This is an on going question that comes up time & time again. In this blog I’ll explain a little of why, how & what an engagement photo shoot means, why is it also called a pre wedding shoot, or warm-up shoot & most importantly when to do it & what to wear!
In fact why even book an engagement photo shoot? Many people overlook the importance this, thinking more about saving money & time. Keep reading below for a few tips on why it could be a VERY important addition to your Wedding photography package & my answers to the top 5 most common questions…
You maybe super confident & totally love having your photo taken (or you may be but your fiancé isn’t), but I’m also totally aware that most people are not. Whatever way you look at it there’s always room for some confidence building & courage boosting before your wedding day. Its not vital to book in a pre-wedding photo shoot with your wedding photographer & its not necessary to even consider it BUT, if you do, let me assure you that you definitely will NOT regret it.
Your wedding day nerves will be pretty ramped up the closer you get to the actual day & if your not used to having your photo taken, posing or just generally being ‘watched’ all day long then it can be a pretty scary & daunting thought. Imagine being prepared! Not only with all your prep & plans but also with your wedding photographer. If you’ve had a warm-up shoot then you’ll have practiced a few key poses, you’ll have had a kiss in front of the camera & you’ll have got to know the way your photographer likes to work & direct you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being MORE prepared for your wedding day and removing some of the myths behind how to pose correctly or perform.
I like to think about the location first. I often ask couples to suggest somewhere that means a lot to them, like where they got engaged or a favourite beauty spot. Somewhere that has a different theme to where they are getting married. For example if your having a castle wedding then why not choose a beach location. Or if your having more of a contemporary wedding theme then lets go somewhere more boho or quirky.
Another important consideration is what to wear. Remember you will cherish these images forever so wear something timeless that you’ll be happy to show off on your walls for years to come. Try to avoid t.shirts with large logos or images and chat to your wedding photographer about matching colours to your location. It really does make ALL the difference.
I totally loved Neda’s red jumper on this pre-wedding photo shoot on Basingstoke Canal last year. To me it totally MADE the shoot & I made sure to boost it where I could in the final edit.
It’s worth keeping a flexible diary so you can change the shoot date at the last minute if the weather isn’t right. I’m all for a rainy, foggy shoot but if you had your heart set on blue skies & long shadows then it maybe worth re scheduling at the last minute.
So in conclusion here are my top 5 answers to your most popular questions about booking an engagement photoshoot…
Firstly of course the answer would be to celebrate your engagement! The reason this kind of photo shoot is also called a pre-wedding or warm-up shoot is because most couples taking it have already been engaged for 1, 2 or even 3 years (or longer). It seems abit silly to start celebrating the fact they’ve got engaged when it happened so long ago. Much better to call this a pre-wedding shoot & use it as a practice session to get warmed-up ahead of their big day.
Not only will you get to know your photographer & understand how they like to work, direct & shoot but also you’ll get a set of amazing photographs – where your not in your wWedding finery – that you can use for ‘save the date’ cards or maybe for your wedding day decor.
Couples tend to book me around 1-2 years before their actual wedding day & most couples purchase a pre-wedding shoot at the time of booking. So when you choose to take your shoot really depends on what you’d like to use the images for. If your just wanting it as a warm-up practice shoot then lets leave it until closer to your wedding day. In fact we could combine the shoot with our final ‘scheduling’ meeting at the 4 week before mark. That way we can do our shoot and then go find somewhere to sit for a cuppa & a chat afterwards.
If however you are wanting to use the images for your ‘save the date’ cards then it’s obviously better to do this as soon as possible.
I find that even without trying a pre-wedding photo shoot tends to naturally take 1-2 hours. I can easily gauge when I have all the shots I need & its easy to ‘feel’ when the time has come to finish. I like to stick to locations that are within 1 hour’s drive from my home in East Sussex, especially during my super busy summer months.
NOTE: I CAN normally be persuaded to travel further for a unique location & something out of the ordinary!
Do consider your location & speak to your photographer about it too. Colours & styles can make or break a photo shoot & to me this is just as important as choosing the right location. Remember you’ll want to look back on these images forever so you won’t want to be cringing on your choice of outfit every time you look at the photo’s on your walls. Try to consider how your outfits work together too & avoid strong patterns & logo’s. Go for shirts instead of t.shirts, textures instead of patterns or jumpers instead of big coats. Add hats and accessories too!
Yes definitely. I’d always encourage an outfit change but please don’t bring extra bags to carry. If driving then we will go back to your car half way through our session for you to change. I’ll make sure we don’t stray too far away. Using props like hats, scarves, kites, blankets, flasks or any item that helps to tell the story of your location is always a great addition to any shoot. Chat to me first & we’ll plan your shoot together.
I’d love to talk to you more about arranging & booking in your pre wedding photo shoot so get in touch for more details.
NOTE: You can add this to your existing wedding photography package at any time or book it completely separately from any wedding booking – just to celebrate being a couple.