How to use an engagement shoot to help you get the wedding photos you’ve always dreamed of…
1. GET TO KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
I love meeting all of my couples via video chat when we have our initial consultation meeting – it’s always great to find out more about you and your wedding! But the reality is, there’s usually a big gap between that first phone call and then seeing you again on the biggest day of your lives. Having the chance to meet up for an extended period of time between our first chat and your wedding day really is the perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other. A face to face meeting, where we can chat as much as we want, you can see exactly how I work and what to expect from me on the wedding day, and you have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like. After an engagement shoot I always find that my couples and I really feel like we know each other and are so comfortable in each other’s presence – and that’s exactly what you want on the morning of the wedding. When I turn up on the day, it should feel like just another friend arriving (just a friend with several very nice cameras!) 🙂
2. GET COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
Unless you’re a celebrity who’s used to being papped every time you leave the house, chances are you may not feel that comfortable or that familiar with the idea of having your photo taken. After all, for most of us it’s not exactly normal to have somebody following you around all day with a camera capturing every angle of what you’re doing! It’s completely understandable to feel a bit uncomfortable about having your photo taken, but please trust me when I say you will be sooo glad to have those super special, natural photos at the end of it all, to look back on the best day of your life! An engagement shoot is the best possible opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and help you to feel prepared for having your photo taken on your wedding day. I can’t tell you the number of couples who have started off on an engagement shoot with me feeling super awkward and uncomfortable, and who by the end of the shoot are suggesting shots and asking if they can just get a few more! It really does help you to feel more relaxed and ultimately helps you to gain trust in me, so that by the time it comes to your wedding day it just feels normal to have me there in the background 🙂
3. GET SOME GREAT SHOTS TO USE FOR YOUR SAVE THE DATES, OR TO INCORPORATE INTO THE DECOR AT YOUR WEDDING
Stuck for what to do for your save the date cards? Need some lovely photos of the two of you together to use as table centrepieces? Don’t forget that as well as the engagement shoot itself being a great experience, you will receive loads of beautiful and professional images of the two of you as the end result! You can use these in a whole host of ways both in the run up to your wedding and throughout the day itself, or just choose to keep them private and maybe frame some photos in your home – my wife and I still have a big frame filled with our favourite photos from our own engagement shoot on the wall in our bedroom!
4. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Although I am mostly a candid wedding photographer (meaning for the majority of your day I’ll be in the background getting those really special natural and un-posed moments), most couples do also want a few beautiful, slightly more posed images to make sure that you’ve got some lovely shots of the two of you with stunning backgrounds, uncluttered surroundings, looking amazing in your wedding outfits, where no-one is blinking etc! And to get photos like that it is always helpful to have a little practice beforehand to find out what works for you. Don’t worry, I’m in no way a pushy photographer who’s going to be yelling at you to “stand here, put your arm there”! But every couple is different, and the engagement shoot allows us to try out some different ideas to see what you’re comfortable with. For some people this might mean they prefer looking away from the camera to get a more natural look, others might like the shots created when they are laughing together, some might even prefer to stand with one person on a particular side. Everyone has different preferences, and this is the perfect time to practice a few different ideas to find out what you like and what you don’t.
5. FORGET ABOUT THE STRESS OF WEDDING PLANNING FOR A DAY AND REMIND YOURSELVES WHY YOU FELL IN LOVE!
This is the final and most important reason to book your engagement shoot. Wedding planning can be pretty stressful at times – you’re essentially planning the biggest party of your life, often with the biggest guest list of your life, and there are so many logistics to consider that sometimes you can start to lose sight of the real reason you are going through all of this stress – your love! An engagement shoot is a wonderful opportunity to take some time out, just the two of you (and me!), to remember why you fell in love, to celebrate your incredible relationship, to focus on nothing but the two of you and to get some amazing photos to enjoy together for years to come 🙂