December 14, 2022
If you haven’t booked in a couple shoot and you’re unsure whether you should, then definitely head over to my other blog; FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD HAVE AN ENGAGEMENT SHOOT!
In this blog, I will be going over my top tips for getting the most out of your shoot, a helpful style guide and some of my favourite UK locations for shoots.
An engagement shoot is chance to take the time just for the two of you, to get some beautiful, romantic shots, yes, but also to take the time to really celebrate the union that is the two of you. Incorporate your shoot into a romantic weekend away, a date night or day together? Make the most of this time together, celebrating you.
It can be useful to try and coordinate your bridal makeup trial for the day of your engagement shoot. Then you can really see how your makeup works in photos and you can make sure you’re happy in it too. Of course, there’s no need to do this but knowing your makeup looks great and lasts well can remove another worry.
If you’re feeling that you want to have a little more fun with your engagement shoot, why not think of some props to take along? Or even make it into a day/weekend trip? Lets go to the beach, hike up that mountain, discover somewhere new together! If you really want to go for it, style your whole shoot. You could set up a pretty picnic for example or you could simply work with whatever backdrop you have.
Your session is around an hour long, and I will go through a few prompts with you to start
feeling comfortable together in front of the camera!
Be yourselves, communicate your love language with me and what you like to do when you’re with each other.
The big question of where to have your engagement shoot. You want to choose a location that feels comfortable, somewhere you love visiting, or a special spot to you both.
Below I have listed some of my favourite local, and UK spots, but if you have any ideas in mind, let me know!
MIDLANDS & THE COTSWOLDS
Compton Verney (Public footpaths)
Umberslade Estate, Solihull
Chaddesley Woods, Bromsgrove
Arley Arboretum, Bewdley
Botanical Gardens, Birmingham
Broadway Tower, Cotswolds
Clent Hills, Stourbridge
Croome Court, Worcester
Habberley Valley, Bewdley
Hanbury Hall, Droitwich
Kinver Edge, Kinver
Lickey Hills Country Park, Birmingham
Malvern Hills, Great Malvern
Witley Court, Droitwich
Bourton on the Water
Snowshill (Lavender Mid June – July)
Oversley Woods (Bluebells End April)
Pershore Flower Fields (2 weeks early July)
EAST MIDLANDS & YORKSHIRE
Bradgate Park, Leicester
Calke Abbey, Derby
Hartsholme Country Park
Durdle Door, Dorset (Cliffs & Sandy Beach)
Studland, Dorset (White sand & Grassy Dunes)
Croyde Bay, Devon
Seven Sisters, Eastbourne (White cliffs & Pebble beach)
Stanage or Curbar Edge, Peak District
Winnets Pass, Peak District
Chatsworth, Peak District
** Travel within a 80 mile round trip from DN22 is included however miles outside of this are charged at 45p per mile. Please check my availability as I may already be in a location and can let you know available dates, with a discounted travel charge.
Most couples like to do their engagement photoshoot a few of months before the wedding, however it can be as soon as you book or the week before, up to you!
If you’re planning to use your engagement photos for invites or save the date cards though, you might want to arrange it a bit earlier to give you enough time to get the photos back, pick your favourite and get the stationery sent out.
If possible, it’s good to do an engagement photos in the Spring or Autumn – especially if it’s an outdoor shoot. My diary is less busy this time of year, especially on weekends and it gives us a good chance for good weather, and the daylight is lovely to work with at these times of year.
In the summertime, try to avoid taking photos in the heat of the day as the direct sunlight can make things difficult. However an evening or sunset shoot can be absolutely breathtaking – it’s what we call The Golden Hour, so you do have to plan carefully to take advantage of that short window. See below my sunset year timeline!
For winter shoots, don’t be afraid to go with the weather. There’s a lot to be said for a cosy fireside and some chunky knitwear!
Of course, when you have your shoot is always going to be affected by whatever the weather is doing, so if you’re having an outdoor engagement shoot at a time when it’s likely to rain (which in the UK could be ANY time!), it can help to have a backup indoor location just in case or just EMBRACE it!
Picking what to wear can be hard at the best of times, let alone for your couple shoot. However I want you to feel yourselves. You can go out and buy a cute new outfit, or you can rewear your favourite item in your wardrobe.
BRING OPTIONS – The best thing is to have options. You’re welcome to take photographs and email these to me and I can advise or bring a couple of ideas with you, even if it’s a different jacket to change it up half way through the shoot. However, some locations may not have areas to change, so bare this in mind if you’re bringing a full on change of outfit.
THINK OF THE LOCATION – Think about what location you have chosen, if you’re going to the beach you’re probably not going to wear the same outfit you would to hike in the national parks! Consider your footwear too if you are planning to be walking far. Please don’t wear stilettos to the woods… yes this has happened before!
MOVEMENT – Wearing something with movement makes for incredible photographs! A floaty dress or skirt always looks great and can give real energy and motion in the photographs. You want to make sure whatever you wear you are comfortable moving in as you will rarely sit down during the shoot.
COLOUR & PATTERN – Colour and patterns can have one of the biggest impacts on your photos. You want to think about your location choice, and what colours go well with it, but also what colours suit your personality. As a general rule, neutrals and earthy tones always look good, such as white, light blue, forest green, taupe. I would say to try and avoid really bright, fluorescent colours which are distracting like bright pinks, bright oranges and reds as they tend to reflect the sun and give you a weird pink/orange skin tone in photos!
You also want to make sure your outfits compliment each other so you aren’t too matchy, or clashing! Avoiding big loud patterns is a top tip of mine, so if you like pattern the smaller and more subtle the better! If the pattern is too loud, it will distract from your faces and stripes can create a crazy effect in the camera lens.
See the photographs in this blog for some inspiration!
PROPS – No I don’t mean a sign that says 60 days till we say I do!! We’re not going for cheesy! Props can be something small like a hat or sunglasses, a blanket or even your dog! Or it might be an activity like a row boat or a picnic! Most people don’t use props, so only incorporate something if you feel like it reflects you!
HAIR & MAKE UP – You want to feel like you, so if that means you do your own daily hair and make up routine then go for it! Some people like to time their wedding day make up trial with their portrait shoot so they get a chance to see how it looks in photos, and make sure they feel themselves!
Yes, it’s going to feel really weird at times, but the best way to deal with it is to run with it!
The way I ‘pose’ is natural and based upon the way you interact with each other.
The more you can embrace the moment, the better – even if that means having a giggle half way through.
It’s not your job to make you look good – that’s MY job!
So don’t worry about pulling a funny face, or your double chin, or what you’re doing with your hands. I’m not going to use anything that isn’t 100% gorgeous, and I often show couples shots as we go along, just so you can see how great it looks too – no matter how weird it feels at the time.
The best photos are often taken when you’ve forgotten you’re on your engagement shoot, so please don’t look straight down the camera (unless you’ve been asked to), and try to focus on your partner. After all, this photo shoot is about the two of you together.
A good photographer knows how to blend into the background and give you space to be yourself, so take advantage of that, relax and enjoy your day out together!
Let go of the nerves and embrace the opportunity to capture such special memories of you both in this journey to your wedding day. Let’s go have fun and document it in photographs you will treasure forever.
Everyone couple need to go on a date from time to time! So whilst you’re visiting your favourite spot or adventuring to somewhere new for your couple shoot, why not turn this opportunity into a mini holiday or date day!
Book yourself a meal out together, a hotel night stay or even just a lovely long walk in the countryside.
Timings are approximate, Golden hour can depend on the weather on the day and cloud coverage.
get the latest
stay up to date