Next weekend we are shooting the wedding of Chloe & Hayden which is being held in a small church in Pauatahanui and in planning for it I met with the bride & groom and carried out a small pre-shoot with them starting at the church and then moving onto some of the locations that i have planned to use for the formals.
Now some photographers refer to this as an engagement shoot but personally I clearly state that it is a pre-shoot, because I believe that they are fundamentally different.
To me an engagement shoot happens as soon as the contract to do the wedding has been signed which may many months before the wedding. The purpose is solely to allow the photographer and couple to get comfortable with each other. as such the location is irrelevant.
A pre-shoot has a similar goal to enable a rapport to be established between the couple and the photographer plus to plan for the actual shots on the day. When I book a pre-shoot I try to arrange it for a location close to the where we will be shooting on the day and if possible shoot at the same time. That lets me determine where the light is coming from and what issues I am likely to run into.
It is also a good opportunity to try out poses with the couple, and to see whether they like the locations your are thinking about. It is also a great opportunity to sort out transport issues on the day, rather than when you have a large wedding party in tow.
The shots below are a selection from the pre-shoot and in captions I have outlined what the situation I was looking for.