We always stress starting as early as possible. Though on average most couples will plan their pre wedding photo shoot 2-3 months ahead of time, we have met some couples who have planned 6-12 months in advance! There is no problem with planning your photo shoot 2-3 months before your trip, but after helping so many couples plan their photo shoot we've learned, for many reasons, the earlier the better!
2-3 Months Before
As you start planning for your photo shoot, it is important first decide the four most important factors that will affect your decisions from here on out:
♡ Area — A destination photo shoot is all about the destination! Where will you have your photo shoot? Paris? Tokyo? There are so many options out there!
♡ Photographer — Are you bringing your own photographer or hiring a local photographer in the area? Both options have their own pros and cons so it is best to do your research beforehand! Popular photographers get booked fast so keep that in mind while searching for a photographer.
♡ Budget — Considering all the things that will go into your photo shoot: Photographer, outfits, hair & makeup, logistics, etc. What is your tentative budget? It is best to be open minded and flexible with your budget as you may not get your first choice for packages or photographer.
♡ Tentative Date — When are you planning to have your photo shoot? We recommend picking dates on the weekdays as many photographers charge a higher price for weekends and holidays. It also helps to have flexible dates as you may need to accommodate the photographer's schedule, so try to have 2 or 3 tentative dates in mind.
1 Month Before
Your photo shoot is just a month away! Now is the time to get a little more specific about your photo shoot requests.
♡ Outfits & Accessories — What will you do about your outfits? Renting or buying? Will you have more than one outfit? If you do not already have outfits prepared and are looking to rent or buy, try to look for shops in the area of your photo shoot or hotel.
♡ Venue — Where exactly will you be having your photo shoot? Many couples coming to Japan, where we are based, often request for a photo shoot in Tokyo. But the city itself offers so many different places for photo shoot venues from busy streets to serene temples to peaceful parks. If you cannot decide, you can always get in touch with your photographer and ask for location recommendations.
♡ Hair & Makeup — Will you be doing your own makeup or hiring a salon? Hair and makeup are the first things you will most likely need to take care of on the day of your photo shoot so we recommend finding one near your hotel, or even seeing if your hotel has someone they can recommend. If you are doing your photo shoot in Japan, many photographers offer packages including hair and makeup.
2-3 Weeks Before
As it comes closer to your destination photo shoot date, you will most likely be in touch with your photographer a lot. Talk to them about what you want from your photo shoot, or even look up some pre wedding photo shoot inspiration to help get those creative juices flowing!
♡ Date & Time — It is easier to check weather reports the closer you are to your photo shoot date. Around this time you should be able to decide a specific date and time for your photo shoot.
♡ Poses & Props — What kind of photos do you want from your photo shoot? Candids or posed shots? Will you be bringing props? Now is the time to get into specifics and structure your photo shoot!
1 Week Before
Less than 10 days to your photo shoot! This is where the planning should be really specific and tailored to the schedule of your photo shoot to ensure the day runs smoothly.
♡ Logistics — How long will it take you to get dressed and have your hair and makeup done? How long will it take you to get to your photo shoot venue and how much will it cost? Any and all things related to traveling before and during your photo shoot should be considered and written down.
♡ Schedule — Your schedule should make time for all the logistics and include things like when/where you are meeting your photographer, venue locations (if you have more than one), travel, etc.
♡ Meeting Time & Place — When and where are you meeting your photographer? At your hotel or at your venue? Make sure to confirm this with your photographer one or two times to make sure!
1 Day Before
The day before the big day!
♡ Confirm Arrangements — Go through your schedule one more time to make sure you and your partner understand the schedule for tomorrow. Also check with the salon or any other places you need to re-confirm plans with.
♡ Relax — Now that you've done all this great planning, you can relax! You deserve some R & R, take a bubble bath, get a facial, get your nails done, do whatever you need to do to relax :)
♡ Check-in with Photographer — Go through last checks with your photographer to make sure you both understand the schedule and meeting places for tomorrow.
Your special day has finally arrived!
♡ Early Light Meal — Photo shoots can be very physically and mentally taxing so it is best to get a light meal before you start. Something healthy like fruits or cereal is recommended.
♡ Leave Early — Traffic can be unpredictable so it wouldn't hurt to leave a little earlier than planned!
♡ Don't forget! — It's your special day! Enjoy yourself and enjoy the time with your special partner ♡ And don't forget to take breaks! If you're feeling tired or need to sit down, don't be afraid to ask your photographer for a break. This will ensure you will look your best in all your photos!