I’d suggest choosing a shoot location that’s different to your wedding venue. It could be the place where you got engaged, a spot where you love going for walks or perhaps your favourite park - choose somewhere that has meaning to you both. Think about a location that fits your wedding colour palette and atmosphere. This is a great way of tying the images in with your wedding, especially if you plan to use them for save the date cards.
To get you feeling inspired, check out these top tips:
There are many pros to having an engagement shoot. “An engagement shoot could help settle pre-wedding nerves and get you used to being in front of the camera. Not to mention it builds trust with your photographer and gives you an idea of how i will photograph you as a couple. I always like to chat about the session as soon as a couple book me. Planning in advance often means they can choose which season to do the shoot in, especially if they’ve got a long build up to their wedding. I offer suggestions to get the couple excited about the possibilities – it’s fun to bounce around idea
Once you have a location in mind, think about the best time of day to do the shoot and whether your surroundings will be busy. The point is to capture photos of you looking as comfortable as possible, not stressed that there are hundreds of people looking at you who will probably end up getting in the way.
You don’t necessarily have to do the shoot in the middle of the day either. Shooting early in the day when the sun is rising can make for some stunning photos. Likewise if you’re shooting in the afternoon - you could wait for the sun to go down so i can snap some seriously romantic photos of your silhouettes against the sunset.
If you are having your session outdoors, most photographers will encourage you to avoid booking for the middle of the day. When the sun is high it can create harsh shadows which need to be countered with artificial flash. Early morning , late afternoon and early evening will often yield soft and flattering light, helping me to create the most beautiful and romantic images.
If the engagement shoot will be the first time you meet me, perhaps go for a drink or have lunch with me beforehand to break the ice. I am based in south west London, so let's do it! This will also help you feel more relaxed for the shoot.
Don’t forget to plan what you wear in advance too, this gives you time to change your mind if you need to.
Wear the appropriate clothing and footwear for your shoot location and the time of year. Complement what your partner is wearing, making sure that you don’t match but don't clash either.
As for the outfit, it’s best to avoid anything with text, logos, dark colours and clashing patterns. I also encourage brides to accessorise - flower crowns, a pretty hair accessory or even a floppy hat can all add interest and variety to your images.
When the day of the shoot arrives, try to set aside any nerves and instead channel all the excitement that you’ve been building since your engagement.
What could be better than a photograph to capture just how happy you both are? Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life – use your engagement shoot to freeze this moment of happiness forever.
I always tell couples to be themselves during engagement shoots . Allow your emotions to show and if nerves threaten to take over, just remind yourselves that you're getting married!
An engagement shoot is the perfect time for you and your partner to take centre stage, but if you’re a little bit camera shy then you could add props or another element to your photos so take away the intensity. Do you or your partner share any hobbies or passions that could be included in the shoot? Having something else to focus on can help couples who are quite nervous or camera shy to relax and have fun. Including pets is always a fantastic way help settle any nerves too! If you're including your pet in your engagement shoot, why not bring them to your actual wedding too?
Another great way to source ideas for your engagement shoot is by pulling inspiration from where it all began – the proposal! If you had a romantic picnic in the park or he spontaneously popped the question while you were walking the dog, re-enacting your proposal is a fun way to get you in the spirit of the engagement shoot.
Unlike wedding photos, engagement shoots don’t have to be taken quite so seriously. The aim of them is to capture you both acting naturally as a couple and it’s the perfect chance to have a bit of fun and enjoy some quality time with your other half. Overall, it’s important to just let go and enjoy yourself as much as possible. After all, how often do you get to do an engagement shoot?
We know that it’s not the easiest thing to ‘act natural’ when you’ve got a camera in your face, but don’t try to be something you’re not in your engagement shoot or overthink it with your poses. Just keep it relaxed and focus on your partner.
Please have a look on the following top seven dos and don’ts for being in front of the camera: