Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Making The Most of your Engagement Shoot

The concept of engagement shoots is still pretty new in the UK but a huge trend and almost tradition in other countries such as the US. They are slowly becoming more common place over here and with just a little thought you can really make your engagement shoot a memorable experience and something just that little bit different from everyone else.

I offer engagement shoots purely as an exercise to put you and your future husband or wife at ease in front of the camera. We all get super self conscious in front of the camera (yep even me!) so the last thing you want is to be dealing with those insecurities on your wedding day. This session means you get to see how you look in your pictures, you get to see the results of being put in that funny pose and you'll realise that actually, although it felt silly to stare into your partners eyes for about five minutes straight, the pictures actually look pretty awesome!

Your engagement shoot doesn't have to be a cringe-worthy cheese fest though. This is a chance to hang out with your best friend doing something together that you love to do, while having all that fun captured forever by your wedding photographer. It's up to you to suggest something fun to do or let your photographer know exactly the style of shoot you would like.

A good way to get started is to think of your common interests. This photo shoot is a chance for you to really show off your personalities, have some fun and kick back. It can be great to have some fun pictures taken together doing an activity that you both enjoy. This doesn't even have to be anything too crazy, it can be as simple as a walk with your dog. 

Take a look around for some inspiration. My top tip is most definitely Pinterest, it's become my answer to everything actually and if you don't currently use it you will love it (let me know if you need an invite). When a couple lets me know the location they have in mind for their engagement shoot I then start pinning for inspiration. Here is a pin board I've been using to collect images for Natalie and Wes whose photo shoot I'll be doing in a few weeks time.

Once you have thought of your location take a minute to think about what you should wear. I always suggest a smart/casual theme for clothing and not to dress too matchy-matchy. But really think about what clothes would suit your location too. For example with Natalie and Wes we're planning to have their photo shoot on a beach in February. It's going to be COLD!! So I've advised that they should wrap up in cosy jumpers and perhaps wear some wellies, if they have some colourful hats or scarves it could also really brighten up a winters day at the beach.

Bringing along some props can also help those that are particularly nervous about their photo shoot, because it gives you something to both concentrate on and do with your hands. Then once you've settled into the shoot with prop ice-breaker shots you'll feel much more relaxed for the rest of the session. This can be something as simple as a blanket like we used at Toyah and Nick's shoot last February.

Your surroundings at your photo shoot can also create some fun pictures. So whilst the local park is pretty, does it really say much about the two of you? Toyah and Nick were so fun loving and outgoing, and the pier at Walton-on-the-Naze really brought out their fun side. Sometimes urban locations can be great too. Think about cobbled streets and colourful doorways. Cosy coffee shops, to snuggle up in a booth or quirky shop fronts to stand in front. Your local town centre or village high street could be full of a myriad of fun shots without you even realising!

Being engaged only happens once, and so often that period of your life is overlooked because you're too busy planning for your wedding. But take a moment to realise that right now, you and your partner are in that loved up excitable state. You're about to embark on an amazing journey together for the rest of your lives and being engaged is all about the anticipation of that. Who wouldn't want some pictures to remember this moment in time by?

And if you want to see some truly fun, styled and slightly crazy engagement shoots follow these links. If you ever want to go this over the top for your engagement shoot, please do let me know. I'd love every minute of it!!

Zombie Engagement Shoot
A Disney's 'Up' inspired Engagement Shoot.
Alice in Wonderland Engagement Shoot
An Outdoor Kitchen Engagement Shoot

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