5 great reasons to have an engagement photography shoot

When starting to plan your wedding day and searching for a wedding photographer, you may not consider an engagement shoot but they have so many benefits.

Of course I can without doubt deliver an amazing wedding gallery to you without one. My experience and way of working with couples to make them feel relaxed and be able to be themselves means that even if you don’t have one you are in completely safe hands.

BUT I’m going to share with you some of my top reasons why I think they are fantastic addition to your wedding photography package and get comments like these:

‘ Thank you so, so much, we absolutely LOVE the photos!! You have done such a good job, I can’t WAIT to see how our wedding photos turn out!’ Steph & Ryan

‘ Thank you so much, we had a great time and can’t WAIT to see them’ Floss & George

‘ OMG they are amazing!!! Absolutely love them! Thank you, you made us feel so relaxed! Can’t wait for next year now’ Amy & Dan

Incase you still need convincing, here are my top 5 reasons to have an engagement photography session with me.

1 . Because you don’t like having your photograph taken

I realise that this sounds a bit backward. You are already apprehensive about the thought of having your wedding photographs taken on the day without having to go through it twice. If I had a pound for every time I have heard ‘I’m terrible at having my photo taken’ or ‘ we aren’t very photogenic’ I would be a rich lady.

But this is exactly why it is a great thing to do. If you’ve chosen the right photographer to work with, it won’t be half as ‘bad’ an experience as you think it’s going to be and this is the perfect way to prove it to you. 

Unless you have modelled before, you may have never been in front of the camera of a professional photographer. The only exposure you may have had to a professional wedding photographer is perhaps other peoples wedding photographs. You might have thought that everyone looks amazing, happy and natural. I bet you may have thought ‘ I will be really awkward and we won’t look anything like that’. Well, I will be happy to prove you wrong.

I use very simple ways to achieve these relaxed, happy images and it’s not posey or fake. With some simple, gentle direction, these genuine, authentic moments will happen between you. Then, when you see your gallery you will realise that you CAN look like that! What a difference this will make to how you feel on your actual wedding day, knowing that you are both going to be looking amazing and able to get the wedding photographs that you thought were beyond your reach. 

Think of it as a no pressure, relaxed, fun practice session.

Couple embracing as the sun sets behind at Whitstable
Couple holding each other on Dunstable Downs at sunset
Couple kissing laying on blanket at sunset
  1. We get to know each other better

Let’s talk guest lists for a minute. Your closest family, your best friends from school that have been there through all the best and hardest times, the ones that have travelled for miles to see you get married; they are all such special people in your lives but do you know who will be stood closest to you when you say your vows? It will be me, your photographer.

I’m close enough to hear the whisper of ‘ You look amazing’ when you’ve seen each other for the first time and to see the tears welling in your eyes. I also get to whisk you off for your couples portraits away from all those special people. This is why I value the time we have during an engagement shoot, not just for me to get to know you better, but for you to get to know me too. For you to see that I am not bossy, but relaxed, chatty, calming and it’s an opportunity for me to earn that place at your side on that day. You will feel much better with a familiar face at those important times than a stranger.

Engaged couple laughing in the sunshine
Couple laughing together during engagement shoot
Couple laughing together leaning on farm gate
  1. There are no rules

My favourite clients are those that make their wedding exactly how they want it and do away with traditions which don’t have meaning for them. They make their own new traditions. BUT there is no getting away from the fact that on the day of your wedding you will be restricted by certain things; a time of year, ceremony, location, makeup artist and hair times, wedding breakfast time and so on. Obviously a day like that needs structure but that means that your photography will also be dictated by that too. We can’t go too far from the venue for portraits and will only have certain times of the day available to work in.

There are no such restrictions on an engagement shoot. 

If you want sunset pics then we can book it for during that golden hour (if cloud cover allows) If you are marrying in summer but love spring time then you can book your engagement shoot in the spring. Whether it be a breezy stroll along a beach and fish and chips overlooking the sea, a stroll through little city side streets, a fun fair, a woodland walk with your dog; your engagement shoot can be where you fancy.

Your wedding day may be the only time in your life you will wear a dress and you might normally be found in your favourite jeans. Then wear jeans on your engagement shoot. Be entirely you, I won’t judge.

Couple watch the sunset together during engagement shoot
Couple stood together kissing in the sea at Whitstable
  1. You get some great pictures

I expect that 90% of the pics that you have of you together are selfies, the ones with an arm coming out the side looking abnormally massive. Yep, I have them too. 

After your engagement shoot you will get a gallery of professional photographs of you looking awesome, relaxed, smiling and laughing together, having a great time in comfy clothes at a cool location. What’s not to love about that?! 

You’ll also get to see exactly how your wedding gallery will look because it is delivered to you in the same way. You can admire yourselves and how in love and natural you look and then imagine the gallery filled with your wedding day pictures. How exciting will that be?

Engaged couple laughing in the sunset
Couple holding each other on Dunstable Downs at sunset
Couple looking at each other during engagement shoot
  1. You get better wedding photographs 

This is the one! THIS is my biggest reason for having an engagement shoot.

If we have had a shoot, on your Wedding Day, when you will be full of that wonderful nervous excitement, it won’t be the first time we meet in person. You’ll know that you feel comfortable having me close with a camera in my hand, that you’ll look natural and that I’ll capture genuine and authentic moments that you share and you’ll be looking forward to our portrait time as you know exactly what to expect.

All the other reasons for having a shoot result in you having trust in me so having your photograph being taken doesn’t even feature in your thoughts during the Wedding at all. You can smile, laugh, relax and crack on having an awesome time marrying your best friend and I get to take photographs of it! 

There you have it. My top 5 reasons for having an engagement shoot.

If you are wondering how I approach photographing your whole wedding then come and have a read of this blog, how I photograph a whole wedding day.

You can also check out my tips for keeping your wedding day relaxed just here.

If you are getting married in Kent and are looking for a relaxed, calming photographer to help you get the very best memories from your Wedding then please get in contact. I would love to work with you.

 Nicola x

Couple holding hands as sun sets on Dunstable Downs
Couple hugging under trees
Engaged couple hugging in the sunset
Couple kissing on bridge
Couple seated and laughing in the sunset
Couple hold each other after sunset


  1. Sophie Driscoll

    If I wasnt convinced before I am now! Now I’m looking forward to my own even more and theres even more food for thought here 🙂

    • nicoladawson

      Thanks Sophie. I can’t wait for your engagement shoot. I know it is going to be so much fun x


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