Engagement Shoots – and why you should have one!


Love on the Millenium Bridge - London Engagement Photographer

As a Kent, West Sussex & London Wedding Photographer, I’m seeing an increase in the number of Engagement Shoots I’m being asked to do. I think previously people haven’t been sure what to make of them, but the idea is becoming more and more fashionable.

Personally, I love Engagement Shoots. It’s a great time for me to get to know the couple I’m working with, to understand what makes them laugh and what makes them tick. It’s also a great opportunity for them to get to know me, to see how I work, and to get comfortable together in front of the camera. I can get a feel for their comfort zone in terms of posing and how adventurous they are and the shoot can help us all get a feel for the kind of ‘couples’ images they’d like from their big day. And if these aren’t enough reasons, I can assure you, Engagement Shoots are really great fun!

It’s also becoming more of a trend to send really personal stationary. Engagement Shoots give you lots of images to choose from, for use in ‘save the date’ cards, invitations, signing frames and ‘thank you’ cards, your wedding decorations and more.

st pauls cathedral doors checkers engagement shoot


For those that are still on the fence, here are a selection of FAQs that tend to come up:

Q: Where should we go?
A: As a London Wedding Photographer splitting my time between the South Coast and London, I’ve done Engagement Shoots in Essex, London, Kent, West Sussex, etc – even as far away as Edinburgh! I recommend going to a location that means something to the two of you – a beautiful park, the coffee shop where you met – maybe even your wedding venue. Although this isn’t a pre-requisite as we can shoot almost anywhere. Remember, these photos are about the two of you. Anywhere that you have a personal connection with and that makes you happy – I’ll capture that happiness.

Q: What should we wear?
A: Anything that you love and that you’re comfortable with! As per my answer above, this shoot is about the two of you. If you’re most comfortable in wellies and dungarees, then go for it! If you want to get dressed up into a suit and ballgown, absolutely fine by me! Just be comfortable and happy in what you’re wearing and leave the rest to me!

Q: Do we need to bring anything??
A: Nope – just yourselves, your love for each other, and your trust in me! Umbrellas are never a bad idea (come on, this is England after all….) but we don’t need fancy props to get Stunning Engagement Photographs.

Q: I’m not a model! Do I need to know how to pose?
A: Not at all. Working out flattering angles and gently coaching you into beautiful, natural poses is all part of my job. My style of wedding photography is largely reportage, or natural photography – catching you at those moments when you forget that I’m there. However, for those that feel comfortable doing so, I also love more creative shots using lights and flashes that make for really dramatic, romantic, more Fashion Photography style images. I will take my cue from you – lead only where you are happy to follow, and follow completely where you lead!

Q: Help! I’m really shy – my other half is desperate for an Engagement Shoot but it’s not my idea of fun….
A: I promise that I will never push you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable! Apart from technical skill and an artistic eye, the mark of a really great photographer is the ability to read people. To sense where their comfort zones are and to work creativity and flair into the shoot no matter how adventurous or shy they are. If for whatever reason the shoot ‘isn’t working’, just say and we’ll try something different. A great shoot is about building a relationship with the people on both sides of the camera and I take this aspect of my job really seriously. Even the most camera shy couples have come away with beautiful images that they’ve displayed proudly and have had a great time making them. And that’s a promise! In fact, last year one of my couples took the time to write me such a long thank you (for their engagement shoot, and subsequently their wedding) that I have been meaning to update this with it. For now, here’s an excerpt or two from their lovely email:

“As the afternoon went on, any fears or worries we may have had were gone. We quickly gained a great understanding of the way that John works, his professionalism while remaining friendly and relaxed, and his attention to detail. His understanding of photography and capturing imaginative, beautiful shots borders on ridiculous! He spots angles and photo opportunities that can only come with years of experience and passion……”

“Seeing how fantastic all of the other couples look in their wedding photos is one thing, but you always have that concern – “What if I don’t look that good?”. Having seen the pre-wedding shoot photos, we are no longer worried about that! ……”

“And if you want to know how far John will go to make sure he captures the best photos of you, you’ll soon find out when he is close to falling in the river or when he’s lying on the pavement in the centre of a busy city getting all kinds of looks, just to get that perfect photo of you ……”


Fun Couple St Pauls Doors Engagement Photographer London


Or have a look at some more engagement / pre-wedding shoots:

Tagged with: London Engagement Photography


black and white silhouette fun in winter sun - Engagement Photography