Pre-wedding Portrait sessions In Scotland
PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR ANSESSION
The session will be relaxed, fun and is all about getting to know each other. Taking portraits is of course important on a portrait session, but it’s second place to making friends and having a good time together.
We can go pretty much anywhere in mainland Scotland, but some places are more practical than others so that should be factored in to choosing where to go. We have a list of set places but that’s by no means exclusive. If you want to go somewhere not on the list then let us know, however we may need to factor in a fee to get there if it’s more than 50 miles from Edinburgh and it’s not on our list.
Why have a list if we can go anywhere?
Great question! Simply put, the list contains places that are accessible, located conveniently for the majority of our couples, and are places we know intimately so we can spend more time building a relationship with you and less time trying to work out where to take portrait photos that will work.
Ideally the session is about getting to know each other so if we are in an unfamiliar location then that’s a distraction from the relationship building and can lessen the experience of the session.
Where are your usual spots then?
- Cities – Edinburgh & Glasgow,
- Parks – Mugdock country park, Pollock park, Holyrood park & Arthurs seat
- Beaches – Yellowcraigs, Portobello, Seacliff, Elie ness,
- Forrests – Roslyn Glen, Dunkeld Hermitage,
- Hills & Mountains – Pentland hills, Conic Hill, Dollar Glen, Ben Lomond & Glen Coe
- Lochs and Reservoirs – Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine, Threipmuir reservoir.
Whatdo you normally start the session?
We know people are busy so we try to fit the sessions around convenient times for everyone. Ideally the session should take place about 1.5 – 2 hrs before sunset. At that time the light is much more flattering and much easier to work with. During the summer months, here in Scotland, that means sessions can start between 8pm and 10pm so we can have sessions during the week. In the winter the light is pretty flat most of the time and there’s rarely a sunset we can rely on so sessions can take place at any time there is daylight, so between 10am and 2pm. For this reason we usually set pre-wedding session in winter for the Sundays.
for the scene…
- DRESS FOR THE SCENE – Wear clothes that won’t look out of place in the chosen location notwithstanding wedding clothes which look awesome anywhere!
- WEAR COMPLIMENTARY COLOURS – Outfits should consist of a limited colour palette that will compliment complexions and accent other outfits.
Prints & Patterns
- WEAR PRINTS WISELY – Clothing and accessories with medium and large patterns are best. Try mixing with solids to balance things out.
- DON’T WEAR BUSY PATTERNS AND EXTREME COLOURS – Small, intricate patterns, and overly bright colours are distracting and will clash with the location.
Be mindful of the weather
- DRESS FOR THE SEASON AND WEATHER – Being dressed for the season will make your photos look natural because you’ll be more comfortable during the shoot.
- WEAR CLOTHES THAT REFLECT YOUR STYLE – Keep it classic and timeless, but don’t be afraid to add some personality.
- DON’T WEAR ANYTHING THAT’S TRENDY – Go for timeless and avoid clothes that will look dated in a few years (hello, shoulder pads!)
- TRY TO AVOID TOO MUCH BLACK OR WHITE – Black and white can lose a lot of detail in many environments.
- Check the weather – Dress warm just in case there’s bad weather.
- Have something to eat before you start the session. No one looks relaxed when they are hungry.
- If you have a dog, bring a dog. If you don’t have a dog, don’t steal someone else’s, they’ll notice.
IF THE WEATHER IS BAD, WHAT DO WE DO?
Outdoor portrait sessions offer a real, authentic and romantic alternative to studio photography, however the downsides are that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We’ve tried to offer some practical advice in the next few sections so that we can all have a great day of portraits.
Unless it’s a monsoon we recommend sticking with it. Rain can be a fantastic feature for portraits as long as we don’t get cold. As Ranulph Fiennes once said “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
We hope so. If it snows enjoy it as much as possible. Make snow angels and have snowball fights and do literally anything you like. It will be awesome. make sure to bring gloves though or hands will go bright red or deep purple.
Bring a hat and a hairbrush if you have one. It will stop your hair looking frizzy. The thing is, if it’s windy, embrace it. At some point near the end of the session it’s good to let your hair down and let it go wild in the wind. Some of our favourite romantic shots are from windy days with windswept hair.
REALLY SUNNY DAYS
Very sunny days, particularly ones with broken clouds, are incredibly difficult to manage for portraits. The light is either way too bright or constantly changing. This is usually only a problem in the mid-day summer sun but can also be a big problem in Scotland in winter (the angle of the sun is low and inconvenient at that time of year)
In summer we avoid it by scheduling sessions before sunset, when the light is less harsh. Conveniently this is also better for avoiding sunburn or sunstroke. In winter we’ll aim to find open shade such as tree canopies or large buildings to control the light the way we need it.
CHANGING AN OUTFIT ON LOCATION
If you want to hike up a munro or through a glen but still look stylish and chic for the photos then we recommend you change out of your activewear while on location.
Ideally we’ll plan a session to be near public bathrooms but that’s not always possible. In more remote locations we can create a mobile changing room out of large sheets or blankets held up for your modesty. Alternatively (or to be extra secure) you can wear long base layers under your regular clothes in winter or a similar but less insulating base layer in the summer. Since they are usually so thin they won’t be in the way when you change into your Sunday best.
We’ve done sessions where couples have changed from walking gear into a wedding dress in strong winter winds, on top of a hill with fairly little fuss. If you are happy to change outside we highly recommend it for locations that are less accessible (hill tops, 5k hikes etc…)