To E-Shoot or not to E-Shoot?

I’m sure you’ve all seen Salma’s amazing engagement shoot. I absolutely loved her pictures, and it really got me thinking for the first time about an engagement shoot of our own; Richard’s and her pictures are so natural, in an interesting setting, and, most importantly (to me), weren’t corny or clichéd at all!

Looking at Salma and Richard’s, then afterwards browsing through a few other pre-wedding shoots on English-Wedding and other blogs it really made me realize that engagement shoots don’t have to be lovey-dovey, nauseatingly sweet shots of your fiancé ‘Hollywood kissing’ you in the local park. I’ve since discovered that you can make the shoot relaxed, unpretentious and a fabulous way to reflect yourselves as a couple.

(Part of english-wedding's engagement shoot competition back in February)

Here are some I especially love:

Carlos & Angel, courtesy of 100layercake

However, initially, before I swamped myself in everything ‘wedding’, I thought engagement shoots were a bit pointless; as my maid of honour, Louise, put it: “What’s the point? It’s like- ‘here’s us two weeks before the wedding’, and you look exactly the same as the pictures on your wedding day. Isn’t it just a scam?” I must admit, I couldn’t think of any argument for engagement shoots when she said that, and part of me feels the same. The other part of me thinks: “Why the hell not? We’re only going to get married once, and it’s an excuse for some lovely pictures of us both that we could then cherish forever?” Louise’s other statement unfortunately made complete sense: “And you and David both hate having your picture taken”- again, completely true and I couldn’t agree more! I genuinely believe I started getting into photography because I hate being in front of the camera, and would much rather be behind it!

So, there’s my dilemma! Louise is completely right (as usual); David and I are not overly keen to get in front of the camera, and it is quite indulgent.. HOWEVER, I am a complete sucker for beautiful photography, and really would cherish a set of beautiful (non corny!) photographs reflecting us at this stage of our relationship; I’m sure we’d relax into it and probably even end up enjoying ourselves! Also, anyone who I’ve emailed and enquired about in the North East doesn’t do engagement shoots or have stopped doing them; so if anyone has any recommendations or suggestions for us to look into we’d be very grateful.

Advice please, we’re still thinking about it, and I think David needs a bit more persuasion than I do!

Sally x



  • Adam
    9 years ago

    Do it!!
    Engagement shoots are about so much more than getting photos… Not many people either 1) have experience getting photographed or 2) think they will enjoy having their photo taken. For some, they booked a photographer knowing they want photos of their wedding day but still mildly terrified of having their photo taken. The e-shoot can cure that BEFORE the big day.
    You’ll meet your photographer for the first time as a photographer, you’ll instantly see how he’ll make you feel comfortable having your photo taken and all preconceptions of ‘having your photo taken’ being a little bit scary will disappear.
    Your photographer will get to know you too, what you’re happy with, what you’re not happy with, what looks good and how to make you look AMAZING on your big day. Which is what it’s all about, right?!
    Think of it as a practice, a stress free way of realising you’ve booked the right photographer and you’ll end up with amazing photos, and you’ll look forward to them spending your special day with you.
    I could write more, but for me its a no-brainer. Which is why all my clients get an e-shoot as part of their package.

  • Salma
    9 years ago

    What he said!

  • Jim Maraden
    9 years ago

    I completely agree with Adam, we do them for exactly these reasons!

  • Claire
    9 years ago

    Agreed. I published an article from Adam last year about engagement shoots and for me, the less comfortable you think you’ll be in front of the camera, the more important it is to have an engagement / pre-wedding shoot.

    Definitely worth chatting to your photographer about as well, for all the reasons you mention. Ask them what an e-shoot is for, and a great photographer will tell you everything Adam said above. If you’re not convinced and they’re charging a lot extra for it… maybe find another photographer.

    That whole process of getting to know your photographer before the wedding and feeling comfortable with them works both ways: if you don’t want cliched photos on your wedding day, the e-shoot is a perfect opportunity to sort out between you what kind of photos you DO love.

    Also bear in mind most photographers will travel and we have some amazing ones featured here – just click Real Weddings at the top to see all the latest.

    Claire xx

  • Heline Bekker
    9 years ago

    I agree with Adam 100%. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I tell my clients that it a great way for us the get to know each other from both sides if the camera and then you feel much more relaxed on the day. And it can be so much fun! Do it!!! 🙂

  • Tina
    9 years ago

    Yes, do it! Adam said it very well.. Probably you could do a “re-enactment” or storytelling of your courtship and everything in up to the wedding. 🙂

  • I also agree with Adam and Claire. Not having an engagment shoot is my one big regret from my own wedding. Do it-you’ll never regret doing, but you may feel you missed out if you don’t! You can also learn a lot about your photographer in the process. I may not have used the one I did if I had an e-shoot with him first!!

  • bycostello
    9 years ago

    not only does it produce some nice pictures.. it get you comfortable in front of the camera, you learn some posing tips, and bond a little with the photographer… all make for better pictures on the day…

    think more practice session…

  • Kathryn Louise
    9 years ago

    I say do it! Especially if you aren’t that comfortable having your picture taken. Isn’t much better to have a trial run and get used to having your photo taken with your hubby to be before the big day? Not only will it give you some lovely photos to treasure but it will also mean that your wedding photos will turn out better as you get used to posing and working with your photographer.

  • The Bride To Be Helen
    9 years ago

    I too HATE having my photo taken…I am very self critical (the other half loves it!) but I have to say it was one of the loveliest experiences of my life! I expected to hate all the photographs taken, but our photographer, who I had never met before made us both relax and enjoy the day. It was fun and quickly forgot the camera…Most were not ‘staged’ so I didn’t feel self conscious. Also seeing the end result gave me massive confidence in our photographer, and know he will do a fab job on the day. Every time I look at our photographs now (and it is a lot!), it makes me smile! A wonderful memory. We are even considering a ‘Trash The Dress’ shoot after the big day…so I say DO IT!!!!!!

    Claire very kindly featured our engagement shoot on English Wedding as I was so impressed with our photographer… …have a nosey, am unsure if he will travel (I am sure he will, as he was prepared to come up to Yorkshire from London). I hope this helps in your decision!

  • Jenny mcavoy
    9 years ago

    Absolutely agree with everything that has been said. I am a photographer who hates having my photo taken so when we do engagement shoots I know exactly what you are going through. We aim to make the experience fun, relaxed and reflect who you are not some stylised version of you that you do not recognise. itsi not jsutabout getting MOREphotostaken its about your photographer getting to know you, knowing who is the poser, who is shy, what you are like as a couple so that your wedding photos reflect this.
    Before Kylie & Ian had their engagement shoot, Kylie said she hated having her picture taken, and had never seen a good photo of herself. At the viewing she cried as she loved them so much. By her wedding day she was so comfortable with us and the camera that we got the most amazing images of their wedding.
    We love travelling so if you fancy an e shoot please let us know 🙂

  • We agree with all of the above, it’s an absolute must to have an engagement shoot! We can tell the difference from when we didn’t do them and now, we build up great relationships with our clients and they get much more comfortable with the camera x

  • Sally
    9 years ago

    Ok, Ok! I’m pleased to say I’ve found a fabulous engagement photographer today, now we’re getting a few ideas together. I hope you’re all this excited and interested to see the pics in the next month or so! And if anyone asks why we had an engagement shoot I’m sending them this link! Good work you lot, you’ve twisted my arm! x

  • wedding dj
    9 years ago

    engagement shoot,new one on me,but a great idea.

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