Young couples are eager to capture their love story away from the fuss of a wedding setting, finds Vishnupriya Bhandaram

There has been much written about fancy wedding photographs — of how it’s no longer a ‘thousand moons around the bride’ photo-shopped photography. What’s new is a pre-wedding photo shoot; to-be-brides have welcomed this trend with open arms and why not?

It’s another day to gather and freeze memories — genuine or otherwise.

“We decided to take pictures because usually after a wedding it’s just pictures of the mehendi-clad hands and suited-up grooms to adorn the walls,” says Harsha Raghava, who got married last month and got a pre-wedding photo shoot done.

“We wanted something edgy, urban and something that truly represented us in our true element.”

Couples want to flaunt the ‘to-be-us’. Just log on to Facebook and you’ll see that most of your engaged friends probably now have pictures of themselves walking along a quiet road or sitting by the river with their fiancé, images right out of a romantic film. Well, that’s the idea, really.

Hyderabad-based photographer Kishor Krishnamoorthi says the trend is fairly new in India and in the city; the bride from his first photo shoot had approached Kishor to do a ‘couple shoot’.

“Clients see their friends’ pictures and ask me and sometimes if they have a great love story, I suggest a couple photo shoot as well,” says Kishor. But now some clients even expect pre-wedding photo shoots in the package. A pre-wedding photo shoot can reflect your love story and it can really take the wedding pressure off as you enjoy a day away with your fiancé/fiancée. Invariably, the shoot is scheduled a week before the wedding and photographers suggest themes and concepts.

“I treat it like a fashion shoot and I usually get the hair and make-up in place. Also, I like to weave in a story,” says Kishor.

Pre-wedding photos can be flaunted easily and used to up your wedding décor. For his own wedding, Amrit Vatsa, co-founder of Shaadigraphers, ‘bollywoodised’ pictures of himself and his bride. He made movie posters of popular movies like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai starring his bride-to-be and himself and used them to decorate the wedding venue.

You could also add these pictures to your scrapbook, wedding website and invitation cards for a personalised theme. Amrit says, “I think couples go for pre-wedding shoots because the final pictures make them look like superstars — like Shahrukh and Kajol — and who wouldn’t want that?” He also points out that social media plays a big role in sparking such trends.

“With Facebook having become such an addictive online hangout with most youths and when half of the weddings have a Facebook invite, such pictures can make you famous,” says Amrit.

Pre-wedding photo shoots are very different from the formal poses in studios. And away from the hullabaloo of a wedding, you can capture intimate moments.

People look natural and fresh and are able to indulge in effortless romance, which perhaps is not possible just before or after a hundred rituals are done.

Get the best

a. Make sure that you discuss a convenient date and an evocative location with your photographer.

b. Come up with a theme — choose a colour scheme, pick up a scene from your favourite film or simply unfold your own love story, scene by scene.

c. Make sure you get pictures shot in different outfits. It adds to the variety.