The Drawhorns

Preparing for wedding photos



Hey there! If you’re reading this, it means you’re already on our books (or considering it!) and eagerly counting down the days til your date. Super exciting! It also means that while you might be kinda nervous about getting photos taken, you do care about ‘em, and want to help make the best photos possible.

We’ve written about combating nerves before, but we wanted to write a simple guide that delves into how your photoshoot with us is gonna work — to offer tips and demystify the process a bit so you’re not surprised day-of. We also want to talk about how a little preparation and the right mindset can go a long way toward making photos you really love.

Let’s get to it!


What will you do during your shoot?

Basically — we’re gonna take photos of you, and we want these photos to show who you are and the way you love each other.

Simple so far, but there’s more.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you probably don’t want to stand perfectly still while we take photos of you for an hour or two or four, and that means you’ll probably want to do something in the photos. So what do you do together during your shoot?

It’s a really important question, and you’ve got a few options.

You could:

  1. Come to the shoot as blank slates. You completely rely on our expertise and experience to guide you through every moment in a string of activities from our tested bag-of-tricks that we photograph you doing together.

  2. Wing it! You two improvise the entire shoot on the spot, gracefully floating from one photogenic action to the next. You may have heard of a documentary style of photography, and this is what that would be — we sit back, let you do your thing, you show us who you are, and we capture it all in photos.

  3. Do a little thinking beforehand and combine A & B.

  4. Decide to stand perfectly still while we photograph you for an hour without breaking eye contact.

Let’s have a look at each of these.


Option 1

Might seem like a nice choice if you’re nervous in photos or have never had photos taken!

We do the majority of the work, guiding you through our proven bag of tricks that result in great images. Done deal right?

Here’s the kicker though: we don’t know you very well yet, and definitely not as well as you know each other. We don’t know your subtle, significant gestures. We don’t know your love language. We don’t know what you might hate because it’s cheesy, and we don’t know what you might love because it’s cheesy. We don’t know the fun stupid shit you do together when no one’s around. And isn’t that what you really love about each other?

And that means that these beautiful photos we would absolutely make, even though you’re in them, don’t actually show who you are, and so won’t mean as much to you as they could.

Between who you truly are together, and what poses get likes on Instagram or Pinterest, which do you think you’ll care more about in 10-20-30+ years?


Option 2

I love this idea — if you’re both super confident, love getting your photos taken, are great at helping and guiding each other through the shoot, know how to balance timing/pace of a shoot without relying on props, and have a great grasp on how to make what you’re doing as photogenic as possible, by all means! No sarcasm here, you’ve got a rare talent, and I can’t wait to just meet up, have you do your thing, and us all to have a blast during the shoot.


Option 3

The clear choice for most folks, because as much as we’d like, we’re not all Option 2 people.

Imagine this — before your shoot, you two put some thought into what you love about each other, the activities you love to do together, the little gestures you love to do together.

What does it look like when you get playful? Serious? Intimate? Romantic?

Which parts of your relationship and connection would you like to show through in photos?

Our bag of tricks has many ideas, but it’s best to think of them as jumping off points. They’re not correct or perfect or the only way; they can be added to, tossed out, modified to fit you two better. They’re a safety net.

Coming to the shoot ready and open to busting out some of your meaningful gestures and movements, and helping your partner do the same, will go a long way toward making photos that show who you actually are.

And then during the shoot, we just explore a beautiful area together, and you two are bringing out some of these special or goofy things whenever you want, or when there’s a lull, or when you’re taking a suggestion of ours and really making it your own, or when you’re doing your own thing entirely – and we’re helping you make ‘em look good on the photo end. And the photos show all this, and they’re not only beautiful, but special, too.

Best case scenario: you’re not performing your love for us (and especially not some other idealized version of love), or looking to us for approval. Instead you’re really just doing these things. With each other. In an incredible location. And we’ll photograph it.

Importantly: The things you come up with beforehand and are willing to share during the shoot, so long as you’re being true to yourselves, and no matter what they are — these are the best things. The things that are unique to you are the best things.

I mean it. Nothing’s off the table here.

You know how your partner may not be perfect, but they’re perfect for you? That’s ideally how it is with photos — maybe not all magazine perfect, but all perfectly you. Which will make them fantastic.


Option 4

Jedi mind trick : this is not the option you’re looking for.



The important takeaway here is that we’ll only make great photos by working together. It probably won’t work if it’s one-sided.

On our end, we’re gonna bring our experience, and preparation, and suggestions, to help you two be yourselves, to help bring your ideas to life, and be ready to catch you if you totally blank or stumble (maybe literally on a trail, ha).

And on your end, we want you to come to the shoot prepared too, with an open mind and a willingness to be open to letting who you are show through in front of a camera. To improvise. And maybe most importantly, to help each other throughout.

It might take some courage, but if you can do that, you’ll love the photos we make so much more.


- Austin