Most of my wedding photography packages include an engagement shoot. I see these sessions as an integral part of the relationship building part of the process with my couples and for that reason I will never remove it from any of my collections. If you haven’t been married before then you might be wondering what an engagement shoot is and why I like to do them, so I hope to address some of those questions now. All my couples love their engagement shoot sessions… even if they were a little apprehensive about them beforehand! As it’s part of the photography package I love, I perhaps spend a bit more time on them than other photographers would.
An engagement shoot is traditionally an opportunity to take a set of photographs to be used to announce your engagement to the world. It’s quite an American tradition, and is now becoming more and more popular in the UK. As with wedding photography in general, the move to digital photography has encouraged a more creative approach to engagement photography, and a move to location sessions rather than the studio.
The engagement shoot is important for me in getting to understand how you respond to the camera so I don’t have to worry about that kind of thing on the wedding day when our allocated time for portraits will probably be quite limited. This ensures the day runs smoothly and I can get a lot of great pictures in a small amount of time. Some couples have a great natural chemistry in front of the camera, while others need some time to feel relaxed when being photographed. Some people are great with moody poses, and others can look great when they smile. Some people are lucky and seem to look good in every style of image. You’ll also get a chance to see how I work as a photographer, the kind of things I say to you and how I direct you to bring out the best in you. The images will look like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and it’ll give you the confidence to just go with it on the wedding day!
The engagement shoot usually takes place 1-2 months before the wedding or, if it’s at all possible, between April and September when the weather is bit more likely to be good! Winter shoots can be good fun as well but we just need to wrap up a little bit more. I find that the closer to the wedding, the more I can remember what you are like as a couple, and the fresher everything is in your mind. People often say the engagement shoot signals the start of the proper countdown to the wedding!
You’ll need to decide where you’d like to have your engagement shoot. My advice to couples is to look through my blog as there are loads of examples of shoot locations and try to work out the general area of the shoot – and by that I usually mean do you want to shoot in an urban environment, a rural location, or by the sea? Perhaps there is somewhere special you both like and you want to shoot there. I have lots of ideas for locations, but like to be pointed in the right direction by you first!
When we have a location sorted it’s time to start thinking about what to wear! My advice for this is to wear something smart – as if you were going out on a fairly posh date – but on the funky side of formal as well. If you want to mix it up then bring along a second, more casual outfit as well. We can easily do two looks!
When we arrive on the location we’ll just go for a wander and when something catches my eye (you’ll probably be shocked at the things that do catch my eye!) we stop and shoot a few shots. I’m quite a fast photographer and after a few shots we’ll move on somewhere else. Don’t worry about having to walk too far, usually the next thing that catches my eye is right around the corner.
At the end of the shoot we know each other a bit better, you have a collection of images that will make your friends jealous and I know how best to shoot you on your wedding day.
Engagement Shoots are included in most wedding photography packages, but couples shoots for those already married or have not decided on a wedding date but would still like to capture the moment are available