What is a pre-wedding or engagement photo shoot?

February 2018

A pre-shoot is a short photo session with your wedding photographer approximately three to six months before your wedding. The main aim of the pre-shoot is to get used to being in front of the camera, build rapport with your photographer, and receive a lovely set of romantic photographs well before your wedding.

There are so many words for this:

  • engagement photo session,
  • pre-wedding photo session,
  • pre-shoot,

Essentially they all mean the same for couples who are planning their wedding: a photo session with your wedding photographer a few months or weeks before your wedding day.

So what exactly is a pre-shoot and should you have one?

In the UK, in the past ten years or so, is has become popular to book an engagement photo session a few months or weeks before your wedding. A lot of wedding photographers offer this, some as a charged-for addition to their WEDDING PACKAGES, some photographers include a pre-shoot as part of their wedding photography package (all my clients who book the full day wedding experience can book a complimentary pre-wedding photo shoot).

The main aim is to get to know your photographer and they can get to know you as a couple. You can spend a little bit of time in a low-pressure situation talking about and overcoming your fears of getting photographed, and rehearsing the role of being models in front of the camera. And you will most likely receive a selection of romantic and fun photographs, months before your wedding.

It's great for me to find out about you as a couple, how affectionate are you or do you want to be in public. Some couples are happy to kiss in front of the camera, others are happy to hold hands and have a cuddle.

You will also find out about the photographer's shooting style and their little quirks, so that you are not too surprised if he disappears in the undergrowth on your wedding day and you wonder what's going on (taking photographs through the foliage creates an amazing effect!!).

It is entirely the couple’s choice to opt in or out of having a pre-shoot, but I’d recommend it, especially if you’re a bit nervous about being in front of the camera.

What if you are too nervous to have your photo taken?

I come across this a lot and I have written an article about exactly this situation (please read: I don't like my photo taken).

You could also read my blog article about our own pre-shoot and the things I learnt.  

Happy couples enjoying their engagement ,pre-wedding or engagement photo shoot
Happy couples enjoying their engagement
Couples trying out looks and building a relationship with their photographer,pre-wedding or engagement photo shoot
Couples trying out looks and building a relationship with their photographer

Who is Nadin Dunnigan - Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh

Hey, I am Nadin! (same as "Nadine" - just without the "e"). I am a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, specialising in big family weddings in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. I have photographed so many weddings, and it is my mission to help couples with planning their dream wedding. Any questions I come across repeatedly - either in person or online, I will pop in here and provide more insight.

I hope you will find them useful :)

Nadin Dunnigan Photographer