prep couples for the pre wedding photoshoot

When the bride and groom first reach out to you, you have the opportunity to get to know them and form a meaningful relationship. One of the first times you will work with your couple is during their pre wedding photoshoot. This is an important shoot to master because it will set the tone for the rest of the wedding process. A Customer of ShootDotEdit, a photographer editor company, and a Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer, Leeann Marie has a plan in place to educate her clients about the process before, during, and after the pre wedding picture session.

leeann marie headshot


Pre Wedding Photoshoot

So you can continue building a relationship with your clients after the pre wedding photoshoot, Leeann is sharing 7 ways to successfully prep your couples for getting ready for engagement photos.

Before the Booking

The primary concern with booking the photoshoot (besides any sales process involved) is the selection of a date. Clients may not know the “perfect time” for their pre wedding photos, so it’s important to help lead them towards a session date that would be a great fit for them and for your schedule.


Tip #1: Choose the Right Season: In Pittsburgh, our weather is very seasonal, with snowy winters, beautiful colorful autumn, and hot summer days. When selecting the ideal date with your couple, be sure to set expectations on what each season may look like in their photos. I usually will point my clients in one of two directions: a matching season with their wedding date, or the total opposite. For example, if someone is getting married in October, I’ll usually suggest either October for their engagement or the spring – something totally different.

Tip #2: Plan for the Save The Date: Lots of couples use their pre weddings photos when sending a save-the-date. These are typically mailed at least 6 months before a wedding date, so if your couple plans to use their photos for this reason, be sure to help them select the date accordingly. Keep in mind your turnaround time as well.

Before the Session

Tip #3: Help With Outfits: Any time I’ve been the subject of a photo session, I go crazy thinking about what to wear. Knowing this helps me to remember that my clients are going through the same thing. Send over recommendations or links to Pinterest boards to help them out. If you’re really proactive, you can send them links to outfits that they can purchase or rent (Rent The Runway is great for this). Send them information for hair and makeup artists as well. It’s best to help them with this step before they actually reach out to ask – it makes you proactive.

Tip #4: Set Expectations: I say over and over again to photographers how important it is to set expectations with your clients! Let them know exactly how long to expect the session to run, what they should show up wearing, where they can change clothes if necessary, how you like to pose and interact if they should bring any props, and what the overall feel of the session will be like.

At the Session

Tip #5: Help With Wedding Planning and Products: I use the prewedding photoshoot time to help talk with my clients even more about their wedding day, timelines, and what to expect. On top of getting to know them as a couple, this is a great time to further solidify your expertise and help them feel comfortable with how their wedding day will flow. The pre wedding photo session is also a great time to speak to any products you offer that would be a wonderful fit for their engagement photos (such as small albums, prints, guest books, etc.).

A pre wedding shoot photo of a couple on top of a roof with taller behinds blurred behind them.

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

Tip #6: Guide Them Through Posing: Your clients have likely never taken engagement photos before, so be sure to talk them through posing and keep an easy-going atmosphere. This is the perfect time to experiment a little in order to find their comfort zone. This is also a great time to “nickname” any poses you’ll likely use on the wedding day – I find this helps a lot for portraits on the big day! Take a look at these 10 tips to nail the session to showcase your skills and get your clients comfortable in front of the camera.

Related: Take a look at these 15 photos to inspire your pre wedding photoshoot!

After the Session

Tip #7: Set Expectations Again: It’s important after the session is complete to set expectations again! Let your clients know exactly when they should be seeing their gallery after their images are color corrected by a wedding photography post processing company, how they can make prints, where to get a print release, and what to expect for their wedding day planning. I usually like to do this not only in-person after the session is complete, but also in a follow-up email the next morning.

By setting expectations and helping your clients through the pre wedding photoshoot process, they will feel like you are their friend, trusted expert, and perfect photographer for their wedding day. Learn more about how to properly use lighting and posing during the engagement session to create stunning photos with the Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide. Click the banner below to discover pro tips and tricks!

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