an engagement photo session is a really beautiful way to celebrate you as a couple before your wedding day, to take photos for your invitations, and to experience being in front of a camera before your big day
Oh my gosh! Congratulations!! I'm assuming you're here because you've got engaged or you're planning to be engaged soon. I am so beyond excited for you! Perhaps, you're beginning to get into the wedding planning already, or even just wondering what your next steps are and that's where I can help a little bit.
For many people, an engagement photoshoot is high up on the list of things to do once becoming engaged. An engagement shoot can provide you with photos to put on your invitations and can help you with getting used to a camera before your wedding but it can also be a really beautiful way to celebrate your relationship in a more intimate way before the busyness of the big day. It can be a relaxed and personal activity to connect with each other following your engagement.
Where to start?
First, decide whether you want to have an engagement shoot and if it is right for you. While it can be a really precious opportunity to celebrate yourselves, it is by no means a necessity.
Once you've decided that you'd like to go ahead with one, the next step is to find your photographer and trust me, there are loads to choose from. I will never say that I am always the right photographer for you and that is because I truly believe that your photographer should be someone who you're comfortable with and who you like the work of. My work tends to take on a more dreamy, delicate, and storytelling approach which you may love or may not be your vibe at all. It is so important for your vision to align with the photographer's style, otherwise, you may both end up disappointed in the end. I would suggest taking the time to find local photographers or travel photographers who fit your vibe and then really get to know their style. Once you've narrowed it down to a couple, then inquire with them!
After you've inquired, I highly recommend asking to meet them either in person or over a video call. As I mentioned before, your photographer should be someone you're comfortable with. They should make you feel safe and confident and there is no better way of finding out if you like them than sitting down to chat with them. I love hopping on a video call once someone has inquired with me as it's such a nice way to connect properly instead of meeting each other on the day. In the same way it helps you to feel comfortable around me, it helps me to feel comfortable around you too. I love to get to know my clients properly before the session as I personally think it helps me to photograph you authentically. If I know who you are as a person, then I am able to properly capture that!
You're Now At the Booking Stage
So, you've chosen your photographer and are ready to book with them. When it comes to choosing a date, if you're wedding is planned to be sooner rather than later, I always advise trying to book asap. You want to give yourself a good amount of time between your session and your wedding to allow the photographer to get the photos back to you and for you to create your invites (if that is your plan). Each photographer works differently however I always let my clients know that it can take up to three weeks for me to get your photos back to you.
If you're planning for your wedding to be a little further away, perhaps a year or more then you have more flexibility in choosing your date. I book up to six months in advance which gives some seasonal leeway if clients, for example, become engaged in the winter months and would prefer a spring or summertime engagement shoot (or vice versa).
Choosing a location
Choosing your location is a huge part of the planning and you'll already have some idea of where you'd like the session to happen after booking with your photographer as you'll know the areas they cover and if they travel. I shoot primarily in the North of England around the Peak and Lake District but you definitely don't need to be local to work with me. You also can request for me to travel to you, I make this known upon inquiry, as other photographers should too.
You might have a place specifically in mind which is amazing! You also may not, and that is where your photographer can help you. If you're a little unsure of an exact area, I create a guide with three to four different location options that I think you'll love you then have the option to choose one or none and I can scout for some other locations.
Your location doesn't have to be a special place or anywhere sentimental. It can be somewhere you've never been before or that you've seen on social media. I love building adventure into my sessions so I love it when we all get to explore somewhere new.
So you've booked your date and location with your photographer. What next? Next is the exciting part. The part where you get to pick out your outfits, whether you want to bring your pets along and where you can rock up and enjoy the session.
In terms of outfits, picking what you're going to wear can often feel a little stressful! I have a short guide of tips that I will be putting up on the blog soon and when you book with me I send you a full guide of tips and ideas of what to wear but the general ideas are that you should always wear what you're comfortable in. Avoid bright colours and patterns because they can be distracting in photos and always come prepared for the weather!
Sometimes people like to have their wedding makeup artist do their make-up for the shoot as a trial run. It can help to show you how the makeup shows up on camera and if you like it. This can works nicely if you're having your shoot done locally.
Bringing props and pets along to your session can also be a really beautiful way of personalizing your session. Some people like to bring along an important car, a guitar, or a little picnic. There is no need to bring anything along but if you do have something specific in mind, definitely let your photographer know!
I also always recommend to my clients that they plan a "date day" around their session too. Perhaps they'll relax together beforehand and maybe go out for a dinner afterward. The day can be a really beautiful way to connect together and enjoy each other's company before and after your engagement photoshoot.
Lastly, before your session, it can help you to go through Pinterest or Instagram and have an idea of photos you might like to get. A lot of my clients rock up to our sessions with no specific ideas and we just play around with a bunch of different ideas and prompts, however, if you have an idea of photos you might like, then have a look around online and save them to your phone. It helps to show the photographer your ideas beforehand but it's ok if you forget! We love to see your ideas and always want to make sure you're getting what you want from the shoot so don't be shy about showing us some inspiration photos!
The day of can feel a little nerve-wracking but your photographer is there to make you feel comfortable and make sure you enjoy your session. Having a camera pointed at you can feel really strange if you've not had your photos taken before but one of the best ways to help settle you is to focus on your partner and go with the flow. I always use ice-breaking activities and prompts to help you feel a bit more settled, to begin with. If you've brought along some ideas or inspiration pictures, it's best to show your photographer at the beginning of the session too.
But the main thing for your engagement session is to just have fun, enjoy it and celebrate the love that you and your partner have!
I hope this has is helpful and takes a little bit of the strain out of post-engagement planning! Again, huge congratulations to you if you've recently got engaged! I couldn't be more excited for you!!
If you'd like to inquire with me, fill in the contact form as best as you can and I will get back to you as soon as possible! I can't wait to celebrate with you 💛