Engagement Shoot Advice
We’re often asked how an engagement shoot or pre-wedding shoot works. So we’ve put together some things to think about to get you prepared.
Engagement photography and pre-wedding shoots are so much fun. They’re also a fantastic way for us to get to know eachother better. Most clients can feel a bit self-conscious at the beginning of their shoot but don’t worry, you’ll feel like a natural by the end of it! It might be the first time you’ve had photos taken with a professional photographer so it’s great practice for the wedding day and can really help you to feel comfortable in front of the lens. And as an added bonus, you’ll have some amazing photographs to treasure.
Choosing A Location
Have a think about places that mean something to you as a couple. It could be a nearby village, countryside where you live, by a river or lake, in a city or park, or even at your wedding venue. If you’re not sure, don’t worry, we can discuss ideas with you and come up with a location you’re comfortable with. It doesn’t always have to be pretty either; urban or city shoots can provide some great backdrops, with a different feel. Just relax and let us worry about where to put you!
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Pre-wedding shoots usually last up to an hour. We’ll sit and have a drink with you beforehand to have a chat through all of your wedding plans, and get you relaxed and ready for the shoot, so make sure you allow extra time for that when booking. We shoot using natural light which means the sun dictates how long we can photograph you, particularly during the winter months.
Have a look at some of our other couples and engagement sessions before the shoot. This is especially important for grooms as they sometimes have less of an idea of what’s expected (no offence, boys!) If you both see some of our images beforehand, you’ll know what we’re trying to achieve.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
Most importantly, you should be yourselves and feel comfortable as it’s all about us capturing the two of you naturally. Wearing something you feel confident in is going to help you feel good. But think smart casual, rather than a ‘just fell out of bed and threw on some clothes’ look! These images will be with you for a lifetime so why not make an effort to look your best?!
We’ve put together some simple rules on clothing for your shoot. But don’t forget that rules can always be broken so don’t treat these as hard and fast. Above all else you need to feel good about how you look. If you want to check with us on what you’re planning to wear, we’re always happy to help–just ask.
RULE ONE: DON’T WEAR MATCHING OUTFITS!
Co-ordinate yes (see ‘Rule Two’) but don’t wear completely matching outfits unless you want to look like identical twins.
RULE TWO: COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS
Do wear complementary outfits and colours. Lay both of your outfits on the bed next to eachother and check that they don’t clash. For example, some good colour combinations could be brown and aqua, beige with blue jeans, or grey and yellow. We could go on but you get the idea…
RULE THREE: SOLID COLOURS AND SIMPLE PATTERNS
Bold patterns can be distracting in photographs, however if you have an amazing dress or top in a bold pattern, just try to stick to solid colours for the rest of your outfit. For example, if the bride-to-be wants to wear a patterned dress perhaps the groom-to-be can wear a solid coloured shirt with jeans. Likewise, if the groom-to-be wears a brightly patterned shirt, the bride-to-be could wear something more subtle.
RULE FOUR: ACCESSORISE
Accessories are the finishing touches, for example shoes, hats, jewellery, scarves, belts, and ties. If you’re wearing muted, neutral colours a pop of colour with your accessories will look great.
RULE FIVE: APPROPRIATE SHOES
Don’t forget to wear appropriate shoes for the location. For example, you don’t want to be wearing heels in muddy countryside (and boots can look just as flattering). If you are wearing heels and we’re walking between locations think about bringing some flip-flops or ballet flats to slip on if you like.
RULE SIX: DON’T BRING A HANDBAG!
This is an important one. Handbags (or any other bags!) get in the way of snuggling. So, try to leave them at home or in the boot of your car (not on display of course, we don’t want your car broken into!)
RULE SEVEN: LOGOS, SLOGANS AND CURRENT TRENDS
Be careful if you’re going to wear something with the latest fashionable slogan across the front of it, or a t-shirt featuring your current box office movie favourite. You still want your photos to look amazing in years to come so you don’t want a logo or slogan that will date easily or a movie that no-one but you remembers. Of course, wearing your favourite Star Wars t-shirt is acceptable as it’s already a classic!
RULE EIGHT: NO BULGING POCKETS PLEASE!
Oo-er, we don’t mean to sound rude! But if you can bear to be parted from your mobile phone for the shoot, please leave it in the car (again, not on display of course) or hand it over to one of us to look after in our camera bags. Likewise, large sets of keys, or anything else that fills your pockets don’t look great in photos.
SHOULD I GET MY HAIR AND MAKE-UP DONE?
It’s totally up to you. It depends on how it makes you feel and your budget and it depends on what you’re going to use the images for. If you decide you want to do something really special, maybe you could have your wedding make-up trial earlier that day but honestly, there’s absolutely no requirement for it. Remember: relaxed and comfortable is what we’re aiming for.
WHAT ABOUT PROPS?
Props can be fun, however we also think they can look a bit awkward unless they serve a purpose or you want to have a themed shoot of some sort. So, if you’re obsessed with the coffee in your local café or you’ve got a favourite bar, by all means let’s meet there and take some photos. If it’s an engagement shoot, do you want to use your images for a save-the-date card? Bring a blackboard or a sign, or whatever you want to use. Again you get the idea, but please don’t stress out over props or themes; your shoot should be fun! Usually it’s just us and our clients hanging out and taking some relaxed, natural photos.
Remember that you’re in love; that’s why you’re doing this. It’s all about that, so just be yourselves and let us take care of the rest!
Interested in having an engagement shoot, or need more engagement shoot advice?
If you’re looking for a Yorkshire wedding photographer, we’d love to hear from you! Just fill out our contact form and tell us all about your plans. ?
Natural, relaxed, creative wedding and portrait photography from a husband and wife team based in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Serving Yorkshire, Lancashire and the UK.