“We almost decided not to have the pre shoot due to fairly serious anxiety about the whole standing in front of cameras thing. SO GLAD we did! Toby and Phil were on our side the whole time, not pushing us but just being like a couple of friends. And the results were some of my favourite photos I've ever seen, so totally worth it.” - Abi
It’s that time again; where Toby and I sit down and sift through thousands of photos we’ve taken over the past twelve months to try to distill our year into a very small handful of images.
To say it's a hard task would be a massive understatement. Just going through all the photos takes a long time, let alone trying to narrow them down to a blog-able collection.
Something I wanted to do this time was to also present a selection of photos taken during many of our 2019 pre-wedding shoots. These photo sessions are a massive part of the experience we offer to each couple; everyone that books us as their wedding photographers is offered one completely free.
If you’re a regular visitor to our blog then you’ll have read many times about the benefits these meetu-ps offer both us and our couples. Many explain to us about their nervousness before they place themselves in front of our cameras, and all of them later admit that regardless of their reservations, the opportunity to practice before their wedding day was invaluable.
One of the main reasons I love a pre-wedding shoot is because I feel spoilt, unlike most wedding days that are crammed to the brim with exciting activities and events, pre-shoots unfold at a leisurely pace. We stroll, we chat, we muck about, we laugh, and we take our time.
Doing so often allows people to feel more settled whilst we take their photos, and so their individual personalities and how they interact as a couple shines for us to capture. Then later when people tell us we’ve provided them with the nicest photos they’ve ever had together, well that’s icing on the cake.
We don’t class our end of year collections as ‘best of’ as it’s not always about the best photos, but about the ones that hold meaning for us, as well as the lovely people in the pictures too. In fact as you scroll down you’ll notice that some of the images included could actually be considered outtakes. Just wait until you get to the portrait next to a massive pile of poo!
Because it’s impossible to condense the past twelve months into such a small collection of images, I’ve squeezed a larger selection into a little video, even including some furry faces we had the pleasure of meeting during some of our shoots. Have fun watching it, and then scroll down to see our Nineteen For 2019 pre-wedding photo round up.
Here we go, in no particular order.
1. Doggos #FTW
Let's begin with one of my favourite additions to a pre-wedding shoot; pets! Many of our couples brought a pet along with them. It's nice to have them involved and it can help have a little friend to concentrate on to begin with. For more photos of Peanut the Chihuahua head over to Hannah and Paul's full pre-shoot post here
2. Bridal moustaches
That time Matilda grew some facial hair with the help of Terry, you can see more less hairy photos of Matilda on her and Terry's pre-wedding shoot here
3. Parallel parking
Proving parked cars don't get in the way of a good photo. Sonia and Craig's wedding day went up on our blog
earlier this year, but we've not had the chance to share their pre-shoot yet. We captured some great images in Digbeth so suffice to say we won't be waiting much longer before we get more photos from the shoot shared here.
4. NOM NOM!
Joe loves Amy SO MUCH he wants to eat her right up! There's a handful of less cannibalistic images of Amy and Joe's shoot over this way
5. Street silhouettes
This shot was taken at the start of Holly and Ben's pre-shoot
. We got lots of lovely leafy shots in Lightwoods Park, but Toby and I like to mix it up as much as possible, so Toby suggested a street shot and voila.
6. All the green
Those lovely leafy photos I mentioned, yep, all the green in this photo from Carrie-Anne and Olly's shoot
7. All the feels
I always know we're doing something right when a couple feels so comfortable in our company that I get to capture intimate moment like this one of April and Brook. Their shoot is another we've not had time to add to the blog just yet. I'm hoping we can rectify that soon.
8. Did someone say colour?
A few weeks ago we used Steph and Chris' pre-shoot
as an example of why Digbeth is the perfect backdrop for pre-wedding practice. Look at all the colour!
9. Keeping it simple
Number seven is to partly to prove that I did actually take photos of Hannah and Paul on their shoot, and it wasn't ALL Peanut the dog photos. It's also to demonstrate that no matter the location for a pre-wedding meet up we like to experiment to give couples a great selection of styles in their gallery. This image was taken on top of a hill during a countryside walk.
Trust it to two male photographers with short hair to walk two lovely ladies with long hair to the top of a windy hill. Sorry Steph and Bec. Here's some photos
where the beautiful Steph isn't as obscured from view.
11. PRETTY! 😍 "It was the most relaxed and fun day. Something that was very daunting was suddenly the best day as soon as we met you in the morning. We have gorgeous sunny, smiley photos of us now that we will treasure just as much as our wedding photos. You two are freaking fabulous!"
12. Kiss face
We love it when couple let us know when there's a 'thing' they often do in photos so we can incorporate it for extra personality. This is the 'kiss face' Luke does whenever Julie kisses him in photos. We've instructed him to ensure he does this face for their first kiss at the top of the aisle next year 🤣
13. More furry friends
I'm not even going to try to justify including another doggo photo in the list. Kevin here is a very good boy! Except maybe that time he jumped in a lake during Katie and Alex's pre-shoot
. Wet dog anyone?
14. Leafy location luck
We're very lucky to be recommended by a handful of great venues. Once of those venue is the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and we often use the gardens as a location for couples wanting a floral backdrop for the pre-wedding images. Even though we've photographed the venue many times, whenever we visit we like to try and find new spots that we haven't used before. This photo of Liz and Paul was taken in the Japanese Garden. I really liked how the green stood out so well on the simple background of the white wall. Plus Liz and Paul look pretty good too 😜
We'll be sharing more from their shoot closer to their wedding day next year.
15. Awesome out takes"Could not recommend highly enough. We were both apprehensive about photographs and the pre-wedding shoot, but we were instantly put at ease. Phil and Toby made us feel comfortable, they are warm, amusing, and genuinely interested in both of us as a couple, and our wedding day. After 8 years I finally have some great photos of me, and my partner and we haven't even got married yet!"
Remember when I mentioned about out takes? You never know when an awesome photo will come together, so we'll always constantly snapping away. Even though this is a 'shot in-between shots' it's a testament to the fact Beth does awesome hair flicks. More photos of Shel and Beth's shoot are over this way
16. Half man, half squirrel 🐿
Funnily enough James and Paul are't actually employed as ninjas; although if they ever decide on a career change they probably have a few qualities they can list on their CV for why they excel in such a vocation. If we looked the other way for just a second during their pre-shoot they'd be scampering up trees like it's going out of fashion.
If I had to admit to my favourite kind of couple to have in front of my camera, it would be the gigglers. Happy people make for easy subjects to photograph. You can't look at the above photo without it making you feel warm and fuzzy. Personally I think humour and making each other laugh is a cornerstone of any great relationship, and Sarah and Dan are the perfect example of this. They were a joy to photograph during their pre-wedding practice, and I'm looking forward to sharing more from this shoot as soon as possible.
19 CAT 🐈
I know, I know, this photo doesn't actually feature on of our couples, but technically it was taken during a pre-shoot. Besides after squeezing to doggo on to the list Toby wouldn't forgive me if I didn't add at least one of our couple's cats.
19 Sh*t shot
Julie and Luke make it in the list for a second time all because a pile of manure, which they were TOTALLY up for posing in front of so that we could create a 'SHIT SHOT'! Does this photo even need a caption?
Like what you've seen? Are you a couple who don't take themselves too seriously, and want photographers who'll join you in your shenanigans during your FREE pre-wedding photo shoot?… GET IN TOUCH FOLKS
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