How to prepare for your engagement session - 7 engagement shoot tips for couples

How to Prepare for your engagement session

Engagement Shoot tips

When I'm not shooting weddings I like nothing more than having an engagement shoot with my couples. An engagement shoot is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other before the shoot and help you feel a bit more comfortable in front of the camera. I try to encourage all my clients to have an engagement shoot before their wedding day for this reason as not only does it give it give you great images for before the wedding but it will make your couples session on the wedding day more familiar.

So you've just booked a date your engagement shoot with me? Awesome! Here are my top 7 engagement shoot tips for clients to help them prepare for the engagement session . Enjoy!

 Kent Couples Shoot

Kent Couples Shoot

  • Dress for the location and to be comfortable

One of the most frequent questions I get regarding a couples shoot is what to wear. Every couple is different so there is no one answer, however when picking your outfit make sure you are wearing something you feel comfortable in if the outfit doesn't feel like you then that may come across when you look at the photos. No one knows you better than your partner so a good tip is to ask them to help pick out their favourite outfits of yours that will suit the scene we will do the shoot in. For example, if your shoot is on a beach then a suit may not be the best choice! One last thing to consider is to look at your partner's outfit and make sure you guys match in terms of style, it can look a little odd if one of you is very casual and the other is dressed in formal attire.

  •  Don't overthink things!

Most of us don't feel comfortable in front of the camera and it can be easy to worry about what you will look like in your photos. I am here to tell you that that is my job! An engagement shoot is a great opportunity to capture your love with your partner in a natural way and I always find that those couples who don't take things too seriously have a better time and it shows in the photos. I coach my couples before the session that I want them to focus on each other and not me. don't worry about the small things, if I don't mention what to do with your hands, for example, it means your hands are rocking it just as they are! One of my favourite things during an engagement session is when a couple just forgets I'm there and enjoys their time together.

 Winter Engagement Session in Whitstable

Winter Engagement Session in Whitstable

  • Shoot in the best time of the day

While its true that a lovely location is important in photographs, what really makes the aesthetic of a photograph is the quality of light. I'm sure you've seen that in your own photos that no one looks great in midday sun when looking straight towards the light. By going for a shoot time closer to sunset we will have better options when it comes to finding good light to shoot in. If you can only go for a midday shoot that's fine, consider picking a location with more shade. 

  •  Pick a location personal to you

Picking an engagement location can be a tricky choice if you're surrounded by a lot of choices. I am always on hand to recommend somewhere if you're stuck for ideas but I encourage my couples to have a think about any places that are special to them. This could be a place you like to go for walks, where you got engaged or maybe a place you've wanted to go together for a while now. If the place makes you feel more relaxed and comfortable then that's great, just remember that not all places will allow photo shoots on the property and some places may be a little crowded!

London Engagement Photography
  • Get close and focus on each other

My biggest posing tip to couples to forget about everything else and just get close! Maybe closer than you normally would in a public place! I welcome my couples to really enjoy the time they are spending together and not be afraid to get close. That connection comes across a lot better in photos than if your body language is distance to your significant other. Obviously, stick to your own preferred levels of intimacy but remember it's your shoot and your time together. I want to capture that real connection between you, it may feel awkward at first but I promise if you embrace it will pass! 

  • Make it personal, think about a hobby or activity you like to do together.

Some people are put off by engagement sessions because they see photos that don't look like they suit the couple. One way to easily get around this is to think about ways that you can add a personal touch to the shoot. I welcome all ideas and love it when my couples are creative in making it personal. If you guys both love music then maybe bring a musical prop, or if you have a dog who you both love to bits then feel free to bring them along! If you guys like to strawberry picking together then we could do the shoot there. There are tonnes of options and no silly suggestions, just let me know!

Kent Engagement Photographer
  • Consider what you would like to do with the photos after the shoot.

So you've done your shoot and you have your images back, you love them but now what to do with them? Engagement shoot photos can be used to so much more than just a new profile picture. Have a chat with your partner about what you could do with your images. Perhaps you could use them for wedding invitations or on your order of service. You could also use them as decorations on the wedding day such as for a signing board or your table plan. If you let me know about ideas you have before the shoot I can make sure you get the shots you need.