Some thoughts about the portrait shoot
There are some people who really look forward to the photo shoot and feel very comfortable with cameras, and that's great! But most of us feel unsure or even nervous about the prospect of having our picture taken. If so, you are not alone so don't worry, it is actually a lot of fun! None of our couples are professional models or used to posing for cameras - and that is absolutely fine with us, because great photographs shouldn't be about adopting poses. Funnily enough we find professional models reaaalllly hard to photograph.
We are there to capture something lovely and genuine and fresh, so the best thing is not to worry about what you are doing, but rather to let us take care of it. The best bit of advice that we can give is simply to treat the portrait shoot as a happy stroll in some beautiful surroundings with someone you love, to enjoy it, and not to worry about how you are presenting yourself. If there's one bit of advice we'd give, that is to move around a lot (we like dynamic pictures), don't try to 'hold' poses (unless we ask you to), and just be friendly to your partner (go on - link arms, hold hands, don't be scared - do whatever you want to do!) The more that you concentrate on having a nice time with your partner, paying attention to one another - and not to us, the better! So our take away bit of advice is, as a starting point, just ignore us, be affectionate to your fiancé/wife/hisband/partner, and move around a fair bit. :)
Portrait shoots on the wedding day
Locations: it's great to get some variety in the setting for the photographs, and if time allows it may be worth trying a couple of different locations. But sometimes less is more, and rather than rushing from one spot to the next it can be better to concentrate on a single beautiful spot (or occasionally, a couple of them) rather than trying to take pictures everywhere. Slow down, and enjoy yourself!
Timings: there are usually, roughly speaking, three options on when to do the portrait shoot on the wedding day (and sometimes, couples go for more than one option). The most popular is to go away for some portraits soon after the ceremony, usually while the guests are at a drinks reception. Depending on the timings of the day, location etc., a shoot like this might typically take around half an hour, though sometimes can be shorter or longer, depending on enthusiasm!
Another possibility particularly in the long Summer or Spring daylight hours, is to nip out in the evening for a mini-shoot, perhaps after the meal is over but before evening dancing has started. We love these and they often lead to spectacular pictures - a great chance of catching some gorgeous evening light, either around the 'golden hour', or with a delicate dusky feel. Evening light is your breathtaking companion – think about splitting the time allocated for your portrait shoot in two. Although it is all weather dependent of course: Simon’s mum always says if you do not like weather in Scotland…wait 5 minutes! Unless the forecast is for solid sunshine, with weddings in Scotland, there is a lot to be said for taking opportunities in between rain clouds when you get them and taking at least some of the portraits earlier on. One possibility is quite a short shoot earlier on in the day and another short shoot in the evening. That way, if the weather closes in in the evening, you still have an outside shoot. Let’s discuss it when we chat about your day’s timetable but it works splendidly with a late summer nights, especially in Scotland!
Another, less common, but still worth considering, possibility is to take the portraits earlier in the day several hours before the ceremony. This can work particularly well if the reception is going to be quite short or if the couple want to spend all the reception chatting to guests, but of course it doesn't work in cases where the bride and groom want to make sure that they don't see each other before the ceremony. Especially in the US, 'first looks' where the groom gets to see the bride beforehand are quite popular, and becoming increasingly popular in the UK too. The 'first look' might be a relatively quick meeting, or can be a full photoshoot.
If you have a videographer: We are happy to work with videographers during the wedding day but always ask whether you need video footage from the portrait shoot. It is quite nice to have a short period of privacy during the wedding day where you can catch your breath and relax. The portrait shoot is the ideal time to do this. However if it's important to you then we are happy to work with anyone who is unobtrusive and respectful.
Pre- and post-wedding shoots
We like to make the shoots personal and reflect your personality. We look to produce a series of beautiful portraits that reflect you personality, but sometimes it is fun to incorporate some more quirky elements into the shoot. If you have a favourite hobby that is important to you, like perhaps scuba diving or horse-riding, if you think you might like to incorporate it in some way into the shoot, let us know and we can bounce around some ideas!
Practicalities - Being comfortable
The secret to creating lovely portraits is to create a relaxed and happy atmosphere - and that is going to be difficult if your shoes are pinching hard, if you are cold, or if you are worried about getting marks on expensive shoes or dress. Comfort and mobility are key. Think about packing some spare flat shoes or even wellies if it is wet ( Scottish landscape is this lush green colour with a reason ?! ) will allow you to enjoy this time when we take the portraits of the two of you. Comfortable brides make for the most beautiful portraits!!