Everything you always wanted to know about couple and engagement shoots, but were afraid to ask.
I wanted to write a little bit about couple shoots, and engagement shoots, because I am often asked by clients if I do them. Equally, sometimes when I suggest them to clients, they’ve never heard of them before, so I thought I’d describe what they are, how I approach them, and what to expect.
What is an Engagement Shoot?
An engagement shoot is a portrait shoot that a couple will usually do with their wedding photographer before the wedding day. It’s a good way to get some pictures of them together in a beautiful environment (possibly one that is meaningful to the couple) that they can use to celebrate their engagement, give to family and friends, and also use for their ‘save the date’ cards/invitations. I like doing them because it gives me the chance to get to know the couple a bit before the big day, and get a bit more comfortable with each other.
Having said all that - you don't have to be married! I have worked with couples who just wanted some beautiful pictures of them as a couple to display in their home, and that's totally fine as well!
I always think an engagement shoot should be personal to the couple, but I’m always happy to offer suggestions to help get the results we want. Location is a big part of a successful engagement shoot, and if the couple has a favourite spot where they like to walk, or perhaps a landmark that means a lot fo them, or maybe even the place where they got engaged, these can all make good choices for a location.
However, I know that it’s not always easy to think of locations for these sorts of things, so I also have a list of favourite locations, that I like to go to on just such an occasion! These will usually be quiet, beautiful places, with lots of trees - I love a bit of greenery! Although my love of nature is a factor in this choice, I also choose these locations because there are fewer people around, which allows the couple to feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera, and also to focus on each other - which makes for the best pictures.
Posing (a word that often makes people run to the hills!) is clearly a big part of the process, and I would describe my approach to this as giving gentle, general directions to the couple, and letting them interpret them in their own way. I find that this way, couples tend to do what they would normally do, and this makes for a natural pose that is more reflective of them. Equally though, I’m happy to step and give more detailed posing direction if that is what the couple wants, or we need to refine a few things.
Of course, what with this being Britain, the weather doesn’t always play ball, so in that situation, we can always look at options around umbrellas, or indoor locations. Or, failing that, postpone for another time. The best light is usually to be found around late afternoon/sunset, so if possible, I try to time it for that time of day. The whole process usually takes 2-3 hours, and we always have a great time, and get great pictures.
Normally, I ask couples to wear clothes that complement each other, and to keep patterns to a minimum, so as not to distract from the main event - them! Other than that, there are no rules! So feel free to wear what you want!
How to Book
The cost for an engagement shoot is £200, which can be discounted if bought as part of a wedding package.
So, if that sounds like something you’d enjoy, and you like my work, feel free to get in touch with me, I love speaking to couples about creating great images together.
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