Engagement Shoots: Fad or Fab?

Written by Jess from Mapleberry Photography

You may have noticed your Facebook feed is suddenly filling up with photos of your friend’s engagement shoots. This may have you wondering what it’s all about. I must sheepishly admit that when I started seeing “Engagement Shoots” popping up on my feed I felt my friends were all becoming narcissists who loved photos of themselves. I thought to myself, who needs photos taken of themselves cuddling and smooching on some beach? It all seemed a little OTT to me, that was until I myself became that friend clogging up people’s feeds with my engagement photos.

On the surface it can seem manufactured and unnecessary, it’s true, perhaps a money making scheme by photographers. The reality though, is that to ensure your wedding photos are incredible and capture your wedding day as beautifully as you hope you need to have an engagement shoot. You heard right, I said need and here’s why as a professional photographer I strongly recommend engagement sessions:

Your photographer will spend more time with you both than anyone else on your wedding day. They’ll want you to kiss in front of them and be romantic in general. You want to build a relationship with them so when they turn up on your wedding day you feel like they are a friend rather than a stranger who wants to watch you kiss. You want to feel comfortable with the camera pointing at you and the only way to achieve that is by being in front of it. As you might have guessed this is where an engagement shoot comes in. It’s that chance to practice being in front of the camera before the big day.

Often couples can be really tense and find it hard to be themselves when there is a camera pointing at them, so isn’t it better to have those awkward moments at a shoot that means so much less than your wedding day? There is also the advantage that once you get your photos from your shoot you can see what you look like through the eyes of your photographer, talk to them if there are things you didn’t think reflected you as a couple or weren’t flattering. You will save yourself the anguish of getting your wedding photos back and thinking, I look so awkward in that position or I hate my nose from that angle. What might seem obvious to you is not necessarily to anyone else because we are all sensitive about different things that often others can’t see.

When planning for a perfect day you will have many dress fittings to make sure that dress sits perfectly, you will spend weeks debating who will sit next to who, so why not invest a little bit of time to ensure those photos aren’t of you feeling awkward or shy. Your photos are going to be handed down, they are going to be what you look at after hard week to remind yourself of the good times and you don’t want those to be less than perfect.

Perhaps next time you see your friends engagement session posted on their wall you won’t cringe, you’ll simply understand it’s just practice for their big day and who knows you too might come over to the dark side like I did.

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