More and more I find myself being asked about engagement photography (and indeed, it is something we offer here at Always You Photography) – the idea is becoming more and more commonplace and not just reserved for royalty or celebrities.
This has got me thinking – what is so appealing about the engagement shoot and why does it seem to be having something of resurgence in recent years?
There are few obvious reasons – brides and grooms get to have some beautiful photographs of them to send out with their wedding stationary. But more often than not, I have found that the reason tends to be a shade more personal than that.
Take Natalie and Keith as an example – I photographed their wedding earlier this year at St Andrews Church in Banwell (near Bristol) and their reception at Woodlands castle in Taunton, Somerset. Natalie and Keith are the ultimate fun-loving couple, who love nothing more than to socialize and have a good time.
But being in front of a camera on their wedding day in front of hundreds of people and having a camera snapping them all day was something of a fear.
While this was surprising for a couple so full of fun and self-assurance, it is actually quite common – many couples feel unnerved by the idea of having photographs taken of them for a whole day. It is a huge pressure to ‘be you’ all day whilst also wanting to look happy, smiley and beautiful in every shot – especially when you have so much else going on at the same time.
This is where the engagement shoot can really help out – it builds confidence in front of the camera, as well as gives the couple and the photographer a great opportunity to get to know what works for one another.
Natalie and Keith chose to have their engagement shoot taken in their home-town of Weston-super-mare on the Grand Pier. The beauty of the engagement shoot is its flexibility – it can be literally anywhere and doing anything - from walking in the countryside, or watching a DVD with a tub of popcorn in your own home – the key is to choose somewhere and something to do that is special to you, as well as doing something you both enjoy. The best shots come when the couple is relaxed and having fun as themselves!
Different photographers will have different approaches to shoots – but I have always found the best way to capture those truly ‘you’ shots is to just interact with each other as normally as possible during the shoot. Treat it as a day out with the person you love! This will ensure that your personalities will shine – and the end result will be some stunning shots that truly capture you and your love for one another.