I use my blog mainly for showing you highlights of weddings or engagement shoots that I have shot. But there is a whole different side to all of that that I will be exploring this year in my posts. For example, the planning and processes that happen on the run up, what will happen on your wedding day, and what we are starting off with today, engagement shoots. Just what are they?
Engagement shoots (also known as pre-wedding shoots, eshoots or couple shoots) are a photoshoot for you both to have before your wedding. This could be an hour or two set on location. There are two main reasons I offer them.
1) A chance for us to get to know one another
Before the engagement shoot, we may have met once or twice, but most of the contact will be via email or the phone. So this is a great opportunity for us to get to know one another a little bit better. This in turn will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed for your wedding. But it also allows me to see how you interact with one another which will help me get the best out of you to give you the best wedding photography I can.
2) You will get photos of just the two of you
Have you ever had a professional photoshoot just the two of you before? An engagement shoot tends to be the first real shoot a couple have together. So it is a way to get past the nerves, worries and self consciousness that being in front of the camera may bring. Most of our experiences in front of the camera tends to be for family or friends or even selfies. So this will be a whole different kind of experience. Plus being engaged is such an exciting stage, so why not celebrate that and have photos to remind you of that time.
Being Camera Shy
You are more likely to be more nervous about your engagement shoot than you are at your wedding when it comes to the photography. Engagement shoots tend to be on location, and so there will most likely be people about, people you don’t know, and they may be curious as to what you are up to as they walk by. But on your wedding day, you will be in the moment. You will have just been married and you’re surrounded by family and friends. People you love. Two very different situations. But you know what? An engagement shoot will help you get past that fear. We don’t like fear. We don’t like things we’re not sure of or don’t know about. So at least with an engagement shoot, you will be ridding yourself of some of those nerves beforehand.
Choosing a location that has some meaning to you both, or that you enjoy going to or feel relaxed at can help. You can choose to incorporate a hobby into the shoot so you have something to do if you are really worried about being in front of the camera. For example, Katie and Stephen (below) decided to have a powder paint engagement shoot as they are both hardcore gamers and love playing Call of Duty so we agreed a powder paint fight would tie in nicely with that.
Another great tip as well is to perhaps have your makeup trial done before your engagement shoot, so you can see how it will look in your photographs. I have had a few of my brides do this so it gives them the opportunity to make any changes they may want before their wedding day. Sapna did this for her engagement shoot. And she also embraced bold colours with her skirt, which is fab for photos! Don’t be afraid to go for colour, it’ll help you stand out more from the background.
Engagement Shoot Questions
So let’s look at some questions you may have.
Do I have to have an engagement shoot? That is completely optional and up to you. I always like to do one with my couples just so it helps us get to know one another a bit more before the big day, but it is totally up to you.
Where should we have our engagement shoot? I usually suggest a place of meaning for the both of you, whether this is somewhere you both enjoy going to, or perhaps where you had your first date, or it can be a hobby you share. Have a chat together and discuss some ideas. Or if you are unable to think of anywhere, there are so many choices from urban to rural, from the city to the countryside. I carry out engagement shoots at locations within an hour’s travel from Watford (further travelling will be charged extra).
What should we wear? This is completely down to you; be yourself and feel comfortable. A few tips I would suggest are to avoid logos on tops as they can be distracting, but do embrace bold colours so you stand out within your photos from the location. You may want to coordinate a little, but no need to over think it. You can think of your location or the season and dress for it.
Do you have any other questions you would like to ask about engagement shoots? Let me know in the comments box.
Take a look at some of the engagement shoots I have done.