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Planning your dream pre-wedding shoot

Exotic locations are a hit when it comes to having breathtaking images to show at your wedding. However, there are certain things to look out for when one travels to a foreign land for some pre-wedding photos. Here are some tips to help you so you don’t end up disappointed with the whole experience.

1. Do your research about the locations you intend to shoot at and the season at the time of the shoot. Summer months may be crowded and you’ll have to get to tourist attractions in the wee hours of the morning to get the shots you want! Or if it’s during the winter months, you’ll need to know that the sun sets much earlier and you may have to rethink your outfit. Take into consideration the distance between each location and how long it’ll take to get there. Allocate sufficient time based on your plan and add on additional days for the shoot if required. After all, you’ve gone all the way there already!

2. Bring along your own makeup artist and gowns as you’ll have the flexibility of arranging your shoot sessions according to your itinerary and look beautiful in your outfits instead of just casual shots in your travel clothes. Also, remember that language can be a barrier if you go somewhere exotic and find yourself struggling to communicate with your makeup artist. We’re pretty sure you won’t want to add any unnecessary stress.

3. Be prepared to walk so bring along a good pair of walking shoes! When you’re not posing in your heels, you’ll need proper shoes to walk around in. Some locations may require some maneuvering to get the best scene so carrying your heels may be wiser than wearing them all over the place. There’s also a chance you might get chased out of a popular tourist spot during a shoot. Most locations require some sort of permission for a shoot, but sometimes even that gets revoked! Just take it with a pinch of salt and move on to the next location.

Our advice is to set the right expectations before setting off on an exotic pre-wedding photo shoot. Having a sense of adventure and flexibility will help make the whole experience more fun and less stressful. And looking relaxed and happy will certainly make prettier pictures!

Pre-wedding photography locations above (top to bottom): Turkey, Bali, Thailand and Malaysia

It’s snowing in Cappadocia!

My toes and fingers felt as if they were frozen… and I was already wearing socks and gloves. What a contrast to the hot, humid beach weddings of Langkawi, Malaysia. The moment I stepped into the town of Cappadocia, Turkey, I felt as if I was transported back a few hundred years. If you haven’t traveled to Turkey before, do make this location a must-see place on your list! Some of the places you must see – the fairy chimneys of Pasabag, Devrent valley, Uchisar, Goreme open air museum, and Derinkuyu underground city. Today’s our last day of shoot, and then we’re going to be relaxing, enjoying a hammam, and doing some shopping before heading home for sunny Malaysia! Here are some teaser images from Cappadocia…

Since Alex and I don’t really want to miss out on the action, here’s a silly shot of us as well!

Planning for an overseas shoot

Whenever I go to a foreign country, I don’t know what to expect. The surroundings are unfamiliar, I don’t know where the best angles are to shoot from, what time the sun rises and goes down, whether we will get chased away from locations (which did happen)… there’s just so many uncertainties. But the thrill of being in an exotic country shooting portraits is every photographer’s dream.

It’s only been a few days into my trip, but I’ve already learnt a few things, which hopefully will help brides and grooms plan for a pre-wedding / engagement or portrait shoot overseas.

1. Do your research about the locations you’d love to shoot at. How far is one location to another? Do we need to allocate more days for the shoot? Edwin and Dawn, my couple in Turkey, did an amazing job researching all the best places to go to and knew exactly what they wanted. It helps the photographer a lot!

2. It is best to travel with a make up artist, if possible. It gives you flexibility as you can decide when to start your shoot. And it’s a lot easier communicating with a Malaysian make up artist than one who speaks a foreign language! Unless of course, you’re like Dawn, who has an amazing Turkish vocabulary even though this is only her 2nd time in Turkey. For your information, a make up artist in Turkey is called a makyaj (pronounced mak-kias).

3. Do bring your own gowns and outfits (I think that’s quite obvious!). Though you can do some portraits in a casual outfit, I think it’s quite different wearing your wedding gown or a beautiful evening gown against a scenic backdrop.

4. Depending on the season you travel in, there are pros and cons – for example, if you go in summer months when there are heaps of tourists, you may have to visit major tourist hotspots in the wee hours of the morning or at night if you want to get shots without tourists in the background. For winter months, the sun sets earlier, so do plan for that, because it means less daylight for your shoot!

5. If you plan to go inside a tourist location, be prepared to be chased away. Most locations require some sort of permission – but in our case, even if permission is granted, sometimes it can be taken away! Nothing is certain when you are traveling… just be prepared to be flexible and not get upset when things don’t go the way you expect it to.

6. Be prepared to walk a lot. So do bring along a good pair of walking shoes, especially when you are not posing with your heels!

7. For photographers, here’s a tip – tripods and monopods are considered “professional” gear – at some locations, you will be required to check it in before entry. If you don’t need one, leave it behind. We had a monopod with us as we’re doing a bit of video, and the trained guards spotted it a mile away!

At the end of the day, have fun, enjoy yourselves and create memorable images!