Over the last week or two I’ve noticed something interesting: when couples complete their little interview to feature on the blog, they’re mentioning how they felt about having their photos taken. And those who’ve given the most glowing reviews for their photographers have had one thing in common: they had an engagement shoot.
I’m all for engagement shoots for three reasons: they’re a fun day out for you as a couple, they totally sort out your camera shyness before the big day, and you’ll really get to know your photographer. So I’m ever so happy that Duncan McCall, a top wedding photographer from Newcastle upon Tyne, has offered to share his thoughts on engagement shoots. This is well worth a read – and worth sharing the link with your other half if they might be a little camera-shy! Over to Duncan…
When I first started wedding photography I never offered engagement shoots. At the time I didn’t realise the value they offered to clients. After I had been asked a few times if I do them I decided to say yes!
I’m glad I decided to start offering engagement shoots as I really do enjoy shooting them. Couples who are feeling a bit unsure about having professional portraits done on the wedding day are keen to have a similar experience before the big day.
That’s where this can be seen as a practice run and help ease those tensions. My aim from the session is first and foremost to make the couple feel at ease, we often have a walk to the location beforehand where we can have a good chat and get to know each other a bit better.
During the session I usually start with just shooting the couple walking and talking and being as natural with each other as possible. That’s the key really, to try to get the couple relaxed more quickly then the photographs will look much more natural. There will be times during the session where I try a more formal posed shot. This helps couples to learn quick directions to help get the best from the pose. It all helps on the wedding day where we won’t have as much time during the portrait session.
The engagement session can be a bit more flexible with time and date so I generally try to start the session around an hour before sunset to get some nice light and also the chance of a nice sunset. My engagement sessions last around 2hrs which may seem long but the time really does fly in… we must be enjoying it! I also bring some flash gear with me to try some more creative lighting once it starts to get dark and these creative shots are my signature shots which I will do at the wedding also. Again it gives the couple an insight into how I set them up, being part of the shot and them seeing the final edit.
So the engagement session helps us to get to know each other a bit more, helps you relax and creates a stunning set of photographs for you to enjoy over the years together… I definitely recommend it.
Get a free engagement session when you book Duncan for your wedding!
Now is a great time to book me for your wedding as I’m offering a free engagement session plus a mounted and framed signing board with one of your engagement photographs. The signing board is a great way to get your guests to leave a message and a memory from the day.
This offer is valid for all day coverage bookings made during September and October for 2016 weddings. Clicking on the image below takes you to the offer page for more details.