Why should you book an engagement shoot?
Most people don’t like their photos taken. If you can relate you may wonder if you should bother with an engagement shoot or pre-wedding session. For that exact reason, an engagement shoot can be a game-changer. It’s is supposed to be fun and relaxed, and not awkward or forced! And it’s a really good way to give you and idea of how it feels to be in front of the camera. Maybe it’s just what you need in order to get wedding photos of yourself that you’ll really love?
In addition to feeling more relaxed on the day, you’ll get a set of gorgeous photographs in a casual setting to use for wedding stationery. Having an engagement shoot can most importantly have a huge impact on the flow of your wedding day. I will arrive at your venue already knowing how you interact as a couple and how to best photograph you. This leaves room for more variety and more time to enjoy your wedding day.
Wedding photographers are usually very busy during peak wedding season from May to September. If you’ve booked your wedding photographer a year in advance or more, try to schedule your engagement shoot in the slow season between October and April. Many photographers allow for booking short-notice during weekdays, and I like to use evenings, because I prefer the softness of evening light starting at around two-three hours before sunset.
Location inspiration for your engagement shoot
You don’t really have to pick anywhere other than a park in your town or in the alleys of your city. That’s practical and convenient, and maybe this is where you met the first time, or went on your first date? However, I’m always up for a trek to Glencoe, a theme park or a visit to your nearest Victorian library for some more creative or different photo shoots. Whatever feels like you, or fits your schedule and personality goes. Beach, mountains, city, park, at home. Keep in mind that if your location is out of your photographer’s main area, there may be an additional travel cost or day fee for a longer trek, and some may not offer long distance, especially on weekends.
I’ve made a designated page with hands-on suggestions for engagement shoot locations over at glitterandtwigs.link/eshoot-locations. Hover over the pictures below to see where they were taken!
Outfit inspiration for your engagement shoot
Wear something that makes you feel amazing! Why not bring one dressy and one casual outfit? Layers translate wonderfully to camera, so if it’s chilly, don’t be afraid to layer up. Try to complement each other’s outfits rather than match colours or fabrics. Subtle patterns, solid colours or textures are favoured over distracting graphics or logos. A pop of colour or a statement piece like shoes, necklace or a cool jacket can make it look like you thought extra hard about what you wore to your shoot. But most importantly,I want you to feel like YOU!
If you can combine your hair-and-makeup trial with the e-shoot, that may give you the extra confidence boost you need, and you’ll get to see the makeup on camera before your wedding too. A fresh manicure can be the cherry on top, but these things are definitely not a requirement for good photos. Below are some outfit examples of both casual and more dressy outfits.
What to bring to your engagement shoot?
Try to bring the bare minimum to your shoot, because we will probably move around a lot. This means that you shouldn’t even bring a hand-bag unless you want it in all your photos! I try to capture timeless images, and focus on you and your connection rather than on props that doesn’t really have significance for your location or your relationship.
I recommend you set aside this time for you two only, but if you really want to bring your kids or pet(s) along, consider bringing someone you trust to keep an eye on them for a part of the shoot. Essentially, this is about you and getting comfortable together in front of the camera. I know how important family is and appreciate that sometimes it’s just not possible to get a babysitter, so I do allow you to bring them along!
A typical engagement shoot described
We’ll first meet somewhere near our designated location for a cup of coffee and some informal chat to break the ice and get to know each other better. Then we’ll venture out to start taking some photos. I usually start by having you walk and talk together. Then I’ll ease you into more intimate or different poses as we go along, or wathever I see you’re comfortable with. I give you different activities to keep you looking natural. When I’m happy with what I’ve got, and there’s a good amount of variety and relaxed portraits, we’ll call it a day!
Sometimes the engagement shoot can last substantially longer than your actual wedding photo shoot. This is becuse (1) we have the time allocated, and (2) we’re trying out what kind of photos works best for you! The duration of the shoot is usually around 60-90 minutes, or 120 minutes with your consultation meeting.