Couple David Han and Fang Shihan’s pre-wedding photoshoot featured this portrait of emotional alienation. PHOTO: VAMOS PHOTOGRAPHY/The Straits Times

Weddings are happy occasions, and we feel it is only right that a couple’s wedding portraits (if they’re having theirs taken) reflect as much.

But there’s been a recent shift towards wedding photos that are less romantic, less smiley, and worse: doesn’t convey the fact that the subjects are a couple who’re about to tie the knot soon.

Take Fang Shihan and David Han’s pre-wedding photos (featured in The Straits Times on 17 July 2016), for instance. Instead of a typical wedding shoot (kudos to them, really), the couple opted to take something that reflected the realities of life in Singapore after marriage.

While we’re all for individual, unique portraits that reflect the couple’s preferences, personalities, and lifestyles, these may not make for great memories once you look back maybe 10, 20 years later when reality really sets in.

1. Celebrate your milestones
It’s not wrong to get real, but such milestones are happy occasions, and the photos taken during the time, should reflect it.

Mr Han and Ms Fang stepping out of a house as a headless mannequin is seen in the background. PHOTO: VAMOS PHOTOGRAPHY

2. Get creative, but don’t push it
Concepts are great, especially if they’re original and reflect who you are as a couple (like Douglas Lin and Charmaine Lim’s edgy photoshoot that showcased their love for fast cars and gaming). But I have to admit, Ms Fang and Mr Han’s photos of them carrying a baby doll with a headless mannequin in the background is scary, and a little much. Sorry!

Couple Douglas Lin and Charmaine Lim’s pre-wedding photo shoot (above) combines his interest in car drifting and her love for gaming into one image. PHOTO: RAYMOND PHANG PHOTOGRAPHY

3. There are ways to showcase your personalities without going to extremes
When Taiwanese magician Lu Chen (or Liu Qian) got married, he incorporated facets of his life into his portraits with his wife, Chinese model, Ariel Wang. The result? A magical, glamorous yet romantic album that showcased Lu Chen’s work at its finest. (See here for the full story).

4. You can only take your wedding photos once
There are ways to get around lovely, personalised wedding photos that don’t look like any other couple’s (see these real couples, unique outdoor portraits in Singapore, and other photo inspirations here). Look to Pinterest, wedding blogs or magazines to get ideas, but try not to take photos of you two in something you both wear on a regular or daily basis. You will only get to wear your wedding dress and suit once in your life, but you can always have the option of taking other styled photoshoots in future.

See also: tips on taking pre-wedding shoots in Europe, things to remember for a photoshoot overseas, things to note for indoor portraits, and ways to get dreamy portraits even if you’re experiencing bad weather.