Sooo, engagement shoots. Whats the deal with them? Whats the point in having one?
I wanted to write a little bit about why I think they’re a great idea!
If you’re here then I’m guessing you’re probably getting married in the next year or two. On your wedding day (if I’m your photographer) you won’t have to spend time posing awkwardly. It’s not very natural to stand perfectly still with a big cheesy grin (sorry to anyone who does this naturally, you do you). When I’m photographing a wedding I spend 90% of the day in the background, blending in and documenting the day as candidly as possible. The moments you want to remember are the organic, natural, silly ones. I always try to capture these without intruding, as that would sort of spoil the moment, right?
It is nice to have some gorgeous shots of just the two of you though, the ones you want to post on instagram and have a huge print of on your wall. To get these shots on the wedding day I’ll take the two of you for a little walk and give you a few directions. Don’t worry, it’s not as awful as it sounds! I really don’t like having my photo taken so I can’t think of anything worse than someone saying “stand here, smile now, look natural!” Yeah that just wouldn’t work for me, I’d look flustered and embarrassed. That is the last thing you want on your wedding day. Instead I’ll gently direct you, keeping things as light and fun as we can! You’ll often hear me say things like “have a little smooch!” “Kiss them on the forehead!” and “Snuggle in as close as you can!” but these are just friendly suggestions.
Most people who get in touch tell me they aren’t great at having their photo taken. I honestly don’t think it’s something that comes naturally to many people (me and my partner included).
This is why I love engagement shoots! We get to meet up in a beautiful location, have a laugh and you’ll get a bit of practice in front of the camera. You will also get to see how I work, which means you won’t be super nervous about it for the wedding. I really love being out in nature, and I really love taking photos of couples, so this is pretty much a combination of two of my favourite things. I’m going to answer some of the questions I’m often asked about couple sessions, but feel free to ask if there’s anything I haven’t covered!
What do we wear?
This is always the first question I’m asked when a couple books their shoot. Honestly, the best outfit is something you feel comfortable in, something that makes you feel like you! Try not to worry too much about your clothing choices. Obviously the weather plays a part here, but I’ve photographed a couple in jumpers and hiking gear in the pouring rain on the Isle of Skye and it looked absolutely beautiful. If we’re shooting in the summer, dresses, shorts, comfy summer attire looks lovely but maybe bring a coat just in case, it is the U.K after all. Have a browse through Pinterest, search for couple sessions and engagement shoots and take some inspiration! When in doubt, jeans and flannel shirts always look good on everyone.
I’m really nervous about having my photo taken, do you have any tips?
I totally get this one. I sometimes get headshots taken to use for my businessy stuff and it always gives me anxiety! It’s scary at first, but when you get into the swing of the shoot I promise you’ll have fun. Just try to think of it as a nice walk in a beautiful place with your favourite person/other half/ love of your life. Yes, I’ll be there too, but after a while you’ll just be enjoying cuddling and smooching your loved one so much that you’ll sort of forget I’m there. I’ll just be running around saying encouraging things and snapping away. How could that not be fun?!
What sort of poses will we have to do? Will it be mega cheesy?
I would never make you do anything cheesy! No un-natural grinning here. I don’t enjoy forcing people into poses that make them uncomfortable. This does not make for good pictures. Everyone looks their best when smiling, laughing and being in love. Just do that and the photos will be gorgeous. The most “posey” thing I’ll ask is to put your arms around each other, have a little snog and cuddle up close, but you’d probably be doing that even if I wasn’t there, right? I might also make you run around a bit, thats always fun. I’ll be running around with you so we can all feel silly together. Any excuse to reach my daily my step count.
What do we use the photos for?
Anything you like! Instagram, profile picture, wall prints, a massive blanket with your gorgeous faces on it (I don’t know anyone who’s done this, but that would be amazing and I will definitely need to see pictures of it.) Some people use their engagement photos on save the dates or wedding invites, you could even have some on display at your wedding!
When should we have our shoot?
This can be different for every couple. Some choose to have their shoot waaay in advance, like a year or two before the wedding, but others prefer to have it just a couple of months before. I don’t mind either way! It can be a good idea to have your engagement shoot at a similar time of year to your wedding, as then you’ll get a better idea of how the light/weather will be on the big day.
Some final tips . . .
Enjoy yourselves! It’ll only last an hour or two, and an engagement shoot can be a really special, memorable experience. I absolutely love them, and most of the couples I shoot with message me straight after to tell me how much fun they had. This is your shoot for your wedding, you should get to have a good time and enjoy every moment.
Message me! I’m really friendly and a little bit awkward, so don’t worry about me. I’m here to help you through the weird, wonderful and sometimes stressful journey of getting married. I’m always happy to chat and offer advice. I have so many couples I’ve worked with that I now consider friends! This is so much more than just a job to me. Please do message or email me if you have any questions at all.
Also, feel free to send me some of your favourite bands/albums/songs! I always love getting new recommendations and I have a little bluetooth speaker I bring along to shoots. This really helps keep things light and fun. I do have a playlist I’m always adding to for this, I’d love to hear your suggestions! I look forward to taking your photo, you lovely, beautiful person!