5 Reasons Why You Should Have an Engagement Shoot
... and how to enjoy creating lasting memories
There are SO many reasons to have a pre-wedding engagement shoot that I really struggled to whittle it down to just 5! They're so important to capturing your day in the best possible way, that I include them in all but the most basic of my wedding collections. But don't take my word for it! Make up your own mind with the top 5 reasons below:
1. It's easy to let 'being engaged' become 'planning a wedding'
With all the stresses and differences of opinion that come with planning a wedding; choosing a venue, selecting a caterer, deciding on your decor, and trying to predict the notoriously unpredictable British weather, it's hard to find time to spend together and just be yourselves. It's easy to let 'being engaged' become 'planning a wedding' and you should be enjoying this special time filled with anticipation, nerves and the wonderful promise of a future together. I like to think of engagement shoots as a really relaxed date, but with a completely un-awkward third wheel! Wedding planning takes a lot of energy and can be overwhelming, so why not minimise that ever expanding excel spreadsheet for a day and spend a few hours in each others company; laughing, and being close to one another. Celebrate this fleeting but very special time by immortalising it forever with some gorgeous photography.
2. It's all about YOU
Sure, there will be loads of photos of you both on your wedding day. But between ensuring that you've said hello to every one of your guests, shaking hands with that distant relative you can't remember why you invited, and making sure that your best man is propping up the bar (and not the other way around), are you really going to be in the best frame of mind to have some beautiful romantic photographs taken of the two of you?
With the crazy concoction of emotion of a wedding day, there's little room for slow-paced, relaxed photos of you being you. And that's the beauty of an engagement shoot; it allows us to capture those informal moments where you almost forget there's a camera there, in a space of your choosing and with clothing that reflects your personalities.
We might start by choosing somewhere that means something to you, such as where you met, where your proposal took place or just somewhere that you like to visit as a couple. National parks, museums, even your favourite bar or coffee shop are all viable options for your engagement shoot location. I'm based in Leicester which seems to be about 2 hours away from everywhere which means you can pick anywhere in the country (or even abroad!) If you don't feel like getting your passport out we can even have an informal shoot in your home where you feel most comfortable!
There's no rules when it comes to location, and the same applies to clothing. Some couples like to dress up like they're going on a glamorous night out, others prefer to don their hiking gear and crampons! Think about your chosen surroundings and find an outfit that works for the space and for you. If you're struggling with styling, I can help with ideas and complimentary colours, or you could take a look at my bucket list for some more suggestions.
3. It's a Practice run for the Big Day!
You've taken thousands of selfies (maybe even a couple that you like), but have you ever posed for a photoshoot? Unless you're a model, the chances are that this will be one of your first times in front of photographer. And I get it. It can be uncomfortable. As soon as a camera is pointed at me, my hands forget where they belong and I suddenly look like I belong in a meme.
There's a big difference between snapping a selfie and having your photo taken professionally and it might be comforting to know that all of my couples leave their engagement shoots feeling a lot more confident in front of the camera than when they met me. I'm a firm believer that great wedding photos only come from a relaxed and comfortable relationship between the subject and the photographer. As an aside, if you book your trials on the same day as our engagement shoot, you can also use the engagement shoot as a practice run for your hair and make-up too. Chances are that the make-up will be a lot heavier than you're used to so it's good to get a test-drive in before your wedding day!
4. We get to know each other!
I can say with certainty that you'll be spending more time with me on your wedding day than with any other vendor. That's why it's so important that as well as becoming more confident in front of the camera, the engagement shoot also allows us to become comfortable with each other! I'll learn your favourite movies, music and food, and you'll learn how I work, and what to expect on the day.
Aside from getting to know you both personally, the engagement shoot gives me a chance to experiment with light, lenses, angles and posing to figure out what works for you. Each couple is different, and little things like height difference and your natural confidence will influence largely how and how much I'll pose you. It also gives you a chance to see the photos and work out which angles you like and dislike which will also impact on how I shoot on the wedding day. Throughout the shoot I'll be looking out for those little tells that help to predict when you're going to laugh or smile, helping to create naturally emotive images on the wedding day.
5. The Photos!
Of course! After all of the fun and familiarisation, it's almost too easy to forget the main goal of the day; to get some kick-ass romantic and timeless images of you both! Even if you're not the type to share a ton of photos on social media, these photos serve as more than just a lovely way to document this unique and exciting time in your lives.
I love seeing my work in print , and get a real kick out of couples using the photos from their engagement session on their Save the Date cards, signature boards, guest books, invites and wedding programmes. One of my favourite moments of recent memory was walking into a clients living room to deliver their album and seeing a photograph from our engagement shoot hung on a huge canvas on the wall.
When we talk about the past, we focus on the big things; the weddings, the holidays, the birth of our children. But the real moments, the truth of each couple, isn't in these milestone events. It's in the everyday interactions between you, the way that you smile at each other, the little things that you do to make each other laugh. In my opinion, capturing this, and having fun, is what an engagement shoot is ALL about.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas for your own engagement shoot. If you find it useful feel free to share it with anyone you think might be having doubts about whether or not they want an engagement shoot. If you're ready to book, get in touch!