‘We don’t think we need an engagement shoot’, or pre-wedding shoot as they are sometimes known. I hear this quite often, and I think it comes down to needing to have a photographer for the wedding, but not really wanting to spend any more time in front of the lens that is absolutely necessary. When you don’t enjoy being the centre of attention, or feel self conscious. This is entirely understandable, after all, most of us aren’t models!
I see things differently, and always encourage the shoot, in fact I include it as a key part of what I do. If anything, I like to be given a reason why we shouldn’t have the shoot…
Still not sold? Well look at it as another very important planning meeting. The photos themselves are almost a bonus, a by-product of the experience. The engagement shoot is a chance to spend time with and get to know your photographer, the one you entrust the record of all your memories to, for yourselves and future generations.
I just love engagement shoots, it gives me as a photographer the chance to see who you really are as a couple, how you interact, and crucially how you will be on the day, so I can adapt to give you the most from the photographs. I love the challenge of creating a story from nothing in a landscape full of opportunities, it’s what I live for. Let’s work some magic!
The shoot gives you a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera, to relax and be yourselves, and to realise that actually, this isn’t quite so bad after all. When it comes to the wedding day, the photographer is just one less thing to worry about, you know what they can do, as it is in pride of place on your mantelpiece already, and you feel in safe hands, to get on with enjoying your day. You just know it is going to work out.
And it has been a couple of hours of fun, where you went out as a couple, perhaps to where you got engaged, and started to get really excited about things. This is really happening, we are getting married! The journey has already begun.
And lastly, I almost forgot to mention! You have an incredible collection of relaxed and fun photos of yourselves, from a crucial time in your life at your absolute happiest, which will last forever. What’s not to like?
This engagement shoot was taken at Studland bay near Sandbanks in Dorset, with the amazingly fun Fi and Matt ahead of their wedding. They are real people, just like you and me, and not professional models! I just know their wedding is going to be amazing. We captured all this in just an hour.
Robin Goodlad is a dorset based wedding and lifestyle portrait photographer, who really thinks you should have an engagement shoot pre-wedding. Do it!