If you have been following my blog, I’m sure you have noticed that I’m working internationally. Most of the year I spend in Singapore of course, but the European summer season i’ll be shooting weddings in the old country. Having seen wedding traditions in two continents, it gives me a perspective to see the differences. One of the differences is the concept of wedding portraits or pre-wedding photography in general. In Singapore, specially with couples having Chinese background, it is fairly common to do an elaborate pre-wedding shoot. Often the shoot is linked with a bridal studio and couples are buying into a package that includes the dress rentals, makeup, photography and some prints as well. The images will be shot well in advance and presented on the actual day at the wedding reception.
Pre-wedding shoots are still relatively rare thing to do with my European clients. Almost everyone wants to have some “official” images, but these images will be shot on the actual day. These “official” images are the equivalent of the pre-wedding photographs, but of course there is no time to print and frame them for the reception. It is more common that people send a “thank you” letter along with a picture after the wedding.
As the photography takes place on the wedding day, it is very important that a sufficient time is allocated for the shoot. I’m often asked how long the photography takes and my answer is always the same: “It depends”. If the bride and groom want to have the images done after the ceremony, then we have to work fast because the guests would be waiting until we are finished. I strongly encourage that the photography takes place before the ceremony. That way we have more time on our hands, and it is a bit more flexible, specially if we are running late with the schedule. One hour for the shoot would be luxurious, half and hour is certainly doable, but we have done beautiful images in some 5-7 minutes too. It all boils down to planning carefully in advance and experience.
Engagement photography is something that is becoming more and more popular in Europe. It is very similar to pre-wedding photography, with a difference that the images are generally much more relaxed. Also couples are not going to be photographed in their wedding dresses, as the dresses are commonly rented, and not tied into a bridal package. I guess you could say that my European customers prefer to customize their wedding day much more, and tend to avoid the package deals. A typical engagement shoot might be in a location that is special for the couple. For the dresses, they would be wearing nice, clean and casual clothes, something they feel comfortable with. The images are usually not very posed, I would rather give the bride and groom small tasks to perform that create a feeling, or some funny situation. The resulting images are casual & fun, but also intimate.
Pre-wedding photography is certainly something that I’m able to offer my Singaporean clients as well. Just please understand that I am not a bridal studio, so you would need to have your dresses sorted out for the shoot. Make-up is not an issue, as i’m partnering with a local professional artist. Then it all comes down to choosing a location which can be almost anywhere in Singapore, or even abroad. In order to create personalized and beautiful images, I always have a good discussion with my clients to learn about their ideas and wishes.
If you are looking for a photographer for your actual day, or want to have some portraits done, please follow this link.