I went out for dinner last week with one of my close friends, and we were talking about the usual: life, people and business. Alice asked how things were going and what I was up to and I mentioned that I had a few summery engagement sessions coming up with some of my wedding couples.
She made a comment that I hear a lot which was "(when the times comes ) I don't think I'd have an engagement session, I just don't really enjoy having my photo taken."
I've never really addressed this before because I don't ever want to come across as sales-ey, but I do want to mention and share a few bits about engagement shoots, so I thought I'd write a blog post on them. Not from a pushy, sales, business point of view but friend to friend; photographer to client.
"I don't like having my photograph taken."
Me neither, I really don't enjoy being in front of the camera! If you feel the same about having your photograph taken, it can mean that knowing you'll be photographed all day at your wedding is something you feel uncomfortable about.
Engagement shoots are kind of a practice run for your big day and can really help settle any pre-wedding nerves.
Here's a little quote from Sammie, one of my brides, on her wedding day last weekend: "I'm so glad we had an engagement shoot, I felt so nervous and awkward when we did it, but today I haven't been bothered at all by the camera!"
"What do we do? Just stand and you take photos?"
Not at all, I work in a very relaxed way, giving you things to do to create movement and reaction, as opposed to standing you still and posing you. Pre-wedding sessions give you the opportunity to get to know your photographer and how they work.
As your photographer my aim is to build your confidence of being in front of the lens, and help you feel more comfortable with your partner and me as a third wheel!
The second client quote I'm going to mention is from Emily after her engagement session: "Thank you (for today), it’s totally put my mind at rest about being photographed in October. The pictures are really great too, we actually look quite normal!"
Another one of the pros of engagement sessions is that there are no time pressures unlike a wedding day - it gives us a chance to play about with lots of different angles, compositions and ideas. And from my point of view as your photographer, it allows me to see which images are your favourite, which I love! On your wedding day I feel slightly better prepared for shooting individual portraits and make sure I always keep those photos in mind.
"Where would we go for the shoot?"
No time pressure also means that we have the opportunity to go anywhere/everywhere! Maybe you'd like to have the session where you got engaged or at your local park or somewhere further afield? I have a wish list of places I'd love to photograph one of my couples in, from Malham Cove to Snake's Pass - I mean who doesn't love a jaw dropping landscape?
"We've been together 10 years and have got children and a dog, can we bring them along?"
Yes, absolutely. I love it when pre-wedding sessions include children and/or animals, it certainly keeps me on my toes, and means you get such a huge range of images from the shoot.
Here's the third client quote which is from Chris as we were walking back to the car after his and Sophie's photoshoot: "I was honestly very nervous about this morning but it's just felt like I've had a morning walk with my fiance and a friend - who happened to be taking photographs!"
Last but certainly not least is that it's a reason and excuse to have some professional images taken of you and your other half. Are the majority of photos you have together mainly selfies, and/or when you're all glammed up, out at a party and a little tipsy? Yep, I feel you.
Pre-wedding sessions capture you relaxed, they capture your personalities, love and relationship. It's so important to me to not just photograph you, but catch those fleeting moments that can so easily be missed, like the way you belly laugh when he's being silly; the way he looks at you; the way she wraps her arms around you.
So yes, I know that being in front of the camera can be scary but I pinky promise you won't regret it!
If anyone has any further questions/concerns please feel free to get in touch.