An engagement sessions
Engagement shoots can be a brilliant idea in the run up to your wedding day. Lets face it most of us aren’t naturals in front of the camera, lord knows I’m not one of those people, and for a lot of couples the portraits on their wedding day can be a massive source of stress and anxiety so they’re built up to be this massively scary thing but it really doesn’t have to be!
PS - pretty much every single person on this page has told me how much they hate having their photograph taken.
1 - When?
An engagement session can happen whenever but I usually recommend we use an opposite season to when you are getting married so that you get a contrast of images (ie a summer wedding works well with an autumn engagement session and a winter wedding is contrasted nicely with the spring colours).
Also, we have more freedom on the time of day; they are best to happen early in the morning or the evening so we can get some lovely soft lighting which is always the best!
2 - Where?
The location for your engagement session can be pretty much anywhere! Most public places are free to photograph in, but there are some places which charge a fee for photography. Engagement shoots can be a great excuse for a good day out, have some photographs in a location that means something to you as a couple or choose a location that contrasts or compliments the venue you have chosen for your wedding day.
I’ve popped below a few ideas of some of my favourite engagement session locations that I have photographed in but there are limitless places where these can take place.
Lots of gorgeous old buildings and a range of places to use which make beautiful backdrops. There’s also a gooorgeous Georgian tea room.
Modern and contemporary with lots of graffiti and industrial spaces this is always a great contrast to rustic, countryside venues.
A gorgeous old windmill in the middle of the countryside there’s lots of open space for a good walk and a chat as well as lovely big fields to photograph in.
Severn Valley Railway
A great way to have a day out with old railway carriages creating beautiful backdrops and places such as Bridgnorth and Highley’s visitor centre to use.
A huge country park with beautiful avenues of trees, forested areas as well as a lake and manor house to use it provides a variety of places to photograph in.
Lets face it this place is full of utter gorgeousness! A great place to explore what works best and use the gorgeous gardens as the backdrop for your session.
There are tonnes of other places we can go from country parks to city centre locations, public buildings to your own back garden anywhere can make an amazing backdrop as long as whats in the foreground is a couple who are being their authentic selves and showing love.
3 - WHy?
An engagement session is a great way to not only get used to being in front of the camera but it can also help with the nerves on the big day allowing you to see the couple’s portraits as a break rather than something to be scared of.
It’s also a great way to get to know your photographer and allow them to get to know what works for you as a couple so you don’t end up with a series of generic feeling photographs but portraits that really reflect you.
An engagement sessions is also an opportunity to see what angles and positions work for you and also what works to bring the best out of you both - I especially always try to gauge your sense of humour, see what kind of things make you belly laugh and what will make you look at each other adoringly as these ALWAYS make the best photographs.
4 - What to wear
Whatever the bloody hell you want!! If you feel comfortable and happy in your outfit and you’re not dressed in something you wouldn’t normally wear then it will reflect in the photographs! Don’t worry about it and just be happy!
Why not make a day of it and talk your other half into a lovely lunch out somewhere?
Got kids? Bring them along, turn it into a family shoot and save a fortune at Christmas because grandparents will LOVE a framed photograph!
Got a fur baby? They’re allowed too!
Why not use photographs from your engagement session as part of your wedding decor? A banner on the top of a table plan, images in your wedding website… I’ve even seen engagement shoot photographs used as part of the table decor.