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Why have an Engagement Shoot?

 Why have an Engagement Shoot?

I often get asked what an engagement shoot entails by couples when they first book me and are interested in having an engagement session but don’t really know much about what purpose an engagement shoot serves. With engagement season currently rife as we’ve just had Christmas & Valentines Day I thought I’d write a little blog post on why have an engagement shoot and the benefits. My aim with this blog post is to educate about engagement and pre-wedding photo sessions and why they are incredibly beneficial to both the couple and the photographer before the wedding.

The way I describe an engagement shoot or pre-wedding portrait session is that it is a great way to get to know your photographer and how they work, and for you as a couple to become comfortable being in front of the camera and having your photos taken. In no way do I do ‘cheese’, I certainly enjoy a bit of cheddar but not in front of the camera! The way I personally work, is that I give a little direction so that you’re not just stood there like lemons, not knowing what to do, but I then allow you to interpret what I say in your own way and encourage you to just be yourselves with each other, chatting and laughing as if I’m not there, so that the photos look and feel as natural as possible. The aim for the session is to get you both to loosen up and enjoy yourselves without feeling the presence of a camera snapping away at you. To do this, I may crack some (bad) jokes but I love to genuinely get to know my couples on a personal level before & during the shoot so you feel as comfortable as possible and can get the most out of the session. The words I usually hear before the session are “I hate having my photos taken” or “I’m not photogenic”, which often comes from the groom to be, but at the end of the engagement shoot I always get told that “The shoot was actually not that bad at all and I enjoyed it!”, exactly the words I like to hear at the end of all my shoots 🙂 The great thing as well is that, by the end of the session, you will also end up with lots of beautiful photos of you both, that can be printed and given as gifts to family members, displayed around your house and on your wedding day. I’ve often had my couples display a collage of photos from their engagement shoot or Instagram-style prints hanging from pins on string, which is a great way to show them off and to decorate your venue. I like to throw in a couple of more creative/arty shots to each shoot too, things like silhouettes, double exposures, unusual angles etc, so you’ll have a real variety of photos and some beautiful wall art.

So why have an engagement shoot?… In summary, I feel that there are 3 big reasons why you should consider having an engagement shoot:-

  1. It’s a great way for you and your photographer to get to know each other better (After all, you want to have a great relationship before the big day!)
  2. It’s a chance to get used to having your photos taken (especially for those of you that are partuclarly uncomfortable in front of the camera)
  3. You’ll end up with some lovely photos of you both at the end of it!

Hopefully that gives you more of an idea of what an engagement shoot entails and help you decide if it is right for you before the wedding…(Let’s just say, you can’t exactly go wrong by having an engagement shoot!)

engagement shoot tips5 Engagement Shoot Tips

 Why have an Engagement Shoot?


Below are some links to previous engagement sessions that I have photographed.

Ali & Sofiya at Old Portsmouth Hot Walls

Sam & Vanessa at Warsash Seafront

Dan & Katie at Mudeford Quay

Stew & Sarah at Hengistbury Head & Christchurch Harbour

My next blog post will be useful tips to help you prepare for your engagement session.