July 3rd, 2011
Here are thirty pictures that I shot whilst giving one of my shooting couples workshops last month. Way back in 1999 Julie and I started to shoot every one of our wedding couples before their wedding. The general term used at that time for this kind of shoot was an engagement shoot but we preferred to use the phrase pre-wedding shoot. Somehow linking the shoot to the wedding gave it more gravitas and implied it was not a try before you buy type shoot. Our biggest obstacle to overcome in the early days was to get clients to buy pictures from the shoot in sufficient quantity to make the whole process worthwhile. We have that bit sorted now through the use of inteligent communication and having the right products delivered with a fabulous customer experience.
Over the years we have refined the shoot process and the products we offer our pre wedding clients. The shots in this set are what I call the client album selection. These would have been chosen from about 60 pictures to make up a typical Lovegrove pre wedding shoot album. We never show more than twice the number of pictures than the couple will buy as this keeps the process positive. If they chose only one in three pictures it looks bad and feels bad. I want them to love all the pictures so Julie culls hard. The shoot happens late morning, the couple have lunch then come to the studio for a same day viewing. They are back on the motorway by 4pm having chosen the shots for their album.
There is a balance of subject in each set that we show and sell. Here are five pictures of the groom to be, five of the Bride to be and twenty of the two of them together. That ratio feels right and makes a great album. We nearly always show our clients all colour shots. I’ve chosen to show monochrome because that is how I feel right now.
All these frames could have been shot in about an hour under cover on the streets of Bristol. It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing, this shoot avoids open areas. If the sun is out I’ll use that to add to the variety of images but it isn’t an issue if it is raining hard. In fact, it helps the sale and the confidence of the couple. If I can get great shots of them in the rain at the pre wedding shoot they are less worried about the prospect of having a wet wedding.
I have just one more shooting couples workshop this season and it is on 26th July. At the time of writing there are 4 places left out of 5. This workshop will show you how I pose couples, creat the moments and deal with the light. Every delegate will get the chance to shoot every set up and I don’t move on untill we have all got our pictures. The experience requirement level for delegates is set low because this shoot requires very little technical skill. It is all about the relationship chemistry, posing and creating moments to capture. Once we have done the morning shoot we take lunch at the Lovegrove studio where Julie will cull my pictures in her ruthless ‘firm but fair’ way. Marko will then take over to knock the pictures into shape ready for viewing. This really is a start to finish workshop. Deligates will have enough pictures from the session to create sample products for themselves. More details can be found here.