The Picture Perfect Ice Breakers – Locations that are ideal for creating the memorable Pre wedding photo -shoots

by Rochelle Palipane Gunaratne

A picture or in these times a moving image is worth a thousand words and naturally so as the lyrics in a famous song suggests;  

We keep this love in a photograph

We made these memories for ourselves

Where our eyes are never closing

Hearts are never broken

Times forever frozen still

Long gone (thankfully so) are the days when couples stood in front of the daguerreotype looking somber without even a flicker of a smile on their faces. This was followed by pictures in which couples were asked to pose on the day of the wedding by the photographer who was a complete stranger to them and the picture would often seem very unnatural and strained. Since the dawn of the millennium, wedding photography has catapulted into a dimension that is all about encapsulating the love story of the couple. One such medium of expression is through a song and dance which is poetry in motion or through the popular concept of pre wedding photo-shoots which is the new prequel to the actual wedding. 

Pre- wedding photo shoots are Ice- Breakers   

While some couples may cringe at the idea of posing in front of a camera and opt to do away with this new norm, pre- wedding photo shoots can actually be a blessing. For instance, it helps you build a stronger rapport with your photographer, you will feel more comfortable with your photographer and also get to know his or her shooting style. For your photographer, it will be easier to assess you as a couple; from your personalities to how affectionate you are with each other and how formal or casual your styles are. In this manner, the photographer can create suitable settings that will leave lasting memories during your pre-wedding shoot and wedding day.

A pre-wedding shoot gives the couple an opportunity to be whisked away into the world of romance in which the skilled photographer captures emotions and documents the uniqueness of each couple from who they are, to how they began and the aspects of their love story which they wish to share with their loved ones. 

If you are contemplating this concept, it is best to spend some time with your photographer and customize it accordingly. Speaking to the photographers gave us inkling on the top notch locations right here in our paradise isle.  

Mithila Chandrasiri from Red Ant Weddings, a professional wedding photographer suggested some areas which incur a small fee but are ideal for pre-wedding photo shoots due to its architectural and aesthetic value; From Ceilão Villas in Colombo and Galle, The Office at Colombo 07 with its cosy ambience and elegant setting. The Barnesbury, Caramel Pumpkin, Walauwwa, The Embassy at Flower Road are some of the elegant settings dotted with antiques which radiate a Dutch heritage exuding a cozy yet elegant ambience are some of the ideal indoor locations which also have space to capture outdoor pictures. For a spacious and picturesque outdoor albeit vintage outdoor setting, Mithila recommends the Galle Fort at dawn, the Dutch Hospital in Colombo. With his affinity to the sea and sand, he suggested a few more areas in the Southern Coast from The Habitat at Kosgoda to Wijaya Beach at Unawatuna, Angel Beach Unawatuna and the Mirissa beach. The ideal time to capitalize on the natural light would be at the golden hour from 5-6pm when the couple seem to glow with the glorious multihued rays of the setting sun.  

Nuwara Eliya as well is considered a popular location for pre-shoots with The Hideout cabin, Lake Gregory and its environs and the horse riding and race courses which could be a thematic novelty during the season. 

While a systematic photoshoot will last 4-6 hours and could be wrapped up within one day, there may be others which will last two days due to the choice of locations which could range from the indoors, outdoors, cultural, traditional, luxurious/ glamorous, casual among other options which would reflect the uniqueness of the couple. 

Shenal Yohan, recommended the breathtakingly beautiful sites which are located in Ella, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya among others. For those who prefer an out-door setting in Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park seems a popular choice but the best option would be to venture to the known and lesser known areas of Sri Lanka. He also suggested 55TG Suites; timeless and beautiful since its opening, it exudes luxury with imagination; fine living with a sense of tradition. For those who prefer a setting adjacent to water, Ayana Lake, a luxury villa situated in the secluded Ruskin Island in Bolgoda and the sunset at Thalduwa Villas at Unawatuna are some options. 

Kushan Eranga, a passionate photographer prefers locations that appeal to the senses from its landscaping to its architectural setting similar to those designed by the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa. A minimalist style with elegance at the helm of its design gives prominence to the couple and creates a beautiful contrast against the backdrop. Sulanga at Bolgoda and similar boutique hotels in southern coast are ideal for such shoots which are laced with a rich heritage and the luxuries of the new world. 

Prabath Kanishka suggested Galle Fort, Mirissa, Dalawella and Galle Beach, 55TG Suites in Colombo among some of the most ideally suited locations to explore the endless possibilities in shooting the pre- wedding snap shots and videos.   

Yohan from Vanity SL, a nature lover himself mentioned the Sembuwaththa Lake, a placid body of water surrounded by the verdant pine forests, well-manicured tea bushes atop the misty mountains of Elkaduwa in Kandy. Another place of interest is which tops his list is the 60acre urban Diyasaru wetland Park in Sri Jayawardanepura Kotte, which comprises a range of wetland habitats such as marshes, flooded woodlands, lakes, and ponds. Referring to the south, he spoke of the Bentotha Beach, Galle Beach and Galle Fort in addition to numerous villas and cottages which are found in every nook and cranny of our paradise isle with its resplendent beauty it is a hot-spot for pre shoot and weddings per se. 

While locations are paramount to setting the wheels of the story in motion, what takes place behind the scenes at a pre-shoot is the breaking of barriers, easing of tensions and the creation of a comfortable, free-flowing (almost wordless) communication between the couple and the photographer which would culminate in a splendid photography session during the wedding and reflect the true sparkle in the story of the lovers.