Engagement Shoots: Why? Where? When?

Apr 14, 2020 | engagements, planning tips

engagement photography couple on rustic background

Have you ever wondered what an engagement shoot is, or why on earth you would want one? I thought I’d put together a little post explaining more about what happens at an engagement shoot, why they’re a great add on to your package and even how they can help you get better wedding photos on your day.

Couples hands holding engagement ring

What is an engagement shoot?

An Engagement Shoot is a photo-shoot of you two together that takes place any time before your wedding. Traditionally (especially in America) engagement shoot images are used for traditional engagement announcements but now they’re less about the resulting images and more about the exercise of having your photo taken. We basically get together, have some coffee and a chat, then take some pictures of you, and get to know each other a little bit.

couple hugging in old doorway engagement photograph

But why would I want more photos when I hate having my picture taken?!

Yep, I totally get it. I hate having my photo taken too but if you feel like this this might actually be even more of a reason to book one. I know, I know, but hear me out here…An engagement shoot is kind of like a practice run at the photos we’ll take on the day of just the two of you. Which is often the bit people are most nervous about. You get to experience what it’s going to be like being photographed on the day, and this will take some of the stress out of it if you’re nervous as you’ll know just what to expect. Once you’ve had your photo taken by me you’ll realise it’s really not going to be so painful after all and that we might even have fun doing it. Also, it’s a brilliant ice breaker. We’ll get to know each other a little bit at your engagement shoot so you’ll feel more relaxed with me on the day and if you’re more relaxed, we get better pictures. Simples. When it comes to your photo session on the day you’ll feel like a pro. Honestly, I can promise you that every single couple I’ve done an engagement shoot with have said that it helped them feel more relaxed about the photos on the day.

engagement photo couple lying in long grass

When does an engagement shoot happen?

Some people opt to have them a year or so before if they want to have something to look forward to during a long engagement. Or this is a good idea if you’d like to use your engagement photos for save the dates or as part of your stationery design. Most of the time, we combine it with the pre –wedding consultation about six weeks before the day so we can talk over the time line and plans for the day at the same time. Engagement shoots usually take place Tuesdays-Fridays due to the fact my weekend availability is very limited, so do book yours in early if you’d like to have one.

engagement photo couple hugging in sunshine

Where should we have our shoot?

This is totally up to you. Locations up to 60miles from Salisbury, Wiltshire are included but I’m happy to go anywhere. You can choose somewhere significant to you, your wedding venue as a bit of a recce or just somewhere beautiful! I’ve done city shoots in London with couples after work, or National Trust beauty spots and even shoots at home. My only essential requirement is that it needs to be a location with access to plenty of natural light, so outdoors tends to work best.

engaged couple in country cottage doorway

What should I wear?

Wear something that you love, and feel comfortable in. If you wear your favourite outfit you’re bound to feel more confident in front of the camera. In terms of what looks good on camera, plain block colours look better than big patterns which distract the eye. Lighter colours tend to work best, and avoid clothing with lots of branding or logos on it. If you’re going to bring a handbag ensure it’s small or you don’t mind popping it on the ground so you can be hands free for the shoot. Some people choose to combine it with their hair and makeup trial, but make sure you’re still you though. I once had make up done for a shoot and hated the results as they weren’t natural, and if you live in your jeans then it makes sense to wear them!

engaged couple laughing by tree for photoshoot

Hopefully this has helped fill you in on what an engagement shoot is and why they’re a great idea in the run up to your wedding. Apart from anything, it’s a really lovely excuse to spend some quality time with your loved one in the run up to your wedding. Being engaged can be a crazy time with endless to do lists, invoices and stress over the details and keeping the in laws happy, so taking some time out for the two of you to capture some beautiful photographs in the lead up is a lovely thing to do. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line here.

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