Australia has always been a popular destination for pre-wedding photoshoots and it’s easy to see why. Sydney, in particular, is famous because of the iconic places such as Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Apart from the city itself, there are beautiful landscapes from beaches to national parks that are not too far away from the city. So it gives you plenty of choices and a variety of beautiful backdrops for your pre-wedding photoshoot. From my three years of experience living and shooting pre-wedding sessions in Sydney, I’m sharing some information below that will be useful for you to know. Whether you are a local Sydneysider or someone from interstate or overseas who is considering a pre-wedding session in Sydney, this article will give you insights on how to plan a perfect pre-wedding photoshoot in Sydney.
There are a lot of reasons why you should do a pre-wedding photoshoot. Primarily, we do this so you have beautiful photographs that you can use for your announcements, save-the-date, wedding invitations. Some couples also showcase the photographs on their wedding day as slideshow presentation or have them printed, framed, and displayed on the gift table.
Another huge reason why you should do a pre-wedding photoshoot is so that you can remove any anxiety of being in front of the camera and to get familiar with how your wedding photographer works. By doing so, you are likely to feel more relaxed and comfortable and your wedding photographer will also have a better feel of your vision and story so your wedding photos can turn out the way you envision. In addition, many brides do their wedding make-up and hair trial for the photoshoot so they know how they will look for the big day and can work with their make-up artist to tweak things if necessary. Some photographers, like myself, offer a make-up and hair service by a professional make-up artist as an add-on to pre-wedding package to help you achieve the right look.
Overall, a pre-wedding photoshoot is a great idea as it gives you and your partner a break from the wedding planning and time to just have fun and soak up the engagement bliss. It also allows the opportunity to explore your creativity and style as a couple.
Yes, I highly recommend coming up with a concept/theme for your photoshoot as it will help the photographer understand your vision. The concept of the photoshoot will help refine the choice of venues and outfits. For instance, if you like a contemporary and formal vibe, then perhaps a pre-wedding session in the NSW Art Gallery or Opera House will be fitting. Whereas if you like a casual and laid-back vibe, then beach or park will be good options. Some couples choose place where they first met or they were proposed, or activities that reflect them such as beachside picnic. Remember to let your photographer know what you have in mind. Some photographers, like myself, can be very involved in the planning of your photoshoot by offering guidance, art direction, styling advice and recommendation on logistics if requested, so that your concept can be successfully executed.
Outfits are a great way to infuse the couples’ personalities that will help with telling their story through the photographs. Generally speaking, the choice of outfits has to tie in nicely with the concept of the photoshoot and and is ideally appropriate for the season/weather when you are having the photoshoot. For examples, if you are having a summer beach session, perhaps a flowy-dress paired with wide-brim sunhat and sandals would work best. Whereas, if you are having a city session in spring with modern vibe, a sleek camisole dress paired with strapped heels would look great. Some couples may choose to infuse their cultural roots by wearing traditional clothings for their session. Depending on the length of your session, you may be able to fit in two different outfits and have a combination of one formal and one casual look. If you are unsure of what to wear, is it always a good idea to have a chat with your photographer. I appreciate it if my couples share with me their vision for the pre-wedding photoshoot so we can brainstorm and bounce some ideas on what to wear.
We are lucky that Sydney has a temperate climate with relatively mild temperatures but during colder climate, I like to suggest to my couples to dress in layers. Layers adds interest and it’s easy to take off if you feel too warm. Similarly, textures of the clothings add depths and interest to the images. Some textures that are beautiful to photograph include linen, lace, silk, tulle, velvet and wool. As for colour palette, I like to suggest wearing colours that are complimentary to your partner’s outfits and colours that ensure you pop out from your background, and yet still keep the overall image timeless, refined and beautiful.
If you’re coming from interstate or overseas, there are plenty of amazing hotels and airbnb in the Sydney CBD. One of my favourite is the Pier One Sydney Harbour. The hotel is a re-purposed heritage building, built on and over water. The rooms are beautifully designed and are overlooking the Sydney Harbour or Harbour Bridge. There is a bar and restaurant at the hotel. In addition, it’s easy to get around from the hotel as there are many public transport options and the hotel is located just a stone throw away from the iconic places in Sydney.
Where you are staying can also serve as a good option for indoor photoshoot. If you want some photos taken indoor in a beautiful vacation rental or hotel, let me know as I’m happy to recommend a listing of venues and organise a package for you that includes rental stay.
On the day of the photoshoot, I recommend carrying a small bag of essentials that you can keep in your car or carry along easily during the shoot. Some essentials may include a bottle of water to rehydrate, shawl (to layer up if weather becomes cold), flat shoes for the ladies if you plan to wear high heels during the shoot, make-up touch ups if necessary, and your phone and wallet/purse. For the gents in particular, I like to recommend putting their wallets and phones in the bag as phone/wallet bulging out from the pants does not look great on photos.
Depending on your pre-wedding route and where you stay, there are a number of options to travel. If you stay around the city and your session will be held in the CBD, there are a variety of public transport options including the train, bus, ferry, light rail, or taxi/uber. If you would like to get some photos outside the city area, I highly recommend driving if you have your own car, or hiring a car from the rental companies such as Hertz or Avis.
After your pre-wedding photoshoot is complete, it’s helpful to share your favourite photos with your photographer, if they will also do your wedding photography. If I know which photos my clients love, I will strive to include those types of photos for their wedding day.
After the gallery delivery, I like to recommend my couples to print their photos as being able to touch and feel the photographs will give them an experience that cannot be compared to viewing the digital versions. They also serve as great additions to your new home and a tangible reminder of this beautiful stage of your relationship.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope that you get something out of it. If you consider doing a pre-wedding photoshoot with me, get in touch with me here.
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