As we were planning our wedding last year, friends would often jokingly ask me “So… will you be photographing your own wedding?” I thought: of course not, that would be close to impossible. But shooting our own pre-wedding photos was a different story. There would be a lot of limitations to work around with, but I thought what the heck… let’s just try it out. At the very least, we would have fun doing it, right? So we did.

The first thing we agreed on was we wanted the photos to be meaningful and interesting in a way that it represents our relationship. So we listed down the activities we do together, even down to the usual mundane stuff like work… sleep… watch movie… fight… run… etc. Once we’ve finalized the list, we started planning out how to photograph each.

Now capturing a natural candid moment like what I often do in the street was not going to be possible with a camera on timer mounted on a tripod, so we put on our creative thinking caps and figured out what we could do. Multiple exposures, long exposures, and digital composites came to mind. I’ve always wanted to experiment with this, so we agreed and went to work.

behind the scenes

We had a blast. The whole thing spanned for a few weeks, shooting on weekends and after office hours. One time, we shot in the office and had to wait until all our officemates went home, then I set up the camera on tripod and shot multiple exposures of us monkeying around the place.

Pre wedding engagement photo at the office

Another time we went to Orchard Road and other streets in Singapore and took long exposure shots of ourselves in the middle of the crowd. I couldn’t find a remote trigger for my camera, so after setting up the camera on tripod, I asked the help of my fiancee’s sister to click the shutter on cue. Fortunately, she obliged. Thanks, Jopay :)

Pre wedding engagement photo in orchard road

We didn’t get to plan everything out, but we just went with it and made it up as we went along. It was a good sign that we both would laugh out loud when we reviewed the shots afterwards.

Pre wedding engagement photo

Pre wedding engagement photo

The result was a 12×12 hard cover photo book that also doubled as our guest book for our visitors to sign in their wishes.

pre-wedding photo book

It’s almost like a scrapbook containing various style and content, using old and new photos that show different aspects of our relationship, providing a sneak peek of what we do, where we go, how we love.

We had absolute fun working on the book. There were moments of disagreement (just like any married couple) but we eventually pulled through. In the end, we’re very happy with what we came up with. It’s not your usual grand dress-up-and-pose smiles-and-kisses romantic pre-wedding photos… but it’s us… and we made it ourselves :)

To see all the photos, you can view the pdf here.

Big thanks to Andrew of JCS Digital Solutions for making the book happen. They printed the book in one week just in time for our flight back to the Philippines for the big day. Also big thanks to Ly Yeow for the beautiful art work you did for the cover. You guys rock!