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Answer honestly: how do you feel about having your photograph taken? Perhaps you’re a natural poser and the idea of having a camera pointed at you for several hours is simply heaven….or maybe you’re more like me – yes, even photographers get camera shy- and the idea of a photoshoot is enough to bring you out in hives!

The majority of my clients fall into the latter camp – if I had a cent for every bride or groom who’s declared, ‘I hate having my photograph taken!’ I’d be a rich woman – but they appreciate that it’s their wedding and it’s important. And so they’ve hired a professional – surely that’s the photography taken care of, then?

Well yes, it is. A professional photographer should be skilled and experienced enough to produce the goods – i.e. stunning, natural, romantic images – in the small windows of opportunity available to them on your big day. In reality, I only have 30-45 minutes to set up and take a couple’s portrait at a wedding – not long at all – with the rest of your photographs together being more spontaneous, reportage-style shots, catching images where I spot them.

If you’re at all anxious about having your photograph taken at your wedding, I’d urge you to consider an engagement shoot. Why? Well, for a little extra investment – engagement shoots are significantly shorter and are generally a fraction of the cost of your wedding day photography – you get a whole host of benefits.

In need of persuasion? Read on to find out the difference an engagement shoot can make.

  1. Practice makes perfect. By 6pm, my couples tend to be so much more relaxed then when I arrive in the morning. With an engagement shoot, you’ve had even more opportunity to relax and unwind in front of the camera, resulting in more natural wedding day images. Your photographer is ready for your big day – they’ve had years of experience and training – but the question is are you?
  2. You get to know your photographer. It’s so much easier to relax in front of someone you’ve met before. At your wedding I’ll be asking you to stand a certain way, smile, embrace and kiss, and it’s so much easier to do all of that in front of someone you’ve already drank tea and traipsed through fields with.
  3. Your photographer gets to know you. Good photographers are intuitive; they act on their instincts. However, any opportunity to get to know a bride and groom better – their likes, their personalities, what makes them laugh – is a huge advantage in capturing shots that really represent them as individuals and as a couple. An engagement shoot is a great way for me to see what makes you tick and put that knowledge into action on your wedding day.  
  4. It’s a whole lot of fun. Once you get over the oh-my-goodness-there’s-a-camera paranoia, spending a morning or afternoon together having your picture taken can actually be – whisper it – a fun experience. Some of my couples choose to have their engagement shoot at their wedding venue and turn it into a day of adventure and indulgence, following their photos up with a glass of fizz or an afternoon tea – or both. Hey, you only get married once.
  5. Get creative. Alternatively, you might choose to have your engagement shoot somewhere else – perhaps where you got engaged or at another place that’s special to you. An engagement shoot can be a fabulous opportunity to get creative and capture some couples photographs that are totally different to your wedding day pictures. I’ve shot wedding days for glamorous couples at chic city hotels and taken beautifully contrasting engagement photos on wild, windswept beaches. There’s so much freedom with an engagement shoot; the bride can wear jeans and the groom’s dog can make a cameo appearance. And after the big day is over you have not one but two beautiful sets of photographs to pore over and treasure.

So have I convinced you? Will you be having an engagement session? Do let me know – and if you’re considering your options for your engagement or wedding photographer, please do get in touch – I’d love to hear your plans and talk you through my approach to wedding photography and style.