‘Engagement photography’, or ‘pre-wedding photography’ can sometimes be a confusing name for a photography session. It’s a shame because in my opinion, this 1-2 hours of your time can often be the most enjoyable and valuable photo shoot we can do together.
Whilst engagement photo sessions are common in the U.S., there’s still a bit of confusion on what they actually entail here in Sydney.
What is Engagement Photography?
Whether you’re recently engaged, have been engaged for years, or even not yet engaged, an engagement photo shoot takes the same format.
You or I will chose a nice outdoor photography location in Sydney (or interstate/overseas if it’s a destination wedding), and I’ll spend between 1-2 hours taking photos of you and your partner.
I’ll use my natural wedding photography style as much as possible, but also help out with posing tips and other direction if necessary.
As I mentioned before, pre-wedding photography is more popular in America than in Sydney, but it’s slowly gaining popularity for good reason. I’ve included a few of these reasons why you should get pre-wedding photos below.
Why should I get Pre-Wedding Photos?
A pre-wedding photography session is an invaluable experience, and something I always encourage my couples to book.
Here are a few of the reasons that should make an engagement photo session one of your priorities before tying the knot.
#1 – Get used to the Camera
The ‘engagement photography session’ allows couples a trial-run at how it feels to be together in front of a camera. Even if you’re used to having your photo taken on your own, having your photo taken as a couple is an entirely different experience.
To get the most natural photography possible during an engagement photo shoot, I encourage couples to be intimate with each other.
This usually involves getting in nice and close, and trying your best to imagine I’m not there, and it’s just you and your loved one.
I appreciate this isn’t an easy thing to do at first, but slowly you will get used to the camera, and start to forget it’s even there.
It’s from this moment on that the photos really start looking natural, and I can capture some genuine moments of emotion that happen without any prompting whatsoever.
The pre-wedding photography session allows you this opportunity to become more comfortable in front of the camera as a couple before your wedding day.
Come your wedding day, you’ll be ten times more relaxed aroundme and my camera, and know exactly what to expect during your bridal portrait session.
#2 – Know what to expect
Whilst the majority of my natural wedding photography coverage is candid and hands-off, during the bridal portraits it’s a little different.
For this short portion of the day, I’ll get more involved, giving direction on things like location, posing and lighting. This will ensure you get the best variety of photos in as short a period of time as possible.
I’m aware that your wedding day should be to enjoy with your friends and family, and not a long photo shoot that keeps you away from them.
We won’t rush through your bridal photos, but it won’t drag on either. With the engagement shoot on the other hand, time is on our side, so we can really slow things down if necessary to give you a chance to relax.
By taking part in a pre wedding shoot, you’ll know what to expect from me as your wedding photographer.
This also means you won’t be as surprised to see me laying down on the ground or climbing through the bushes to get the best shot!
#3 – Get to Know what you like
If you’ve already had an engagement photography shoot with me, you’ll know what to expect during the bridal photo session on your wedding day.
You’ll know how I operate as a wedding photographer and perhaps most importantly, what looks and feels good for you.
Following the engagement photo shoot, you’ll have an opportunity to let me know which photos you really liked. Maybe there’s a pose of you both that you loved, or maybe a background element you liked, or even a style of lighting.
This can make the photos on your wedding day even better, since we’ll already know the style of photography that makes you look and feel your best.
The engagement session allows you to see how photos of you and your partner look, and you can decide what kind of photo you’d like to have more of. Speaking of which…
#4 – Get More photos!
The pre-wedding photo shoot is another opportunity to have awesome photos of you and your partner in a completely different setting.
You’ll be in your favourite clothes (as opposed to wedding attire), able to do things you wouldn’t be able to do in a delicate dress or suit.
Being in more comfortable clothes will also change the mood of the photography too.
Having pre-wedding photos is a nice reminder of how you were before your wedding, before you were husband and wife.
Sure, it may only be a matter of weeks, and you may feel the same now, but nevertheless, having this contrast in photos adds to your whole family photo collection. Perhaps it’s time to start an album?
I always try and make sure to include something a little less focused on you, and more on the landscape, or a silhouette perhaps – these make great photos to blow up as canvases for your wall at home.
It’s nice to have a set of photos that captures who you are as a couple away from the wedding day. The engagement shoot is a perfect excuse for this.
#5 – Prepare Wedding Details
The photos you receive from your engagement photography session are perfect to be used as elements in your wedding styling.
Couples in the past have used their engagement photos on save-the-date cards, welcome boards, gift boxes, thank you cards, invitations, guest books and even as a surprise for their bride on her wedding day.
Slideshows are getting more and more common for wedding speeches, so it’s often a nice touch to use photos from your engagement photo shoot in there too as a most recent example of you both as a couple.
#6 – Update your Profile Photo
I usually take some photos of you both individually at your pre-wedding shoot, and I’ve found that clients in the past like to use these as their Facebook profile photo.
Booking an engagement session with Gold Hat Photography is almost like having a portrait photography session and a couple pre-wedding session rolled into one!
If you’re looking particularly smart, you may even be able to update your Linked In photo with something more professional, but still natural looking too.
#7 – Have Fun!
The engagement photography session is about capturing who you are as a couple, and usually this means having a lot of fun.
I won’t ask you to skip around holding hands or do anything cheesy for the camera, but if you just let go and relax around me, the photos will capture how happy you make each other.
You may also find that engagement shoots rekindle the flame in your relationship! In our busy daily lives we often forget to slow everything down and just hold our loved ones.
Whatever your reason for booking a pre-wedding photography shoot, I can’t recommend it enough. Invest in experiences and memories – if not for you, do it for your future generations who would love to see how you were ‘back in the day’ 😉
Click the button below to schedule your engagement photography shoot with me. I’ll get back to you within 12 hours.