Three reasons why you should do an engagement shoot

I had a great date with these two recently, frolicking the hills of Te Toto Gorge where they got engaged. Ash is my gym trainer and Dan is the sweetheart who looks after my kids while Ash is kicking my butt! I secretly enjoyed being the one to determine the ‘workout’ and made sure I included a lot of running and jumping in the mix!! ⁠While we were in the middle of these more ‘active’ shots, with Ash’s hair going crazy in the wind I was thinking, ‘man I wish I could do more of this type of thing on a wedding day’! But sometimes the wedding dress, hair or location doesn’t doesn’t allow for this style of image, and so here I am writing this blogpost about a few reasons why you should consider doing a couple shoot before your Wedding. You’ll have a lot of photos on your day, but an engagement shoot is different (in a good way!). Your wedding is the day planned to celebrate your love and commitment with your family and friends, but this shoot is all about the two of you. While the wedding day can be full of formalities and events, and sometimes pressures and expectations,  the engagement shoot can be at a more relaxed pace and allows you to really soak in the time you have together. Below are the top three reasons I highly recommend doing an engagement shoot before your wedding day.

1.Get camera confident

It can be daunting to have a camera follow you around, but whether you’re camera shy or confident in front of the lens, the engagement shoot will help you become more comfortable while you are being photographed. I use this time to share all my posing tips and tricks to make you look the best version of yourself and I’ve noticed this makes a huge difference to the confidence of my couples on their day.  Ash and Dan became more and more relaxed as our session went on. So much so that I haven’t even shared with you the first half of the shoot as these last images were so much more ‘them’.  Knowing you can be ‘photogenic’ means you don’t have to worry about this on your day. And one less thing to worry about is always a win!

2. Get to know your photographer and let them get to know you

It’s likely that you’ll spend more time with your wedding photographer than with anyone else on your wedding day, including your fiancé! This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to build a rapport with your Wedding photographer, prior to your day. For me, this is one of the most important aspects of creating relaxed and natural images for my couples.  It’s great to get to know what I can expect from my couples on the day and how they interact with each other! I also love to learn what a couples ‘default’ pose is. Sometimes it’s looking at the camera, sometimes it’s a kiss. For Ash and Dan below it was lots of activity and and laughing. Now I know how they like to see themselves and that’s one less thing for me to learn on their day. And that’s a win win situation for all of us!

3. Experiment before your day

If you are having a hair and makeup trial before your day this is a great time to see how it will photograph in different lighting conditions, with time to make tweaks for the wedding if necessary. And while we’re talking about experimenting, an engagement shoot gives you the opportunity to trial different locations and see how they might work on your  day. Alternatively, you could go to a place more unusual, or of particular significance to you that is further away than you’d be able to achieve during the tight time-frame of your Wedding. For example, Ash and Dan chose Te Toto George in Raglan as their location because they got engaged there, at their favourite time of day, sunset. Getting great shots at this location time on their wedding day might not be possible but an engagement shoot can be anywhere and at any time (within reason 😉 !).

If you are wondering what you can expect from a relaxed engagement shoot session, I’ve put together a gallery here.  The photos from an e-shoot are great to use on your save-the-dates, invitations or in a guest book. You can check out an example of how engagement images were turned into a beautiful Wedding signing guest book here. I hope that I’ve convinced you to invest in this time with your fiancé and Wedding Photographer and all the best for planning your big day xx Ruth