Planning 101 12th May 2024

How to DIY Your Pre-Wedding Photo Session: 6 Creative Tips

The do-it-yourself or DIY pre-wedding photo session offers couples an avenue for a personalised approach to capturing their love and their anticipation leading up to the big day. Unlike traditional pre-wedding photoshoots, DIY sessions allow couples to choose locations, poses, and themes that truly resonate with their personalities and that evoke the stories behind their relationships. This creative freedom helps unlock unique and meaningful images and provides a fun and memorable experience for couples to cherish.

DIY pre-wedding photo shoots are also oftentimes the most cost-efficient choice. They can significantly reduce wedding costs by allowing couples to personally manage aspects like their choice of props, wardrobe, and location, which keeps mark-ups from third parties down to a minimum. All the while, couples have maximum creative control over their vision for the shoot.

If the idea appeals to you as well, here are some tips to help you and your partner execute it successfully:

1) Choose the Perfect Location

The location you choose sets the tone, mood, and backdrop for your photos. Knowing that, take some time to consider your options. Indoor locations, in particular, can offer controlled lighting and privacy. 

Consider venues like art galleries or stately homes for intimate and unique backdrops. You can also look for rental spaces to hold your photo session with your wedding party. Consider searching online for location houses London photographers and their clients frequent, and you’re sure to be presented with a wealth of options. 

Outdoor settings, on the other hand, will treat couples and their entourages with natural light and diverse environments. Beaches, parks, forests, and urban streets will offer a variety of atmospheres to suit different preferences. 

Research and explore unique locations that will match with your preferences and suit your wedding theme. What’s for certain is that locations like historical landmarks and hidden gems in your city will add a special touch to your photos.

Be sure to visit the potential locations before the shoot. If you can, scout a chosen place at different times of the day to assess lighting conditions and other factors that may affect your photos. Also make sure to check for any permits or special permissions required to secure the location, especially for private or popular options. Consider the logistics and accessibility of the location for you, your photographer, anyone else involved in the shoot, and any props or equipment you wish to bring with you. 

2) Remember That Timing is Everything

The time of day and the season can greatly influence the lighting and overall mood of your photos. For instance, harsh sunlight during midday can create unflattering shadows and overexposure. 

If you want the best results, schedule your photo session during the golden hour. It’s the time of day shortly after sunrise and before sunset. What makes this timing ideal is that it offers soft, warm lighting that’s sure to add a romantic and ethereal feel to photos. 

In addition, consider the season's natural beauty and how it aligns with your wedding theme or personal preferences. Incorporating spring blossoms, autumn foliage, or winter snow can enhance the visual appeal of your photos and make them all the more memorable to revisit.

3) Consider Your Wardrobe Choices

Your outfit choices will also play a huge role in the overall look and feel of your photos. Go for outfits that look good individually and complement each other when photographed together. Coordinate colours, patterns, or styles that can achieve a cohesive and harmonious look on camera.

Aside from choosing what looks good on camera, factor in the shoot location's vibe, colours, and theme when selecting your outfits. For example, flowy dresses and casual attire may be more suitable for a beach setting, while formal attire will be both easy to wear and appear especially fetching in a stately home or urban setting.

4) Use DIY Props and Decor 

In addition to your clothes, remember to think about any props and decor you might want to take with you to the shoot. These can enhance the theme, mood, and storytelling potential in your photo session. Bring items that you like and that are appropriate for the theme of your wedding. Vintage books, musical instruments, or even the presence of your pets can add a personal and meaningful touch to your photos.

You can also get creative and crafty with DIY decor like handmade banners, photo frames, or themed setups. You’ll be pleased with personalised photos that encapsulate your interests, hobbies, or shared memories as a couple. 

5) Prepare a Shot List

Compiling your ideas and inspirations and consolidating them into a shot list will help you stay organised and ensure that you capture all the moments you want. You can start by creating a mood board to gather inspiration or to note down poses you'd like to try during the photo session. 

It would also be good to list down specific poses or moments you want to capture during the shoot. Include candid moments, romantic poses, or shots of activities like reading, playing sports, or interacting with pet cats or dogs. 

While planning and organising will serve you well, be open to spontaneous moments and creative ideas that may arise during the shoot itself. Some of the best photos are often unplanned and may be better at capturing genuine emotions and interactions.

6) Learn to Pose Like a Pro

You can also practise the poses that will create the most visual interest during the photo session. Try classic nuptial poses first, like walking hand-in-hand, embracing, or looking into each other's eyes. These will provide a strong focal point for your photos and showcase the unique connection between you and your partner.

Consider injecting some fun and personality into your photos as well, with playful poses or activities that reflect your interests and relationship dynamics. Dance, jump, or even stage a playful pillow fight.

Think of your DIY pre-wedding photo session as an exciting opportunity to add personal touches and create unique memories before your wedding day. Try any of these tips to achieve beautiful and memorable end results that you can count on to tell your love story.