The Wedding of Kristi & Taylor – The pre-shoot

I am not afraid to admit that I love photographing weddings. I know that they are incredible stressful events, where you really do not have the opportunity to reset if you miss shots. They are also days filled with such happiness that the main characters in them just glow.

The wedding of Taylor and Kristi took part in Upper Hutt on December 19. We delivered the photos this week and so it is mow time that I can share them with my readers.

I had photographed Kristi’s sister’s wedding back in January 2015, so I was delighted when they reached out to me to again record the day. As with the earlier wedding we provided them with a full day of both formal and documentary style photography.

I am therefore going to cover the wedding in three posts. This one covers the pre-shoot and then the next two will cover the rehearsal and the actual day.

One of the things that I try to insist on with all of my wedding couples is that we do a pre-shoot a week before the event. If at all possible we also try to do it around the same time as the actual photos will be taken.

The pre-shoot has a number of benefits all designed to make the wedding day run a lot smoother. Firstly it is an opportunity to allow the bride and groom to get comfortable being shot by me. You can see how they react to instructions and gain insights on how to best direct them on the day.

The second advantage of the pre-shoot is that it enables you to try out locations and poses without having the time limitations of the actual day. The reason that I try to hold it at roughly the same time as the actual shoot is that generally wedding photos are taken outside. Shooting at roughly the same time and location gives me advance warning of where the light would be coming from and any issues that I might face.

This shot in the forest came to mind as soon as I saw the location. I knew that we would have to cope with a colour cast though.

At the initial consult with Kristi and Taylor we had discussed a number of possible locations for the formal. These included Harcourt Park and the gardens surrounding the reception venue at Kaitoke. As the park was on the way to the reception venue I knew that it would work in terms of timing.

Now I like to be prepared as I find that this enables you to portray confidence. So in the weeks before the shoot my wife and I went to both locations and mapped out a number possibilities to try. Thus meant that the pre-shoot also ran smoothly as we moved from location to location.

I have shot previously with this tree and the couple absolutely loved it.

The other advantage of shooting at a location you plan to use is that it gives you time to work out what is the best way to move around it, and see any issues that you might face. The reality is that on the day it is very easy to get so caught up in the shoot that these can be missed. The walk from the tree (above) to the gate (below) was fairly downhill across grass and the area around the gate was a little muddy. This was fine when Kirsti was in jeans but would be an issue on the day. So that determined that we would shoot the date images first as the cars could drop them off right by it.

The gate actually separates the park from a camping ground and the road is actually on private land. Therefore I needed to get permission, however that was easily given.

We then moved up the reception location and again moved through the various areas that I had sped out earlier.

They both loved the image taken on this bridge.

In total we spent about two hours going through the areas that I had scoped, which was time really well spent. It enabled be to know what gear that I needed to bring and while the light was different to actual day, it prepared me.

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