engaget couple portrait in Old Parsonage Hotel on Oxford

Engagement session explained

Engagement session, pre-wedding shoot and couples photoshoot

Engagement session, pre-wedding shoot and couples photoshoot. You often hear these terms used interchangeably. However, did you know that these types of photography are slightly different? 

Couples photoshoot is a way to commemorate important moments in your relationship, for example, anniversary or pregnancy announcement. 

In a nutshell, both engagement and pre-wedding session are forms of couples photoshoot. Engagement session is usually informal and relaxed. You can arrange it at home, in the park or anywhere else. Sometimes people choose the location that is meaningful for their relationship. 

Leading up to the wedding day, pre-wedding shoot, tend to have more formal style. The couple usually wear elegant outfit like a cocktail dress and a tux. Some brides to be book hair and makeup trial for the shoot and even get a stylist involved. 

Many people use images from an engagement/pre-wedding session for a wedding website, save-the-dates or wedding announcement. 

Why it’s worth to book an engagement session

It will help you gain confidence in front of the camera. Almost every person I have ever photographed says that they feel awkward in front of the camera. It is often simply because they don’t know what to expect. That’s why going through this experience help you to relax.

It’s a good practice before the wedding. You get an opportunity to see professional photos of yourself before the nuptials. Posing on the wedding day will be easier because you already have done that. Also, you have a chance to get to know your photographer, so having them around on the day doesn’t feel awkward. 

You have a chance to spent some time with each other. Moths leading up to the wedding tend to be very busy. Engagement session is an excellent opportunity reconnect with each other.

The photos will be a beautiful keepsake from your engagement period. Do you enjoy browsing through your family or school photos? I bet you do 🙂 Trust me, your future self will be grateful for commemorating times leading to the wedding.

What to wear for your couples shoot

Your outfit has a significant impact on how the photos will turn out.

Make sure that you are comfortable in your clothes, don’t be afraid to use accessories. Leave unnecessary stuff at home. Consider the time of the year and location when picking your attire. For example, if you are shooting in woods in October go for clothes in the autumnal colour palette. If you are looking for inspiration, I recommend these two articles about engagement photo outfit trends and tips what to wear in your engagement photos.

How to pick a location for your engagement session

There are many great locations, choose one that is meaningful for you and matches your personality. Are you an outdoorsy couple who like adventures on the fresh air? Go for a session in the mountains. Are you an urban-type who enjoy city life? Pick your favourite coffee shop and start from there before you head to the town. Here is a list of our favourite locations:

Parks and Botanic Gardens,

Mountains, lakes, woods and beaches,

Art Murals, Carnivals,

Museums, historic town centres

Your home and garden

Our tips:

Discuss with your photographer the best time for the session. Good light is crucial for the photos! 

Bring your pet. You can ask a friend to pick your dog halfway through the session. 

Wear comfortable shoes, 

Don’t put wallet, phone and a bunch of keys in your pockets-your photos will look much better:)