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Relaxed guide to engagement photoshoots

I absolutely love shooting engagement or couple photoshoots.  They are so much fun. I love the stunning locations and they can be very romantic as well! It’s all about capturing happy, loving memories.  The bonus is these shoots are a fab way for me to get to know my couples. Especially, before their big day.  The shoots themselves are super laid back and only take about an hour and half.  

What are engagement photoshoots?

Engagement photoshoots, couple shoots or pre-wedding shoots are a great way to get some amazing photos of just the two of you together having fun, all loved up. Happy.  Connected.  In love.  💗

Engagement Photoshoots

An engagement shoot is a lovely way to keep your engagement bubble alive. With them, you can celebrate the love and romance of taking that big step.   Trust me even though I am there taking the photos these can be very romantic!  These images can then be used on your wedding website, invitations, or order of service.

Many couples I photograph also combine the photoshoot with an evening out, just then two of them….dinner or drink, walk on the beach …. I’m not at this part though!

Couple Shoots

Some couples who may not be engaged love just choose to have a “couple shoot”. This is maybe to celebrate an anniversary or another important occasion.  Last summer I shot a gorgeous couple from Singapore who had been studying in London. They wanted some last happy memories before they headed back home.  We had a great evening capturing images of them around St James Park and Buckingham Palace.  I know these were really special memories for them as they weren’t out to their families back home.  It was really special getting to know these two.  

Pre-wedding Shoots

Other couples choose to have a pre-wedding shoot as part of their wedding photography package.  This means we may do the shoot up to a month or just before the wedding.  Doing it this way means you get any wedding day nerves that you may have well and truly out of the way.  Of course, you don’t want it too close to your wedding date, when time can be so precious. A lovely bit of quality “couple time” spent on the photoshoot is excellent for calming nerves and connecting with your loved one just before your big day.  You get to forget about lists, caterers, DJs and table settings….and just focus on each other. 💗 💗💗

Getting to know you

I get to know my client couples, through Skype chats, FaceTime, phone calls and coffees. The more I get to know them – the more relaxed they are likely to be on their wedding day and of course in their wedding photos.  (This means super awesome wedding photos on the day!) Couple shoots are an excellent way for us to get to know each other better. We can have a laugh and put all the wedding day nerves to the side.  The bonus for me is I get to find out so many secrets about my couples on these shoots! I can’t tell you any of them because what is said on a photoshoot – stays on the photoshoot!! 🤐

What happens on a typical Engagement Shoot?

If there is any such thing as a typical engagement shoot – because they are all so different from each other.   Here is the gist of what often happens

I love to go with the flow and not being overly planned with regards positioning or poses etc in photoshoots.  My approach is to allow things to happen organically. For me, the aim is to have fun, a few laughs and the beautiful images will naturally follow.  So nothing is too prescribed.  I offer little direction.  I am more likely to be chatting with you and finding out your favourite song rather then finetuning the way you are standing or holding each other’s hands!!  

Fun, Natural, Unposed Photography

In my book, this makes for much more authentic, natural and beautiful photos.  It’s a lot easier for you guys too as you won’t be standing stiffly or awkwardly wondering what to do.  You won’t think about it because you will most likely be filling me in on how you both got together. Who said what, and then what happened…..!!!  I love finding all of this stuff out!  

Feeling Awkward in front of the camera

Some couples I have worked with may initially feel a bit awkward 🥴in front of the camera. But they soon forget I’m even there.  In my experience, just about everyone feels a little self-conscious to varying degrees having their photo taken.  I don’t like it at all so I totally get how some of you feel.  And remember if you are doing this all before your wedding day (recommended 😉) you won’t even give it a seconds thought on your big day.

Not looking at the camera!

Another key point is that for most of your photos, I won’t even have you looking at the camera! Most of the time you will be looking at each other and laughing! 

Choosing a location

So getting back to an actual typical photoshoot itself my job starts long beforehand.  I suss (find out) good locations.  I love stunning backdrops.  Rolling hills, woodland, open fields, beaches, urbanscapes, bridges, landmark, interesting buildings, graffiti walls. All of these will add interest and/or colour to your photo.  

I’ll often do a reckie and see what’s actually at the location rather than just go by google maps! This includes checking out the general landscape /cityscape the foliage/vegetation, lighting, sea/rivers/water features, accessibility, members of the public that may be around – all of that kind of stuff. 

We generally take about an hour – an hour and a half on these engagement photoshoots.  We’ll meet at a pre-determined place and maybe have a coffee if there is time.

Once we have had a quick chat, we’ll head off.  We’ll stop from time to time, place to place and take some photos.  Well, I am taking the photos and you guys are chatting and answering my crazy questions!  I may get you running down a hill, playing in the surf or jumping in the air – but only if you feel like it. 😉 I won’t force you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Most of the time I will just have you walking and talking.

I’ll have in mind about 4 or 5 different types of settings for us to wander to and stop at for photos and a chat.

I love shooting these engagement photoshoots all year around. The different seasons all add a unique part to the story.

Check out some helpful tips and advice here on all you need to know about engagement photoshoots!

Some Fave Engagement Photoshoots

I have included below a selection of some of my favourite photoshoots from last year. These include Elana & Josh, Harriet & Scott, India & David, Laura & Sameer, Sarah & Luke, Catherine & Pip, Sebastian & Ramesh.  Thank you guys were are all stars! 

We shot at some amazing London locations. These included St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, The Tate Modern, South Bank. Plus some beautiful Sussex favourites Arundel Castle, Swanbourne Lake, the South Downs, Royal Pavilion in Brighton, Brighton North Laines. Last but not least one of my favourites – the Brighton beachfront. 🏖

New Zealand peeps I can’t wait to start shooting some amazing Kiwi beach and bush locations as well!

If you are looking for a wedding or engagement photoshoot photographer, I’d love to hear from you!

Please get in touch!

London & Brighton quirky cute wedding photography!

 

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