Wedding photographers all over the world are embracing a new wedding photography trend, the pre wedding shoot. Many are offering a short photo shoot in the months leading up to the wedding, so that they can get to know the bridal couple and find a style that suits them. The shoot may be included in the wedding photography package or it may be an optional extra depending on the wedding photographer.

1. Get used to being in front of the camera
Pre-wedding shoots are usually fun, relaxed and informal. They give a chance for the couple to get used to being in front of the camera, to play around a bit and have some fun. There’s nothing like a stress-free rehearsal to make it easier on the big day itself, when the lens will be focussed on the bride as the star of the show.

2. Get to know your wedding photographer
Pre-wedding shoots give you a chance to get to know your wedding photographer and for them to get to know you, your style, your likes and dislikes, so that on the day itself everything goes smoothly. Building a rapport with your photographer makes it easier for him or her to get those relaxed and spontaneous photos that capture the emotion and essence of your wedding day.

3. Get some great portraits as a couple
You don’t often take the time to get professional portraits taken as a couple. The pre-wedding shoot offers a wonderful chance to get some informal portraits of you together in a location of your choice. Usually the wedding photographer and the couple will choose a location within easy distance, but after that anything goes. Edgy urban or picturesque rural, dramatic mountains or romantic sea-shore, you could set your shoot anywhere you like, even the local park or at home in the garden.

4. Try out styling ideas for your wedding
Talk to your photographer about styling for your pre-wedding shoot. This could be an ideal opportunity for a rehearsal session to try out ideas with your make-up artist or stylist if you have plenty of time to spare before the shoot. However beware of getting over-complicated at this stage, as the emphasis should be on having a fun, relaxed time together in front of the camera.

5. Pre-wedding shoots are often part of the package so come at no extra cost
Quite a few photographers offer the pre-wedding shoot as part of the wedding package, so it costs you nothing to do. You don’t have to order prints from this shoot unless you really want to, and it is the printing that costs. What you do with the photos from your shoot is up to you. You could post them on Facebook or put them on your wedding website, if you have one, to share with your friends and family. Or you could select a few images to add to your wedding album or photobook. Even when a pre-wedding shoot isn’t included in the wedding package, photographers will usually be happy to charge a very reasonable rate for a weekday shoot, if you are booking them for your wedding.

After your pre-wedding photo shoot you and your wedding photographer will have had a chance to get to know each other and can define the style that will be right for you on your wedding day.