Gemma & Faye: Pre-wedding Shoot in Digbeth, Birmingham

One of the main aspects of a pre-wedding shoot is helping couples understand that there aren't any set rules when it comes to how they are and interact when having their photo taken. You can't really get it wrong! The key is learning to be comfortable enough to be yourselves whilst being photographed, then the unique and genuine nature of your relationship will shine through.

I will sometimes offer tips and ideas to get couples started, just to help them relax into capturing photos that are authentic and comfortable. I often say that if you feel comfortable in the way you are standing, what you are wearing, and the way you both interact with each other, then that will come across in the photography and be all the better for it. If something we try doesn't feel right for you as individuals and as a couple, then we leave that idea and try something else. It's all about using ways you interact as you would generally in life, but just in front of the camera. Trust me when I say that I'm confident that all the couples I've worked with would say that it's just not as scary as you may think it might be. In fact I'd hazard a confident guess that they'd all go as far to say that they actually had a lot of fun on their pre-wedding shoots, and pretty much forgot about the camera.

The same goes for the location; there's no set rules as to where we go. Most often we'll choose to meet up at the wedding venue itself, as this gives us the advantageous opportunity to test locations in and around the venue before the day itself. This helps couples choose their favourite spots and preferred ways of interacting with each other before the wedding day. Then on the day itself they know where they'd like to go during their wedding day portrait session, as they've already seen how photos in those particular spots look.

Occasionally some couples want to do something a little different, something a little more unique to them. This is what Gemma and Faye wanted to do for their pre-wedding shoot. They opted for an urban shoot, suggesting we went to Digbeth in Birmingham for all its amazing and colourful street art. If you've seen any of my images on Facebook or Instagram of when I photographed the 2016 Festival of Colours street art weekend, you'll know that I was excited about the prospect.

It really suited Faye and Gemma as a couple and this showed in the photos. It was a treat for me to shoot with a couple in such a different location. As you can see from this selection of images below, these ladies completely rocked the urban shoot, and looked awesome whilst doing it.

I'll leave you with a few words from Gemma about how they met and their experience of their pre-shoot.

"We met thanks to a mutual friends refusal to accept that I (Gemma) didn't want to go on a blind date. Our friend had worked out long before we did that we were perfect for each other, but being ever so slightly stubborn, I declared I was happy being single. Thankfully, said friend completely ignored me and enginered a meeting that neither of us were privy to. It pains me to admit that she was totally right and it we hit it off immediately. We both knew pretty soon after that it was the real thing."


"We had been together for 2 years when I asked Faye to marry me on holiday in Spain. Thankfully she said yes! We weren't in a rush to get married, but finally decided it was about time to make it official and after visiting Pendrell Hall, we knew that would be the ideal place to throw our biggest and best party yet. That was over 18 months ago and all of a sudden it's very nearly here! We can't wait to celebrate with all our friends and family, and have some great photos to remember it by."


"We are most looking forward to having all the people that matter to us all under one roof to celebrate with us and have a great time on our wedding day. The wedding will bring together everything that matters most to us; each other, family, friends, good food, a few glasses of prosecco and music to dance the night away to!"


"We chose Digbeth for several reasons. We are getting married in a fairly traditional venue, so we wanted a shoot that would contrast. Birmingham is also where we met, it's where we often enjoy going out just the two of us or with friends and family. It's a great city, full of great people and great culture so it seemed like an obvious choice. We had also seen some photos Phil had taken in Digbeth before and loved how they looked and felt it was more reflective of who we are rather than something a bit more rural- after all, we are a pair of Black Country girls at heart!"


"To be honest we were dreading our pre-shoot a little bit! We had no idea what to expect or how we would feel about it when we got there. We needn't have worried. Phil met us before and we had a coffee and talked through everything. He totally reassured us and made us feel at ease. It felt a little weird at first but once we decided we would probably never see any of the randoms walking past ever again ( and some probably wouldn't remember as they were drunk at 12pm on a Tuesday!!!) we just relaxed into it and ended up spending most of the day laughing, as I hope the pictures show. When we think now about the photos on the big day I feel totally relaxed and know exactly what to expect, which if the pre-shoot was anything to go by, will be big laughs and amazing photos!"




Gemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum PhotographyGemma and Faye's pre-wedding engagement shoot in Digbeth and the Custard Factory. Philip Dignum Photography
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