Do we need an engagement shoot

Couple Shoot, Engagement Shoot, Wedding Tips

Do we need an engagement shoot? 

Well, before we get into it, let’s chat about ‘what is an engagement shoot’. An engagement shoot is a photo shoot, with your chosen wedding photographer which takes place before the wedding day. Either to celebrate your engagement or that moment in time, or to give you a little practice having photos before the big day. Engagement shoots can also be referred to as couple shoots (I use this one a lot), pre wedding shoots, or pre wedding couple shoots, but they are all essentially the same thing.

couple on engagement shoot


What to expect from an engagement shoot

The first step once you’ve decided you want to have an engagement shoot is to book a date with your photographer. I always like to send my couples a list of dates that could work, to give them a time that suits them best. We then choose a location. I love sending my couples a list of locations that work really well for photos but if couples have a place in mind, it’s always fun going somewhere new. Nine times out of ten, we’ll schedule the shoot in for the evening to fit around work, but also to make the most of the pretty evening light. We’ll hang out for an hour or so, have a really good chat about the wedding, what you’re most excited about and your plans for the day. We’ll have a wonder around the location stopping at a few different backdrops to get some natural, fun and relaxed photos of the two of you. I talk my couples through exactly what I want from them in order for me to get the best photos, giving them some prompts to get nice natural movement and natural laughs. I try to keep the focus of the shoot on my couples, so they focus on eachother and the joy of being together rather than the focus being on the ‘photo shoot’ itself. I want my couples to leave the shoot feeling like they’ve had a really fun evening with each other and myself, feel confident around the camera going into the wedding day, and excited to see the photos.

couple with dogs on engagement shoot


When should we have an engagement shoot?

Really, you can have it from any point after your engagement, up until the wedding itself. For me personally, I try to book these shoot in a few months before the wedding. However if couples want them earlier than this, I’m totally cool with that too. I find by doing them a bit closer to the wedding day it helps keep it fresh in your minds for the wedding day. Some of the things we do on an engagement shoot, I will also do during the couple photos session on the wedding day. You’ll also have all the confidence from the e-shoot fresh in your minds ready to carry into the wedding day.

couple having fun on engagement shoot


Where should we go for our engagement shoot?

Choosing a location for your engagement shoot can be really fun but it totally comes down to personal preference as to where you want to go. It’s worth having a think about what you like doing / where you like going as a couple. Maybe you like going on hikes in the countryside, maybe you like finding cool artwork in the city, or maybe you like chilling at the beach. Is there somewhere you go regularly or somewhere that means something to you. I have a list of places that work really well for photo shoots, that come into the nature, urban, or beach category which I’m always happy to share with my couples if they’re unsure on where to go. We work together to pick the best spot so we can get the best photos!

couple on engagement shoot


What should we wear to an engagement shoot? 

This is one of the questions I get asked about most often ‘What should we wear’. It’s a bit of a tricky question to answer as everyone has different styles etc. What I would say first and foremost, be comfortable! If you feel comfy this will reflect in the photos, you will look more relaxed and natural. Checks, stripes or block colours tend to look good. You can go a bit more dressy if that’s your vibe and you think it would work with your chosen location. Or you can go casual and comfy, or anywhere in between. We’ll be doing some walking and may do some sitting down photos as well as being up, moving about so that’s something to keep in mind. Other than that, as long as you feel comfortable and are happy with how you look we are on to a winner 🙂

couple cuddling on engagement shoot


Do we need to ‘pose’ on an engagement shoot?

If there’s one thing I could say to my couples before turning up to their engagement shoot, it would be that I absolutely don’t expect any kind of performance from them. I would say 99.9% of my couples have never had professional photos taken before, it’s totally new and no one arrives knowing what they should be doing. I have zero expectation for my couples to know how to stand, where to look, what to do, or even how to smile haha! It is my job to guide my couples, make them feel great about themselves and create a gorgeous set of images of two people in love. 

So in short, no, you don’t need to ‘pose for the photos. I try to keep a lot of movement in the shoot, so rather than having my couples stood still for too long, feeling a bit awkward, we’ll do lots of photos of you walking together. Maybe some cuddling, swaying, bear hugs, piggy backs. Whatever I can do to keep things fun and moving and making sure you’re having a good time, that’s how we nail those natural looking, non posed photos.

couple laughing on engagement shoot


How much does an engagement shoot cost? 

I include engagement shoots in some of my packages, but if you wanted to have the shoot as an add on or as a taster before booking your wedding photography, the shoots are £275. This includes all of the edited photos in an online gallery for you to easily view and download straight to your computer.

couple on beach engagement shoot


So after all of that, here are 6 reasons why I think it’s a good idea to book an engagement shoot

  • It will give you a chance to meet your photographer face to face, and get to know them better before the big day. It’s always nice for me when I feel like I know my couples and their personalities before the big day. It helps me capture the true them in the photos as well as us not feeling like strangers on the wedding day. 
  • You’ll have a chance to practice in front of the camera so on the wedding day you’re more prepared and you know what to expect. We’ll have more time on the engagement shoot to try out some different things, see what works best and what you feel most happy with. When it comes to your couple photo session on the wedding day we’ll be able to save time as we know what works and looks great in the photos. Any time we can save on the wedding day is golden. 
  • It can be a good opportunity to see how your wedding day makeup will look in photos. Some couples choose to have their make up trail the day of the shoot which is a great idea. Once you get your photos back from the engagement shoot you’ll be really confident with how your make up is looking and know if there’s any feedback you need to give to your mua. 
  • You’ll get some gorgeous photos of the two of you. These can be so lovely to look back on in years to come and remember the time leading up to the wedding. Being engaged is such a milestone in life but usually a fairly short lived one, how amazing would it be to get some beautiful photos to remember this special time. Lots of couples also choose to print these photos out to add to the decor on the wedding day. 
  • You’ll get to enjoy some time with each other. Taking time out from wedding planning to appreciate what you have is so important. 
  • They’re fun!! It’s a fun, care free evening, chatting about yourselves and the amazing day you’ve got planned, making a new friend (hi, that’s me). Some couples even make a lil date night out of it and go for dinner after the shoot! 


Get in touch here to chat more about engagement shoots.