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How to prepare for an engagement photoshoot

June 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

After many years taking E-shoots its hard to believe that I have NEVER posted a blog about how to prep for your engagement shoot. In my experience couples generally know what to wear and most get that right as we are on location and the weather often dictates clothing. I do always provide some advice on this but really its more that they don't always know what to expect from the shoot and many aren't sure why its needed.   

When you’re prepping for your engagement session, there are a few things to keep in mind. It is supposed to be FUN with no pressure and it provides an opportunity for us to chat and get to know each other before the big day.  It helps me to gauge if you or both of you are camera shy and will need a bit of help on the big day to relax in front of the camera.  I have found that wedding day shots where couples that have booked an engagement shoot before know exactly what to expect and are much more relaxed, so win win really.  

After you book with your photographer, whether it’s me or someone else, you’ll need to start thinking about when you want your engagement shoot to be. Some couples prefer to have their portraits done in the season opposite of the season of their wedding. So if you’re having a spring wedding, it may be nice to have an autumn engagement shoot. Don't forget you will also have to take your photographer’s availability into consideration. I book sessions about 2 months in advance and generally shoot engagements on weekdays in wedding season. This will vary with every photographer and every season.

Steps to make sure that you’re both prepared for your engagement photoshoot follows. 

1. Outfits : The best advice I can give about outfit selection would be to try to COORDINATE instead of matching. Try to stay away from intricate patterns, they won’t show up in your images.  Bold jewellery, scarves, and coloured shoes photograph really well! Think about the location, will we have to walk around a city as comfy shoes may be needed, likewise heels don't work on the beach either. Smart casual usually works best depending on where the photoshoot is taking place and what time of day it is.  I am happy to provide advice as will other photographers. 

2. Preparing: You know each other better than anyone else and so only you can help prepare for this shoot. If your fiance is completely unaware of this style of photography, they are going to think it’s really strange when I tell you strike a pose. Often the expectation isn't high with "its just a few pictures smiling at the camera" often being banded about. It's more than showing off the ring it's a style of photography that provides great images of you both before you tie the knot. Lifestyle photography provides some of my favourite images and couples in my experience never forget and find enjoyable. It may help to look at your photographers website engagement gallery to give you both an idea of what you are both about to experience. 

morgan&shaunE003morgan&shaunE003 3. Relax: As you’re preparing for your engagement shoot. Remember that your photographer doesn’t expect you to be a pro at this. I work with normal, everyday couples all the time and I can’t speak for all photographers but I tell my couples that it takes a good 20 minutes to warm up. So relax and don’t be nervous! You’re going to be great at this! Trust your photographer, allow them to be creative and you’ll have an amazing shoot!

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4. Location and Time: This is really important. What most couples don’t realise is that natural light photographers are 100% dependent on the sun and if their couples show up late, they will lose that amount of time during their session due to the lack of light. I have done winter evening shoots as I will always work around couples schedules and accommodate their busy lives.  When it comes to picking a location, I love shooting engagements in locations that mean something to the couple and find this produces great results. I enjoy finding new locations and thrive on the beautiful Scottish landscape whether urban, beach or countryside they all provide great backdrops and photo opportunities ensuring the resulting images are unique to each couple. 

I hope those tips were helpful and should you wish to book a engagement photoshoot then please get in touch!

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Get in touch to find out if I am available to document your day at [email protected] or if you’d prefer to chat, give me a call on 07903 364809 or 

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