Last Sunday, I helped with some pre-wedding shots for Mr. C's colleague, Chik and his lovely fiance, KC. The skies were pretty much gloomy and threatened to pour. Based on weather forecast, sunny skies were promising from 1pm-3pm.
In the morning, Chik and KC had their more formal pre-wedding shoot at Carlton Gardens and Royal Exhibition Centre taken by a professional photographer recommended by their make up artiste. Then, they had their lunch.
After lunch, I met up with them and another two friend of theirs, the designated photographers of the day who were equipped with their DSLRs. My self-appointed role was to assist with the props and to take some photos, if I could as I really wanted to practice photo taking and utilise whatever skills I learnt from my Street Photography tour that I participated in, one month ago.
The location was at Melbourne Uni as the couple pursued their different degrees in this beautiful, filled with heritage building. At first, it was tough taking pictures as we were all sort of noobs.
I, then resorted to browsing at wedding photographers' portfolio's like Jenny Sun, Stories, Lighted Pixel and Axioo, that I had saved on my hand phone for such an occasion, for inspiration.
As I didn't ask the couple for permission to post this pictures and most couples wouldn't want their pre-wedding photos up before their BIG day, I am only sneaking in pictures that you can't really see their faces.
I don't even know if they will use my photos but apparently, they were pretty happy with my work. :) Yea!
Here are some personal tips for your own pre-wedding or any shoot, for the matter.
Photo taking tips #1
Props are not necessarily everything but they are still important. It adds to the character and story of the photos taken. Try to get props that tells us your story, your history which other.
If you met in high school or college/uni years, you can take it in a library or a school/uni set up with books, geeky specs and outfit. If you're a doctor and he/she's an engineer or accountant, for example, bring along a stethoscope and calculators with rulers. If you both love to cook, have the photo shoot in a classy looking kitchen, could be yours, could be a friends or some where quaint.
Other props couples love to use are balloons, teddy bears, pinic baskets etc.
Photo taking tips #2
Make up and hairdo are plus points and so does dressing up for a shoot even if it is a casual one. Vibrant dress/outfits for the ladies makes them pop and stand out from the background. Guys clothing will be picked to match the girls outfit.
Photo taking tips #3
Bring your winning smile. Practice your poses and smiles before hand to get a rough idea on angles that showcase you in a better light. Perhaps your right side features better than your right. Bending your shoulders forward a bit makes your arms look slimmer and lends a sexier look to the pose.
Where you put your hands and how you stand or point your feet matters. Attention to detail matters even the smallest details show. The height you hold your flowers, the angle of your gaze, all makes a difference between a crappy photo to a mediocre one and even a great photo!
Photo taking tips #4
Research, research, research! Make sure to do some homework before hand on what kind of photos you would like. Do you like the touchy feely kind? The 'I stare at you, you stare at me, let's smell each other' kind? Let's gaze off into the sunset?
If your have parents or relatives that frown upon kissing or too much contact photos, you could always do cheeky ones. Instead of a photo showing you both smooching, you could 'kiss' behind balloons or an umbrella with your silhouette showing through.
Photo taking tips #5
It's good to have a couple of friends along to help you carry the props and setting it up for each scene. I was going crazy running around setting the props, blowing bubbles and trying to take some photos in between but I felt, my main job for the day was prop lady first, photographer last.
In Melbourne, the weather might have been gloomy that day but boy was it cold. We had to rush to the bride-to-be and drape her with her jacket whenever the photographer was taking a break. Poor lady. You could see her goosebumps!
In Malaysia, with the heat and humidity, make sure you bring LOTS of tissues or even better, bring towels along. Mr. C and I forgot to bring towels and we ran out of tissues within half hour into the shoot and we didn't have any friends along, hence, we had to lug our props about ourselves.
I hope this was a helpful post to all couples preparing for their pre-wedding shoot and also for photographer wannabes.