Following on from my posts over Christmas and the New Year about wedding photography I decided that it would be a good idea to get together with some of my photography friends and discuss Engagement Shoots and their importance before your wedding.

I bet a lot of you will have exactly the same reaction as my other half when I started speaking to him about having an engagement shoot before our wedding next year. The general line of response went … “Can’t think of anything worse”, “Hate having my photo taken”, “Really don’t see the point!”. To be honest with most of our wedding planning I’ve wanted everything to be very much a joint decision and wouldn’t dream of having something at the wedding if Ant wasn’t 100% behind it. But for me an Engagement Shoot was something to insist upon … more than anything for precisely the reason that neither of us really like having our photo taken!

Hopefully this post will help you understand some of the reasons why Engagement Shoots are actually really important and not just another added expense you could do without.

venetia norrington engagement shoot 4

image courtesy of Venetia Norrington Photography

For starters many photographers will offer an Engagement Shoot as part of their package – so its always worth asking in advance – but don’t think they are trying to rip you off if they do charge. Many of the best photographers are so in demand they really do need paying for their time … and on the other side of the spectrum many photographers who are just starting out can’t afford to give away their time for free. It really does depend on the photographer.

I personally wanted an Engagement Shoot because, although I know our wedding photographer pretty well from working on the photography for this website, I wanted us both to feel completely relaxed in her company. Your photographer should blend seamlessly into your wedding day and you shouldn’t be worrying at any point about them or what they are up to. To do this I think you need to feel really comfortable with them in advance.

There is also a bit of me that is doing it for vanity! I hate photos of myself. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of photos I have looked at of myself which I have liked and been pleased with. The Engagement Shoot is just as much so your photographer can get to know you and your best angles and how to make you look your best in photographs as it is for you to get to know them.

I also asked some of the professional wedding photographers and wedding planners I know why they thought Engagement Shoots were so important and what their top tips for these shoots were and this is what they said …

“I absolutely recommend that all couples should have an engagement shoot! Getting in some practice and getting to know your photographer is important  – you want to feel totally at ease and relaxed on the big day as it helps to eliminate any feelings of being ‘camera shy’. This is why I offer engagement or ‘pre wedding’ shoots in all of my wedding collections. It is also helpful for me as a photographer because I can see how the couple work together, what natural posing works and what doesn’t, but more than anything it’s another chance to get to know my couples and build on our friendship.

I also think this is the perfect way to celebrate your short time as an engaged couple. Particularly, when if you consider that the few months to few years when you are engaged to be married, is such a small window of time when compared to the rest of your life. Engagement photographs capture and preserve this feeling and excitement you both share during a time when you are preparing to marry your ‘one.’ These timeless and less formal photos are the perfect way to look back at the beginning of your love and life together.”

– Philippa Sian Photography –


image courtesy of Philippa Sian Photography


image courtesy of Philippa Sian Photography

Venetia Norrington Photography gave me some fantastic top tips on what to think about when organising your Engagement Shoot with your photographer …

Chose a location you love or that’s linked to you as a couple.

Co-ordinate your hair and make-up trial to coincide with your shoot so you look your very best.

Think carefully about your wardrobe – we provide our clients with some inspired choices as part of our planning. No logos or motifs in our shoots! 

Have your engagement ring cleaned for the event – you want it to be as sparkly as possibly! 

Don’t forget, if you want to use props, get them! Again we work with clients to plan this and come up with a list between us.

venetia norrington engagement shoot 2

image courtesy of Venetia Norrington Photography

venetia norrington engagement shoot 5

image courtesy of Venetia Norrington Photography

and finally some more tips from wedding planner Claudia Montano  –

Have your shoot somewhere that means something to you both… maybe somewhere you visit often, your favourite place to go for a walk, or even where you first met!

Wear something that is ‘you’. You want to wear something that you’re comfortable in, and something that you really love! You don’t have to over dress, just be yourself.

It can be a little awkward to pose in front of a camera, so ask your photographer to take some shots of you both as you walk around, or even whilst you’re sitting and having a casual chat. Natural shots make for some beautiful photographs.

I hope that really helps you with what Engagement Shoots are all about and whether you would like one for your wedding. I personally can’t wait for mine in May!

If you are interested in an Engagement Shoot then make sure you check back at 1pm today as I’ve got a very special offer to share with you from Venetia Norrington Photography!

Nikki x