Not sure whether you need an engagement shoot? Read on to see my top five reasons they’re a great idea for most couples.

Get comfortable in front of the camera

The first reason it’s a great idea to organise an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer is that you get to practice having your photo taken and get any nerves out of the way before the actual wedding.

Often couples have never had professional photos taken before so don’t know what to expect. The engagement shoot shows my couples how I work and reassures them that this isn’t a scary or boring experience. There’s a lot going on on a wedding day so having this experience beforehand means you’ve got one less thing to worry about.

People often say to me “we’re really not photogenic!” But the engagement shoot can show you that if you just relaxed and enjoy yourself we can get great photos. This trust is an essential part of the process of getting great photos on the wedding day!

Get to know your photographer

Another great part of having an engagement shoot is getting to know your photographer better. After all, you’ll probably end up spending more time with them than anyone else on your wedding day so why not get to know each other a bit better and get more comfortable.

Spending more time together and getting to chat more means you’ll grow more and more comfortable with each other. I make a big effort to get to know my couples because it benefits both of us on the wedding day!

My couples feel more comfortable with me and feel like it’s a friend there taking photos rather than someone removed and uninvested. It helps me if I know you a bit better because that way I know what sort of photos are going to be most important to you and how to approach various parts of the day so you’re having the best time possible. As important as beautiful photos are to me, knowing that you’re enjoying yourself on your wedding day is just as important.

Put your makeup trial to good use

Having your wedding makeup trial the same day as your engagement shoot is another great idea! You can test out that the makeup lasts really well and see how it photographs because it does always look different in photos compared with in person. Plus, you get to be made up all beautifully for these photos of the two of you which can really elevate them.

A way to include your furry friends

Lots of venues don’t allow you to bring your dog or cat to the wedding but a great way to include them is to have them as part of your engagement session. Plus if they’re a bit boisterous it can be an added stress on your wedding day so get photos with them separately. LOTS of my couples bring their dogs along to our shoot which I have to admit I loooove! I also recommend people bring a dog wrangler so that we can start off with some photos with your doggo and then hand them off to someone who can take them for a walk while we do the rest of the photos. That way you can also get the practice in without worrying about what your pup is doing.

Nice photos of just the two of you

Finally, you get really great photos of just the two of you to keep forever. Some people use these photos on save-the-date cards or wedding websites but they’re also just really nice to have. Plus you can have these photos in a different sort of location to your wedding photos. If you’re getting married in the country you can have urban / cityscape engagement photos for something completely different!