Life, USA - English,

Why have an engagement shoot?

With so much to think about on the run up to your wedding, why would you want to spend an afternoon having photos taken? Whether you like having your photo taken or not, isn’t this just a gimmicky extra that you don’t really need?

The short answer is ‘no’, but of course there’s a lot more to it than that. So why would you want to do an engagement shoot:

1. You’ll get some awesome photographs!

You’re going to have some amazing pictures from your wedding but sometimes it’s nice to have some wonderful photos of yourselves ‘just because’. If you’re anything like me, the majority of couples photos you have are dreadful things taken by waiters in foreign restaurants and strangers on holiday. So this is a wonderfully indulgent treat that’s all about you, and will give you something to show off to your family and friends that proves you can be gorgeous on days other than your wedding day.

You might also find some additional uses for your pre-wedding pictures; like personalised save the date cards, photo for a press announcement about the wedding, a signature board?

2. You’ll get used to the camera.

For those of you who love the camera, and those whom the camera loves, you can feel free to skip this step. Everyone else: this is important!

Getting some practice time in before the big day is a great thing if you and the camera don’t always see eye to eye. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to be one-to-one with your photographer where you can work out between you how to get the most out of your photography. You can pick up tips on how to stand, the most flattering angles for you, and your photographer will learn what features you like to make the most of and also how to help you feel at ease.

Feeling at ease with the camera is the biggest thing in all of this. Very few people are used to a camera in their face all day and even a half hour shoot will help you to become more relaxed with the situation. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be conscious of what your photographer’s doing all the time.

Oh yes, and it’ll help you stop pulling that cheesy camera smile. Yes you. You know who you are!

3. Getting to know each other

No, not your partner, your photographer! The better the relationship between you and your photographer the better your wedding will be. If your photographer feels like a friend you’re bound to have a more enjoyable day all round. Not only that, but you’ll be able to give invaluable feedback so your photographer has a better idea of the style of photography you’re after. As with most things good preparation makes all the difference to the execution.

4. It’s a lot of fun!

This is a great opportunity for you to put your own creative stamp on your pictures. There’s nothing wrong with a walk on the beach or trip to the woods, but if there’s something special that you share together why not make a session out of it? You could have a shoot at home baking, at a funfair, you could dance, recreate the proposal or come up with something really crazy. If you have a great idea ask your photographer if you can do it. You might need to supplement their travel charge or buy them lunch if you’re going out for a long time but by and large your photographer will be more than happy to help make your whole wedding that extra bit special. After all, that’s what they’re there for.