Quite simply, I love Pre Wedding Shoots, or Engagement Shoots or E-Shoots, or whatever people want to call them this week. A Pre Wedding Photo Shoot is a great way for me to get to know my couple in an informal way before the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. I even have a favourite spot for Pre Wedding Photo Shoots, it's Beacon Fell near Garstang in Lancashire. It's an amazing foresty type place on a hillside with great views from Barrow-in Furness in the North to Lytham in the South on a good day. The elevation gives us a great backdrop for portraits and the forest environment means that we can shoot lots of different looks without having to travel far.

As it's just the three of us on the shoot and we don’t have an audience, I find that my couples relax quickly and are soon just having fun in the woods. Quite often they forget I am taking pictures 🙂

We can meet outside the café/information centre. Car parking is £1 per day and the machine is card only. We will be walking quite a bit, from one pretty area to the next, shooting pictures at each spot and we will be walking up/downhill, we can take it as easy as you need to.

Some spots are off the path and will involve walking on uneven terrain, nothing dangerous at all, but sensible and appropriate footwear will be required.

Who is this for?

A critical part of getting great images is that you are relaxed in front of the camera. We get to this point by just being ourselves, out for a walk in a forest, simply chatting and getting to know each other. I have found that if we bring along children, pets, family or friends we just don't get the same results.

With this in mind please note that the Pre-Wedding Shoot is just for those that will be saying 'I Do' on the big day.

When do we do this?

This is entirely up to you. Some couples want to have their shoot a year in advance, then they can use the images for their Wedding Invitations, Save The Date cards or just to splash on their Social Media. Other couples want it closer to their wedding date so that they feel more comfortable with being in front of the camera. Whenever you want it, remember that these shoots are weather dependent, so allow plenty of time if we need to reschedule! Squeezing in a shoot in the last few days before your wedding is far from ideal!

There will be so much happening in the run up to your big day, you might forget to book this shoot, so why not plan for it now?

What to wear

Whatever you like, though I would suggest clothing that reflects the activity. A ball gown in the forest may look a little out of place. Jeans and shirts/jumpers/hoodies are fine, short dresses less so. As we are basically in a forest for the shoot I would avoid green and brown shades. Also, try to avoid the 'all in black' look, you will disappear into the shadows.

Hair and makeup – however you want! Although the ‘less is more’ look works well when it comes to makeup.

But I hate posing!

Then don't pose! We start off with walking shots around the forest and build from there. Pictures of you chatting and laughing work better than a forced pose.

How long does it take?

We will be plodding around for 2 hours. There will be around 8-10 different locations we will shoot in. Sometimes we are done sooner, sometimes we run over.

What do we do?

That’s the easy part! We will go to a location and I will put you where I need you for the shot. It will take a minute for me to sort the camera settings out and compose the shot, then it's down to you guys! Natural moments of you laughing or sharing a kiss, holding hands or having a cuddle work well, and I try to avoid cheesy or uncomfortable poses.

When can I have the images?

I normally deliver a Pre-Wedding shoot within 7 days, however during peak times June-October I ask for 14 days. Sometimes I can deliver the next day, sometimes I need the full 2 weeks.

How do I get the images?

Images will be uploaded to a secure online gallery. I will email the album link and password to you.

What can I do with the images?

Anything you want that isn't commercial! Post them on Facebook, print them out, order a 50-foot canvas, it's entirely up to you.

Some couples like to order a Wedding Day Signing Canvas as a personalised Guest Book that they can hang on their wall.

100cm x 70cm for £120 - 70cm x 50cm at £95

Delivery in 14 days.

(Frameless as standard)

Will Neil Ridley Photography use the images?

I reserve the right to use the images for promotional use. This is usually on Social Media or on a slideshow at Wedding Fayres. As a courtesy I would ask for your approval if I was intending to use them anywhere else.

What if it's raining/windy/snowing?

If the weather forecast for our shoot is poor the day before I will contact you and re-arrange for another date.

If it starts to rain during the shoot it is entirely up to you if we continue or not. We will be under the forest canopy for the majority of the time and that offers some protection from the elements, however, the ground can quickly become sodden. Of course, the cameras are electronic and I have to look after them, so if the rain gets too bad I may have to pause or even call an end to the shoot.

What if I need to cancel or re-arrange?

You can call me on 07925 076 043 to discuss. Likewise, I may need to re-schedule if I get a wedding booking for the same date.

What if…..?

Please just drop me a line if you have any questions or concerns that I haven’t addressed here :)


We should meet outside the Visitor Centre. The address is Beacon Fell Visitor Centre, Preston, PR32EW.

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If you be a Pirate use these co-ordinates, Yarrr - 53.878691, -2.663902