Engagement Shoot Guide For Couples

Why I am a fan of having an engagement shoot

Having an engagement shoot is the perfect opportunity to get used to being in front of the camera and to practice for your portraits ahead of your Wedding Day. It’s a lovely way for us to spend more time together and the images can even be used for Wedding invitations or a Wedding website. Here are my top five reasons for having an engagement shoot:

  1. You get used to having your photograph taken.
  2. You get see what it will be like to have your portraits taken ahead of your wedding day, giving you a practise run.
  3. You get to spend some time with your photographer before your wedding day and see how they work. This will make you feel much more relaxed around them on your wedding day.
  4. The images are a wonderful memento and can even be used for wedding details such as invitations, wedding website or table number designs. 
  5. Most importantly, it gives you both an opportunity to spend some quality time together as a couple and is likely something different from what you would usually do together.

The perfect location for your Engagement Shoot

Choosing the location of your Engagement shoot can be tricky, some couples know exactly where they want to go, and other’s do not. As a photographer and lover of landscapes I love beautiful countryside and dramatic back drops. Often, there will be really beautiful locations local to you and it means you won’t need to travel far for your shoot. 

  1. Think about a location that reflects you as a couple, for example, do you both love the beach or perhaps a woodland walk?
  2. Where are you getting married? Having an engagement shoot in a totally different setting can be a lovely contrast. For example, if you are getting married in the countryside, maybe have your engagement shoot in a city or town setting.
  3. Although there will be beautiful locations local to you, it is good to consider travelling a little further for your perfect location, especially if you know a spot that you adore.
  4. Is there a place that is special to you? Choosing somewhere with meaning can add a personal touch to your images and make the shoot and images even more special for you.

Time of year and time of day

Deciding on the time of year for your engagement shoot is a nice and easy one. Do you love the autumn and wintery feel? Or do you hate the cold, and would much prefer the freshness of spring or the warmth of summer? Once you’ve decided on the time of year you would like we can agree a date. For time of day I usually ask my couples to meet me nice and early in the morning to avoid bumping into other people or later on in the evening to catch the evening light. Here are my tips for choosing the time of year for your engagement shoot:

  1. Consider having your engagement shoot at the opposite time of year or a different season to your wedding for some contrasting photos. For example, if you are having a summer wedding, perhaps opt for a winter engagement shoot.
  2. Have your engagement shoot in your favourite season. With engagement shoots being outdoors, it Is important that you enjoy the season or time of year that your shoot will be in. You don’t want to feel miserable about having to go out for an engagement shoot in the heat of the sun if you prefer the winter!

Choosing an outfit

Deciding what to wear for your engagement shoot is really quite big, because you want to look and feel nice. But you also want to be comfortable and feel like yourself! Here are my top tips for what to wear:

  1. Dress up rather than dress down; looking and feeling smart makes a much prettier photograph. I am not saying you have to wear a dress and heels if that is not your style, but definitely aim for a smart-casual vibe.
  2. Avoid wearing ripped jeans and top with large logos or slogans across the front.
  3. Dress appropriately for the season; if you are having an autumn or winter shoot consider a nice coat or knitwear.
  4. Dress appropriately for the location; if you’re having a woodland engagement shoot (especially in autumn/winter) aim to wear a boot or even wellies to make sure your feet are both dry and comfortable.
  5. Consider having your hair and/or make up done for your shoot; this is a good time to have your trial for your wedding/hair make up. You want to feel your best for the photos and if you’re not confident at doing your own hair and make-up it can be a nice thing to have it done professionally or even have a friend who is good at hair and make-up come and do yours.
  6. Both wear colours/outfits that complement each other. You don’t have to wear matching outfits, in-fact I’d recommend that you don’t do this! But wearing clothes of similar colours and shades does look really nice in the photos. 

Bring the love

I of all people know how awkward you can feel in front of a camera. I really dislike having my photo taken because I don’t like what I see after. Because of this I tend to make myself look worse in photos by giving awkward smiles. But don’t forget, you’re not alone in this photoshoot – quite literally! As you will have your partner with you, so make the most of that by really connecting with each other on the shoot. All you have to do is turn up excited and positive and let me guide you through the rest. Here are my top tips to help you bring the love:

  1. Come looking and feeling great on the outside and inside.
  2. Get hands on with each other – the more PDA the better!
  3. Have fun and laugh at moments where you feel awkward as these make some of the best photographs.
  4. Relax; I know this is easier said than done, but after a few shots and poses you’ll be feeling much more relaxed about the whole thing.
  5. Do some research; looking at other people’s engagement photos can be really inspirational and make you feel more excited than nervous for your photoshoot. Although, be careful on this one not to get too caught up in expectations instead of reality. 

Thank you for reading my guide, I hope it has been helpful to you. If you are getting married and are interested in an Engagement Shoot then why not get in touch, I’d love to talk over some options with you. If you would like to see more of my Engagement Shoot imagery then head over to my gallery.

Emily xo