Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Engagement Shoot...

There aren't that many times in your life when you get the opportunity to get some really lovely professional photos of you and your other half, granted there's your wedding which is very special but it's hardly a normal day and it's certainly not your normal environment.

Have a look through your facebook photos now! I bet there's hardly any of the pair of you where you both look awesome but natural and you're not out on the lash or at someone elses wedding! I know I have a grand total of about 3 of these types of photos.

Engagement sessions or shoots have been popular for quite a while now but if you're not totally clued up on the wedding industry and it's inherent trends then you likely won't even know about them, especially if you're the first in your friend group to tie the knot.

The first time you'll likely hear the phase 'engagement shoot' is either while browsing a lovely wedding blog like this one, or offered as part of a package by a photographer that you may be talking to....

So what is an Engagement Shoot?
We'll it's not exactly what it sounds like really it's not something that generally happens the moment you're engaged but more often something that photographers offer as a bit of a pre-wedding getting to know the couple/ making them feel at ease in front of the camera exercise, that generally has the fabulous bi-product of some rather lovely images. The best engagement shoots are the ones that show people in their natural environment, interacting in a natural way, though if you're a super stylish couple a more styled and posed shoot can work amazingly, but only if you're pretty confident in front of the camera!

So what happens on an engagement shoot?
When I shoot engagement portraits I like to arrange to meet at a place chosen by you, but I'll always have some ideas if you're a bit stuck. The best times are when the sun is just on it's way up or on its way down if you want to brave the outdoors. We'll usually start with a bit of a chat about your wedding plans {I often combine an engagement shoot with a pre wedding meeting to get all those details down} Hopefully talking about your wedding plans will make you feel happy and not stressed and it will bring out the best in your smile!

We'll then go for a bit of a wander, be it around a city looking for cool angles, buildings and street art, or out in the wild exploring the scenery. You'll get chance to have a practice in front of the lens so you don't feel awkward on your wedding day and you'll have a chance to get to know a bit more about your photographer.
I'll likely get you talking about how you first met and a bit about the proposal, but don't worry there won't be any reenacting or dodgy shots of mock proposals.

What do I get at the end of it?
This of course will vary from photographer to photographer but you'll usually get around 100 photos in one format or another. There are some lovely things you can do with your engagement photographs; it's popular at the moment to get your favorite image printed out and mounted with an extra large mount, then framed {leaving out the glass} so that at your wedding all your guests can write little messages on the mount. Another lovely idea is to either have a small album made with your engagement photos with blank spaces to use as a guest book on your wedding day or you could print them yourself and do a DIY scrapbook version.

So how much does an engagement session cost?
Again obviously this is going to vary from photographer to photographer {I charge £150 which includes a large framed print with extra wide mount} but often photographers will either do this as part of a package or a lot of them will throw one in for free if you're booking them at a wedding fair or if they've got a special offer on, so just ask! Getting some practice in with your photographer before your wedding day means that on the day you will get better value for money because you will get better pictures I promise.

Even if you don't decide to use your engagement photos on our wedding day, I really would recommend doing an engagement shoot with your photographer. 

{photography: Diamonds & Doodles

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