So, I’m often asked: ‘how important are engagement shoots?’
This usually comes from couples planning an engagement shoot as part of their wedding photography package more than those looking for a stand alone shoot to mark their engagement.
My response to these couples is that actually, an engagement shoot is pretty important. This is for a few reasons, including:
- I get to know you. I get to learn how you feel in front of the camera. Are you shy and need some reassurance? Or do you love the camera? Does the camera love you? These are all pretty important factors in achieving good wedding photos. But not just technically good wedding photos. Photos that capture and suit you both and your personalities.
- You get to know me. You get to see me work before the big day itself. This helps build extra trust between us and trust creates a relaxed couple and atmosphere. A relaxed couple makes for the best photos.
- You get a professional keepsake. Life’s milestones are so often captured on camera phones these days. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s lovely to have special keepsake of professional photos at a really important time in your life. These photos are specially crafted to encompass just the two of you while you’re in your engagement bubble. There are seldom other events in life where it really is just about the two of you (bar the wedding day, which is also full of fabulous friends and relatives). I tell my engagement couples to really enjoy it. To take the time just for them. To savour that special time as a couple.
I know other photographers who would answer the question of ‘how important are engagement shoots’ in a completely different way. More along the lines of: ‘ they’re a nice to have, but not essential.’
However, because I do see them as really important I offer a free engagement shoot to everyone who books one of my main packages and it can be added to a ‘Simplicity Package’ for a small fee.
When getting ready for your engagement shoot, you might want to consider the following tips:
- What’s the best location? I can always offer ideas but if you have somewhere special to you as a couple (and it’s fairly local, e.g. we’re not talking the Eiffel Tower!) why not have the engagement shoot there?
- Think about what you’re wearing. Make sure you feel comfortable and that you actually like what you have on (it’s these little things that can make a real difference). You want to enjoy the shoot and not worry about if your dress is riding up or your trousers look like you’ve had a row with your ankles!
- Consider the weather. Do you need a coat or wellies? Sometimes rainy or snowy days make for the most fun photos (but I also have a soft spot for spring shoots with gorgeous wildflowers in the background. See the gallery of Danielle and Adam’s engagement shoot below for why!)
- Do you want to include anyone else? Babies and fur babies? I’ve photographed them all as part of engagement shoots. The choice is yours.
- Do you have permission? If you want your engagement photos at your wedding location, and many people do as they’re usually absolutely stunning locations, just check that you can take photos in the grounds on a certain day. The last thing you’d want is to photobomb someone else’s wedding!
- Enjoy it! Relax and enjoy this special time; it’s your time to shine.
And just so you know, engagement shoots are free with all my main packages but are £125 for anyone wanting a stand along shoot or just £100 for Simplicity Package customers.