Engagement, or pre-wedding shoots, are one of the best yet most underrated ways to prepare for your wedding photography. Shoots usually last one to two hours and for a lot of couples it is their first experience of having professional photos taken since school. However, couples are surprised when I tell them that the priority of engagement shoots isn’t just about capturing gorgeous images of the love between them but also about us having a chat and a laugh, getting to know each other and helping you become comfortable being in front of the camera.
I’ll be able to give you useful tips and ideas and you’ll be able to tell me about anything that you are concerned about being in the photos, such as favouring one side over the other or the little scar under your chin from tripping in the playground in P5 (Yep, that one is mine!). By the end of the session I am confident that you will be much more excited about having your photos taken on your big day and after you see your engagement images I know that any lingering doubts will be well and truly dispelled!
Having this shoot before the wedding, whether it is a year or even just a few days before, means that I can show you a range of posing tips, such as how to stand and what way to place your hands, so that on your big day we can jump straight into creating gorgeous photos. A lot of couples have a misconception that they will be asked to freeze and smile for their photos, the reality is that while I may direct you sometimes, most of the time I’ll just let you be together in whichever way is comfortable and relaxed for you both. When we view their images so many couples are surprised at all the candid shots I have taken between “poses”, and these are always the ones they love the most, simply because they have forgotten about the camera and are just enjoying each other.
The first question I am usually asked is where to go for your engagement session. I have a range of beautiful locations that I know we can visit but really it is up to you and I usually suggest choosing somewhere special to you both, be it a childhood beach or the location of your proposal. One couple who live in London were excited when I suggested that we could do their engagement shoot in the city as I was due to visit soon. Andrew was delighted as he was from London but as the wedding was in Ena’s hometown, Derry, it meant that he could still have his hometown involved in the wedding photos as well. We spent a couple of hours around the capital, capturing plenty of gorgeous photos that they were both delighted with and couldn’t wait to display in their home!
Engagement sessions create another set of images for you to enjoy and share with your friends and family, and frequently couples use them for Save-the-Date cards, signing boards, guestbooks as well as displaying a few on their walls at home. To me they form an important chapter in the story of your relationship and your wedding day and will be cherished for rest of your lives together.