Engagement shoot – and why you need one

March 5, 2018

Engagement shoot – why do you need one?

So you’re wandering what exactly does an engagement shoot entail, and do you really need one? Aren’t the photos taken on the wedding day enough? Most couples I speak to express how apprehensive they are – they’ve never had professional photos taken and they worry that they will feel/look awkward. I get it! I really do! I completely relate, but that’s exactly why having an engagement shoot is so so important. Engagement sessions are included in my wedding photography package. Read on to find out why!

An engagement shoot, pre-wedding shoot or whatever else one might call it, is essentially a short portrait session. It can take place at a park, stately home, your own home (yes, that’s right!) or perhaps in the city for more funky backgrounds. My favourite locations include Nottingham Lace Market, with many alleyways and cafes to explore, Newstead Abbey or any other stately home with beautiful gardens! This is particularly true for sessions taking place in the summer. The session lasts around one hour, and generally includes lots of wedding talk. More importantly, it gives us a chance to get to know each other a little better. There are so many advantages in getting to know each other before your wedding day. When I arrive for bridal preparations, I’m not just a stranger – we know each other enough by then, so that my arrival doesn’t disrupt your morning. The last thing I’d want is to add to your stress!

Another reason why having an engagement shoot might be a good idea, is because you get a chance to get used to being in front of the camera. It’s like a mini test run before the big day, meaning that you’ll know what to expect when it comes to your couple portraits. When you’re relaxed during the couple portraits, it definitely shows in your photos. You probably already know that I’m a big fan of natural photos, so knowing that you’re comfortable with having me around helps us both in achieving those natural expressions!

When is a good time to have your engagement shoot?

There’s a few things to take into consideration when booking your engagement shoot. Most of my sessions seem to take place either in autumn or winter, mostly because people are busy getting married in the summer! Autumn can be a great time to have your session at a stately home, park or local woods. The trees will be beautifully orange, making for a perfect backdrop to your session. Winter, on the other hand, might be better suited to city centre sessions, as trees and parks can be a little bare then. One other consideration to take into account, when scheduling your engagement session, is the weather during the colder months. Although I do my best to never reschedule sessions, it may mean that the weather might be a little less than ideal. However, if you’re not scared of getting a little wet should it rain, then I’m all for it!

Regent's park engagement

Spring and summer engagement sessions have a different feel – given that gardens and parks have an abundance of beautiful, colourful flowers. However, one thing to consider is the time of day for spring and summer engagement sessions. The sun becomes very harsh at midday, and therefore early morning or evening sessions are best, to ensure more flattering, even light. This is not as much of a concern in winter, especially on cloudy days.

For some inspiration – follow the links below to view my recent engagement shoots. It might help you decide which location would suit you best!

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!


Anna x

Engagement shoot