The Engagement Shoot | Essential or Extravagant?

For many engaged couples on the hunt for a wedding photographer, they will come across the suggestion of an 'Engagement Shoot'. In most cases, photographers offer this session at an additional charge or as part of a premium package, and couples are left wondering if it is really necessary? Let's face it, weddings are expensive and it all eventually adds up! Many couples are torn ... They are already potentially spending a fair chunk of their wedding budget on the photography for the main day, is this extra shoot an extravagance or a necessary investment? 

In my opinion, an Engagement Shoot is so important to the outcome and success of the wedding shoot itself, I offer it as complimentary to all my wedding couples, irrespective of what wedding package they select. Why? 

1. Everyone gets comfortable working with each other

I have yet to meet one couple that are completely and utterly natural and comfortable in front of a camera. It's awkward (for everyone!) to be photographed! An engagement shoot helps to break down those barriers and helps everyone get comfortable. It's a great opportunity to try out working with your photographer, and you will know if it's just not working. By the end of the session everyone should be at ease and looking forward to seeing each other again on the big day

2. You can try out the wedding location and best photography spots before the big day

This is especially important if the location is unique or tricky to access, or if you have a limited time frame to shoot on the day due to timing of the rest of the proceedings. By choosing to have your engagement shoot at the same location as on your wedding day, your photographer can really start to plan out the locations you will use and what appeals to you both, and rule out what just won't work. If you are using props you can see how they will work on the day, who will move them around and be responsible for them etc. 

3. You can chose to shoot at a location that is special or meaningful to you both

For some couples, the Engagement Shoot is the perfect opportunity to capture memories at a location that is special and meaningful to them, but may not have been a good choice for the wedding day photography. It may be at your home or family home, a local park or beach, or where you had your first date or got engaged. Some couples that have planned a country wedding choose to have their session at the beach, or the other way around. If you don't need to use the wedding location, have a think about where is meaningful to you both, or ask you photographer for some great locations they can suggest. 

4. You can fine tune details and intricacies for the day itself

I usually end every engagement shoot with a relaxed and at ease couple, and we spend some time going over some of the additional details of the day. Wedding plans change ... All The Time. I never miss an opportunity to discuss any changes to how the day will unfold or plan out some of the timing. Creatively, you as a couple should now be feeling more comfortable asking questions and sharing creative ideas that can be used on the day. 

5. You can capture a very special moment in time with just the two of you as a couple

Life gets busy - wedding planning gets busy! an Engagement shoot give you both a chance to slow down, and remember why you are doing all that work in planning your perfect day. it's a chance to re-connect, reminisce on your journey together as a couple, and re-charge for the rest of the wedding planning ahead. After the wedding, there may be time-out for a honeymoon, a whirlwind of busyness when you return, and then life will take over and everything will get back to normal. Planning a shoot together, just the two of you, after it is all over will probably not happen! An engagements shoot lets you capture that little moment of time, before life carries you away, and those images on your wall, your photo album, or on social media, will become just as priceless as some of your favourite wedding photo's.

If your wedding photographer offers you an Engagement Shoot, jump at the opportunity to get in front of the camera, get comfortable with your photographer, and capture one more set of beautiful images!