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  • Why Couple shoot? When you can ‘Save The Date’

    November   2015

    I have been meaning to write this blog for sometime, and I am glad I am finally doing it. Because I want every couple to read this who opt for a couple shoot, or who write to me about doing it.

    Couple shoots are trendy these days (last 2 years). With every 2nd wedding enquiry I get, I also get a request for a couple shoot on a separate day from the wedding. On some platforms I only get a request for a couple shoot, may be because they liked my couple portraits a lot. Whatever be their reason, I admire people being vocal about their requests and interests.

    The only reasons I am NOT ok with why people want to do a couple shoot are :
    a. All others are doing it.
    b. Other photographers offered it as a package.

    This blind rat race is a bit meaningless if you ask me. Specially if you look at the following scenarios:
    1. Either the girl, or guy are shy and not very comfortable with physical intimacy/expressions in front of the camera.
    2. There is no clear idea on what they want to do. And what kind of portraits they expect. "Photographer will take us somewhere, give us some props and we will get some colorful pics which will get many likes on FB" is a very rudderless approach to things.
    3. You've not even thought about your 'look'. You're spending a decent sum of money on hiring a photographer, but you want to do the make-up yourself? Really? You're spending 25-50 thousand on this day and you have no clue on what you will wear and what you want to look like? Imagine if a friend told you this, you might think they are fickle or wasteful.
    4. What will you do with 50/100/200 'couple shots' when it is really one or two you will share with the world on FB.
    5. 80% of my couple shots in the portfolio were shot on the wedding day, or on the day of one of the ceremonies. We just found some time before/after the ceremonies and made some great pictures. It's possible. You don't have to dedicate another day to it.

    But hey, I am not discouraging you if you have a clear idea in your head on what you're going for, at least in its approach and look & feel. But don't just do it, because others are doing it and because its cool. The pictures you are imagining you will get, would they even remotely represent your personalities in honesty? Is it something you will cherish forever or look back at it sheepishly, shifting uneasily in your chair.

    And this is the main reason why, as a photographer and a creative person I prefer 'save the date' shots far more than the couple shoots. Save the date shoots are centered around an idea usually. You can build it around your story, your personalities or even your wedding theme. And that creative / campaign could be used both as a reminder, or as a poster for your social media announcement about your wedding. What's better? This takes just a few minutes, or under an hour to shoot. And hey, you can still do elegant portraits on your wedding/sangeet/reception day for the photobook.

    In case you are confused, these are your options:
    1. Couple portraits - Shot on the wedding or other ceremony day. Few pictures. Capturing the ensembles, your look and the locale.
    2. Save the Date - Few theme based shots. Act as reminder / poster or to make people aware about your wedding on Social Media.
    3. Couple Shoots - 3-6 hours long with a few changes at one location or many. Before or after the wedding. You get 100+ pictures. But usually couples share less than 5 of these on social media. And very rarely couples print a special book just for this.

    I'm not trying to de-sell an opportunity to make more money. I would be more than happy if you want to do a couple shoot. I just want you to be very clear on what you're opting for, what to expect and what the preparation for it should look like. e.g. if you want your couple shoot to look no less than a movie poster then you might need to invest in a good dress/ gown. Get proper makeup done and the groom to be might need to be 'groomed' as well :) A white Louise phillipe shirt with denims is just pure lazy. Do better.

    When I get married, I wouldn't want a Couple Shoot for the many reasons listed above. But, a nice portrait of us decked up in beautiful ensembles for posterity and remembrance? Most definitely!

    ps: you might disagree with me here and please write back to me with your comments and share your thoughts.
    And you think people in US, UK, Germany opt for a couple shoot? Think about it.