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15 May 2019

Tips for preparing for an engagement photo shoot

Most wedding photography packages these days come with a complimentary engagement photo shoot, or prep shoot for the big day. It's to help us to meet our photographers and learn to feel comfortable in front of the camera. We had ours at Hengistbury Head with Emma and Ian from Big Bouquet Photography, a Dorset-based photographers, 4 weeks before the big day. We agreed to walk there together, sit on our blankets and discuss the plans for the wedding and then have photos during the lovely golden light at sunset. It was fun to make it a different type of date night! 

Firstly, we thought about where we wanted our photos. For us, the Mudeford beach huts are something really special for Sam's family and we love walking the dog there so it was a clear winner for us

Being me, my first thought was "what do I wear?" Emma suggested something which makes  us feel comfortable and good about ourselves, it doesn't have to be too smart but it's nice to not be wearing trainers or a hoodie. I was really stuck so I went on Pinterest (obviously) and got the idea for a gingham dress. I found this one on Lindy Bop. Sam wore his favourite jeans and a checked shirt from ASOS which makes him feel comfortable. We didn't really think about it, but we were lucky that our outfits went together. 

It looks like a gorgeous day, but it was super cold that evening! I would recommend wrapping up warm for between the shots! Also think about bringing something special you'd like in your photos - I brought my temperature blanket to sit on. We considered bringing Teddy dog but we thought it wouldn't be a good walk for him or planning time for us!

I used the shoot as an opportunity to practice my wedding makeup because I'm doing my own on the wedding day. It was a great chance to see if I was wearing too much/not enough and how it photographs. I went a little heavier than I normally do and wore big false lashes but I think it came out ok and I've learnt what to change or add for the wedding? I also learnt that I need lots of hairspray in my fringe if we're having photos outdoors!

Initially we were pretty stilted and nervous. It's a really alien thing having your photo taken like you're being snapped by the paparazzi! We were helped to feel calmer by Emma and Ian chatting to us and giving posing suggestions or telling us where to put our hands when we were being awkward! What I loved was they didn't mind us chatting and being normal with each other with some direction for how or where to stand. Despite us chatting away and laughing constantly, Emma got some lovely photos and I feel like they capture how we are when we hang out alone.

We did some posing, some walking and talking and some sitting all around the lovely beach huts on Mudeford Spit. My other tip is wear comfortable shoes in case you are walking a long way or you decide to scramble onto some rocks!

My other tip would be experiment with poses! We don't normally do cheesy poses or PDAs but agreed to give it a go. It gave us some sweet photos which I can embarrass Sam with!

Finally we enjoyed a lovely walk back with the sunset. We got the photos the next day and now we're really looking forward to our wedding day!



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