Planning 101 21st May 2014

Should We Have An Engagement Shoot?

What a fabulous question! Engagement photo shoots are commonplace features on many of our favourite wedding photography blogs, and look super cute and romantic! 'Is it for me though?' I  hear you ask! You may be forgiven for thinking that an engagement shoot is a little self-indulgence of an extroverted couple who love being infront of the lens. Or even, that it's an extra expense you can do without. But today, we welcome back to the blog our good friend Cecelina from Cecelina Photography to give us her professional opinion! cecelina-photography-engagements6 "Having worked as a wedding photographer in London for several years, I have met couples who love being in front of the camera and couples who don't think they'll enjoy it at all. You might think that you’re not photogenic (not true, I promise), and might be in doubt that the photographer you have hired will be able to make you look fantastic. Lots of wedding photographers offer engagement sessions - as an add on or part of a package – and one of the most common questions I get is "What is an engagement session and should we have one?" I believe having an engagement session is beneficial both for the couple and the photographer and here, below, I will explain why." "There first reason for you to have an engagement session is for your photographer to get to know you. We can create beautiful images of the two of you, choosing the best light and angles to capture you in, but if we don’t know how you interact and your personalities, the less “you” there will be in the photographs and the more the photographers mind and ideas. Are you quiet and serious or loud and goofy with each other? Does he always kiss you on your forehead and do you really love when she leans in to you when you walk down the street? A photographer is an observer, who should represent you as you are, having you relax enough to make you act naturally. When you then look at your photographs, you will recognize yourselves." "The second reason for you to have an engagement session is for you to get to know your photographer. This is a person you will have around on a very emotional and personal day and for you to completely relax, it definitely helps if you know him or her! Photography is about trust and once you trust whoever is photographing you, you will feel comfortable all look gorgeous. It is also very useful to see how the photographer work, what is feels like being photographed by a professional and for the three of you to talk about details at the wedding which are extra important to you. Did you choose a travel theme because you met when backpacking? Have you spent hours and hours sewing bunting with you mum? Information like this is like gold to a wedding photographer; when you trust us to open up about your life and choices, we understand and can tailor the photography to your personalities and your story." cecelina-photography-engagements7 "Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself smiling and thought, "that's not me, that is a fake smile" I certainly have! Few people can look into a camera and give up an honest, true smile - usually, the only time you can produce such a smile is when smiling towards another person, not an inanimate object like the camera. You will achieve this true connection when you know, like and trust your photographer - you will be smiling at the person instead of the camera." "A few added positives is that you will have beautiful images of yourselves – in perfect weather, as you can choose the time for the engagement session. Many couples incorporate these images into the wedding, using them as decorations for the reception or printing them into a signing book. I can say from personal experience that also the wedding guests feel more comfortable around my camera when I have photographed the couple’s engagement session – they know and trust me to take a great photograph." "All in all, the advantages to having an engagement session is great, both for your wedding photographer and for yourself!"