How to Nail Your Engagement Shoot


Two gay women hold hands in the countryside following their relaxed London gay wedding



You’ve booked your perfect photographer and you’ve chosen a package that includes a pre-wedding shoot. Fantastic! Whilst your photographer will (or should) put you at ease and guide you through the session, there are a few things that I recommend all couples do to make sure they make the most of what will be an awesome experience. 


View it as an opportunity to become more comfortable in front of the camera 

However many selfies you take per day, being professionally photographed can feel very different to simply smiling at the camera for yourself, your friends or your family.  Don’t view your pre-wedding shoot as something to dread, but rather an opportunity to learn how to look your best and discover what angles, framing and compositions suit you as individuals and as a couple. You’ll learn whether you love the close ups of your expressions or full length images that incorporate more of your surroundings. You might also realise – like Ant and Dec – that you always stand on a certain side together. All these little elements will help the photographer to get to know you better, and capture wedding day photos that centre on how you see yourselves rather than how a photographer thinks you should look.  


Ask questions 

Your photographer will be asking you lots of questions to get to know you, but don’t just be the ones answering questions; make sure you use this time to find out anything you are unsure of. This could of course relate specifically to the photographic aspects of your wedding, but because as photographers are so involved throughout the wedding day, we often can offer advice and insight on many aspects of your special day. 


Be open-minded 

It’s great to come to a shoot having a strong sense of self, and whilst it’s important to express when you are not feeling comfortable with what is being asked of you, be open-minded too. There are certain poses, positions or angles that may seem or feel a bit awkward  to do in real life, but which have a huge positive impact of how you are portrayed on camera. Trust that your photographer wants you to look your best and isn’t out to show you up or make you feel uncomfortable. 

Bring your own ideas too, whether that’s simply choosing the location of you shoot, or having one or two shots in mind that you’d like to recreate. If your ideas are sensible, safe and practical then there’s no reason why they cannot be incorporated into your pre-wedding photoshoot. 


Remember the pressure is off

You are not going to be expected to be professional models, and it’s perfectly understandable that it may take a little bit of time to fully relax and get used to being photographed. Don’t feel pressure to be anyone other than who you are. It’s OK to say if you don’t understand something. Often when shooting a pre-wedding shoot we try certain shots several times. This doesn’t mean you are getting something wrong, so never feel like you aren’t great at having your photo taken. If there is any pressure felt, it should be by the photographer, who is making sure you are captured beautifully in order to create images you will treasure forever. 


All of these tips can be found in my wedding planning book ‘How to have a wedding as individual as you are’ which can be purchased via Amazon or Etsy (gift boxed version).  The book is also provided as part of my welcome pack for couples who book one of my all day wedding photography packages. 



copies of how to have a wedding as individual as you are by Ross Willsher

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