The shy bride’s guide to planning an engagement shoot – a guest post from Emma at Freckle Photography
Today the lovely Emma from TNWC business Freckle Photography shares her wisdom on engagement shoots. Personally I think they’re the perfect opportunity to embrace the things you love to do together and take a moment out from the craziness of wedding planning.
I’m sure these beautiful images featuring beekeepers, vintage railway lovers and camping couples will inspire you to plan something beautiful, fun and memorable to capture the essence of you as a couple.
Over to Emma…
Whilst planning my own wedding last year, I suddenly realised that the thought of being photographed all day terrified me! Not just because I spent my life behind the lens, but because I’m a normal girl with all the usual insecurities about my wobbly bits and the way my face scrunches up a bit too much when I’m really happy.
As for the boys, the idea of being obviously affectionate in ‘public’ and then being photographed can be equally as alarming.
What is an engagement shoot and why have one?
I’m sure this is a fairly normal reaction when planning a wedding, which is why I offer a photo shoot prior to the wedding. Sometimes called an ‘engagement shoot’ or a ‘pre-wedding shoot’, the aim is for you and your photographer to get to know one another, dispel any myths about having your photo taken and get some awesome and fun images in the process.
Despite it being a bit daunting at first, I can tell you within minutes you will be enjoying yourselves. It’s a great excuse to have a bit of time out together, kiss more than you have all week and generally lark about!
Planning the shoot: Location location location
So now that I’ve attempted to convince you that it’s good idea to go for this, how do you go about planning the shoot? The best thing to do is to choose a location that’s in contrast to your wedding venue. If you are having a beach wedding go for a shoot in the forest…
Or if you are having a vintage rustic wedding, why not have your engagement shoot in an urban area to give it an edgy look?
Do what you love
Make the shoot about the two of you – what do you love to do?
When planning shoots with my couples I’ll ask them about hobbies, sports they do, how they met and what they like to do together. If it’s blustery walks by the sea then we can plan to do this for the shoot.
Carol and Gareth love all things vintage so I planned for the shoot to involve a ride on a steam train.
At first they were nervous about the shoot…
…but having an activity to do together took their minds off being photographed.
Bee happy, don’t worry
My main piece of advice is don’t be scared! Your photographer will know how to ask you to interact, they will gently guide you through the process and you will enjoy it even if the initial though feels like your worst nightmare.
Stef and Oliver are beekeepers so they chose to reflect this in their shoot.
We planned to visit the hives….
…and used a yellow theme to tie the images together.
I brought along a few surprise yellow props, mostly recycled bits from around my house and just adding a splash of yellow here and there helped tie the images visually.
Use the photos for your wedding stationery
If you’ve booked your photographer well in advance, why not use the shoot for some images for a ‘save the date’ card? Jess and Pete are very creative types, so when we discussed their ideas over Skype I was excited to have such input from them.
We discussed what they liked to do and their wedding theme, which involved a lot of bunting, tea and cake, and fun, so this formed the basis of the shoot.
I met them on a sunny summer morning when they were camping in Charlestown.
Jess had made some brilliant signs and props with their wedding date on. She got the inspiration for these from Pinterest.
What’s a girl to wear?
Be comfortable is the best tip I have. Be yourselves. If you are a welly and woolly jumper girl through and through, wear them! You’ll feel happy and comfortable.
If at all possible, discuss a colour theme with your photographer to help pull the images together visually. Pick a colour you both like to wear, bold brights are best but not necessary, and wear it sparingly in accessories for a subtle look or go all out!
There are no right and wrong ways to dress but do make sure you feel happy in what you are wearing so that you can relax. The more relaxed you can feel the better and happier you will look in the photos.
Ask your photographer what time of day is best to do the shoot. I’m a huge fan of shooting during the golden hour, just as the sun starts to get lower in the sky before sunset as it gives a really romantic look to the images. Equally early morning sunshine can be great too.
I am so glad that we had ours done and I love our photographs, it reminds me of all the pre-wedding anticipation and looking back at them gives me butterflies. It will help you build trust and maybe even friendship with your photographer, making their presence on your wedding day something to look forward to and not something to dread.
All my couples tell me how much they enjoyed the shoot and that it has made them feel more confident for the big day itself.
A huge thanks to Emma for putting together such a beautiful and informative post for us today, full of real-life love stories. A photographer who’s been in your shoes, she’s committed to capturing your personality and your wedding, your way.