How to Get the Most From Your Engagement Photoshoot
29 Sep 2015
Why opt for a pre-wedding photoshoot? There are lots of reasons says London Wedding photographer Kerry Morgan, and here’s how to get the most from the pictures that’ll celebrate the uniqueness of your engagement
When exciting wedding preparations are well underway it’s easy to overlook documenting an engagement, which is also memorable. There are many benefits of an engagement photoshoot, ranging from trying out your wedding photographer and having a set of images to use on your save the dates, to loosening up in front of the camera to ensure a relaxed environment on your wedding day.
Bride spoke to award-winning photographer, Kerry Morgan, for her failsafe guide to engagement photoshoots. Discover how to choose the best photographer, location and complementary outfits, and find out what to ask a photographer, with Kerry’s top tips.
Why should you have an engagement photoshoot before your wedding?
There are a few reasons. Getting engaged is a pretty big moment in anyone’s life and having some great pictures of the two of you to keep and look back on is pretty cool. It’s also a great way of getting some pictures to use at your wedding. A guest book, a signing board or save the date cards could all feature images from an engagement shoot. You can also practise. I like to teach my couples what will work for them in terms of posing. Most couples aren’t models and need a bit of help in knowing how to look good in pictures: how to stand, where to put your hands and feet… it’s all knowledge you can use for your wedding pictures.
What’s your advice on clothing for the photoshoot?
I’d say wear something you feel good in. If you feel confident in what you’re wearing that will translate to the pictures. Be daring and don’t follow the crowd. If you want to go ball gown and black tie, do it. Just because everyone else wears jeans doesn’t mean you have to. Things to avoid are checks, stripes or anything with a big logo on it. Generally, they don’t look great in pictures.
How do you get to know a couple before shooting their engagement?
I ask them about themselves: why they want a shoot, what they are hoping to achieve, and make sure we are on the same page.
What should couples bear in mind when choosing a location for the shoot?
Discuss the location with the photographer first. Is the location you want even possible? I shoot a lot in London and many of areas require a permit to shoot. Some areas are really busy, especially in the summer months. Choose a place where you will get lots of variety in your pictures but be guided by your photographer.They should know locations that will work and those that won’t.
What should you be asking your photographer before you book them for your engagement shoot? Is there any preparation couples need to do?
Ask to see lots of engagement shoots they have done to get a good feel for their work. Are they consistent? Do you like what they have created for other people? Do their pictures make you feel excited about the prospect of them shooting yours? Maybe book someone to do your hair and make up? I have a hair and make-up artist I recommend called Kirsty McCall. It’s amazing what looking fabulous can do for someone’s confidence in their pictures.
What are the key things to look out in your wedding photographer during this important pre-shoot?
Do they put you at ease? Are they helping you feel confident? Are they listening to you? Are you listening to them? Make sure there’s good communication going on so you don’t walk away wishing you’d done something differently.
In your opinion, what kind of images work well for save the dates?
Original ones. I’ve lost count of the amount of times a client will get their phones out and ask me to copy a shot they’ve seen on Pinterest. Just because they are all holding up DIY signs that say “I said yes!” doesn’t mean you have to. Be original.
When should couples be thinking about having this pre-wedding shoot?
If you have already booked the photographer to shoot your wedding, then I’d say a few months before, so what worked for you is still fresh in your mind. But if you are road-testing the photographer, in the hope that you may book them for your wedding, then as soon as you can. Good photographers get booked up very quickly.
What’s the most inventive engagement shoot you’ve done?
I did a Twilight-inspired shoot once. The couple loved the movies and wanted something very ‘Bella meets Edward’. It was very different and lots of fun. Plus I got to watch the films again for research.
What’s your best piece of advice for couples on how to get the most from their engagement shoot?
Trust your photographer. Let them do their job. Don’t arrive with lots of pictures you want them to copy from other people’s shoots or you’ll be disappointed. Those people aren’t you. Do your research and find a photographer whose work you really love and then let them do their thing.