worth of advice :-)
I am in Cambridge, how about you? Care to share your photography blog since you appear to have quite interest in photography. I definetely need to learn from many other great photographers!

Char said...

wow - there are some great shots in beautiful.

I would be so nervous doing a wedding, though I've done one informally before and everyone loved my snapshots.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Lord have mercy you were a beautiful bride!!

Stardust said...

Absolutely beautiful bride you were!

I wasn't half so, I was so stressed about the preparation and stuff. Yeeks!

You still look so very beautiful now. =)

bp said...

Loving shots of yourself (beautiful bride!) and your husband there =) You're one handsome couple! Thanks for sharing!

J.H said...

hi everyone,
thank you for those kind words. I give back all the credit to the photographer, the designer and the make up artist :-) they can make any brides looks stunning on their big day!