"The engagement shoot really helped put us at ease about our wedding photos! We thought we would be quite nervous in front of the camera, but now that we've had a practice run and know how relaxed you keep things, we're not worried at all. On top of that, it was a really fun afternoon, and we now have some really great photos as a couple to show for it." John & Jas, May 2015
"Just wanted to say a huge thank you for today, you made us both feel really at ease and we're so glad that you 'get us' and what we want from our wedding day! We had a great afternoon and really enjoyed getting to know you!" Hannah & Arron, June 2015
other names: couple shoot / e-shoot / pre-wedding shoot
All of the above basically mean the same thing - having some photos taken with your photographer ahead of the big day. A common misconception is that they have to happen shortly after you get engaged and this is definitely not the case - I've shot one just a month before their actual wedding!
So why would you have an engagement shoot? Although some people think they are super cringey, there's a whole host of reasons why they're a great, fun idea. Here's a little bit more why I think it's so important that I include it as standard with all my couples who book full day packages...
One of the main reasons is about making you as comfortable as possible and feeling relaxed in front of the camera. Think of the pre-wedding shoot as a bit of a trial run that squashes any wedding photography nerves you may have.
It also means that I get to see how you interact as a couple. The photos on my site are natural, unforced and un-staged images of people in love - and one of the ways I'm able to photograph that is by putting you at ease and letting you act genuinely and spontaneously - without being affected too much by my direction. That said I do give some pointers about great places to stand and starting positions to be in, to help you along the way!
On the other side of this, you get to know me as well! It's a pretty big commitment booking a photographer for your wedding, and you can see how I act, how I interact with you, and what to expect in terms of direction and ideas.The more time we spend together the more relaxed you'll feel, meaning that when the big day rolls around it really is more like having a friend in the room than a professional photographer. Feeling confident about your photos gives you one less thing to worry about on the day, and the happier you are, the lovelier your photos will be!
It's also really nice for for the two of you to take time out of the stressful bits of planning a wedding (errr budgeting and table plans?!) to just spend some quality time. Our shoot will be a few hours which gives you a great excuse for a brunch out before or a few drinks after.
On top of all of this brilliant-ness to come out of an afternoon, you get some really lovely photos of yourselves to use for whatever you like - save the dates, a guest book at the wedding, or just some shots to show your friends and family. Wedding dresses and suits are all fancy and great, but it's also nice to have photographs of you looking day-to day normal!
The actual shoot itself will be a few hours, depending on location and activity. I'm more than happy to do something simple like go for a walk or do the shoot at your home, or something more adventurous - the zoo, the beach, an amusement arcade! Picking somewhere that means something to you can always be a good start too - where you went on your first date, where you got engaged, favourite childhood places...
Sometimes having an activity to do can help as well - something that expresses you both and takes your mind off having the camera snapping away! Most of my favourite activities are outdoors- woodland walks, river swimming, bike rides, boating, picnics... Choosing something that you’d both really like to try or a regular hobby of yours is a great way to get you to relax - plus have tons of fun. Incorporating pets and kids is also totally allowed so feel free to bring along a little one or a four legged friend!