5 reasons why you should definitely have an engagement shoot

Nov 11, 2019

Autumn is one of my busiest seasons for engagement shoots. My wedding photography season slows down but the low, soft sunlight and gorgeous autumn colours make for amazing couple pics so being busy with them is fine by me. But you may be wondering why you should have a shoot like this. They never used to be ‘a thing’ so why do you need to do one now? Well, I’ll make it easy for you. Here are my top 5 reasons:

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 photographs taken on the wedding day already 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’ I would be a rich lady. But this is exactly why it is a great thing to do because actually, having the right photographer to work with won’t be half as ‘bad’ an experience as you think it’s going to be. 

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 photo is in a magazine or perhaps other wedding photographs, where everyone looks amazing, happy and natural and I bet you may have thought ‘but I will be really awkward and won’t look like that’. Well, I beg to differ. There are very simple ways to achieve these relaxed, happy images and it’s not posing or fake. With some simple direction, these genuine moments will happen. So 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 laughing with each other during woodland engagement shoot in Kent

2. 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 me, your photographer. 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.

Couple embracing during engagement shoot at Lullingstone Country Park

3. 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 cuddling on a rustic bench during a couple shoot at Ashridge Estate

4. 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?! 

Engaged couple smiling at each other during golden hour couple shoot at Lullingstone Country Park

 

5. You get better wedding photographs 

This is the one! THIS is my biggest reason for having an engagement shoot. On your Wedding Day, when you will be full of that wonderful nervous excitement, it won’t be the first time we meet, 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! 

Couple laughing together on green park bench during engagement shoot at Swiss Gardens Couple looking at each other in front of red acer in the grounds of the Swiss gardens Coupleabout to kiss during engagement shoot at Swiss Gardens Couple about to kiss in the glass house at Swiss Gardens Couple holding hands under a clear sky during their engagement shoot at Lullingstone Country Park Man whispering in his fiancees ear as she laughs during golden hour engagement shoot at Lullingstone Couple kissing at sunset drone golden hour couple shoot at Lullingstone Country Park Couple holding hands under blue sky with wispy clouds at Lullingstone Country park Couple looking at each other backlit by the sun through trees in their engagement photography session Couple looking lovingly at each other through trees during their engagement shoot at Lullingstone Man holding his fiancee from behind through autumn leaves at Lullingstone Country Park Two girls holding hands walking and looking at each other during their engagement shoot Couple laughing in the woods together Couple laughing together sat on a log during engagement shoot Couple nose to nose through holly during their engagement shoot

There you have it. My top 5 reasons for having an engagement shoot. I truly value them and that’s why I include them in my all day packages. 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

 

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I'm a documentary wedding photographer based in Kent and also cover Surrey, Sussex, Essex and London. I also love to shoot family portraits in the Kent area.

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