Today we are looking at Engagement Sessions. What are they? What’s the point of them and should I do one with my wedding photographer? Some photographers charge extra for them but I think they are so important I’ve included them in my wedding packages. You can take a look at them here. Let’s dive into why those pre-wedding photo sessions are an absolute must.

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What is an Engagement Session?

Sometimes the name can be confusing. An engagement session is not having a photographer capture the moment you get engaged (aka proposal photography). Think of your engagement session as a test run with your wedding photographer. It’s a small photo session before your wedding day without the ceremony and fancy frocks. So why do this?

” Your photographer is going to be one of the people you spend the most time with on your wedding day. So it helps to get to know them a bit so you’re comfortable being around them.”

Building a Connection with Your Photographer

When you think about it. Your photographer is going to be one of the people you spend the most time with on your wedding day. So it helps to get to know them a bit so you’re comfortable being around them. Establishing trust and communication early on ensures that your photographer understands your vision and style, resulting in stunning photos from the big day.


Practice for the Big Day

Let’s face it: being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking. But fear not, because your engagement session is the perfect opportunity to shake off those camera jitters and get comfortable in your own skin. Plus, the experience gained during your engagement session will pay off on your wedding day, as you’ll feel more relaxed and confident in front of the lens. I personally give my couples key concepts to remember so that on the wedding day I can refer to them when telling them how to stand and it’s much smoother, saving time and stress as your mind will be going 1000mph!


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Creating Lasting Memories

Your engagement photos aren’t just pretty pictures; they’re tangible reminders of the excitement and anticipation leading up to your wedding day. From the laughter shared during sunset strolls to the stolen kisses in your favourite coffee shop, these photos freeze moments in time that you’ll cherish for years to come. Plus, they’re perfect for sharing with friends and family, spreading the love and excitement as you countdown to your big day.

Personalizing Your Wedding Experience

Your engagement photos aren’t just for Instagram; they’re versatile tools that can add a personal touch to your wedding experience. From save-the-date cards to wedding invitations and guest books, incorporating your engagement photos infuses your wedding with your unique personality and style. After all, your love story is one-of-a-kind, and your wedding should reflect that.

Choosing a location you enjoy visiting and feel comfortable in will really help you feel more confident in front of the camera

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Exploring Locations and Themes

Your engagement session is a chance to explore meaningful locations and themes that reflect your relationship. Whether you’re wandering through your favourite city streets or frolicking on a sun-drenched beach, choosing locations that hold special meaning to you adds depth and personality to your photos, resulting in images that are as unique as your love story. You can even make it an activity you both enjoy. Hiking in the Peak District or having a drink your local coffee shop or pub for example. Choosing a location you enjoy visiting and feel comfortable in will really help you feel more confident in front of the camera too.


Personally I choose places that are away from lots of people so you don’t feel watched. (This can still be urban environments. See this one in the centre of Sheffield as an example) I also provide some examples of places that work well if you’re struggling for ideas.

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Tips for a Successful Engagement Photo Session

Now that you’re convinced of the magic of engagement sessions, here are a few tips to ensure your photo session is a success:


Choose outfits that make you feel like your best selves:

Opt for clothing that reflects your personal style and makes you feel confident and comfortable. Don’t go too formal with it. It’s not a job interview or the Oscars!

Consider hair and makeup:

Professional hair and makeup can elevate your photos and make you feel like a million bucks but isn’t essential. I would go with a natural look that again makes you feel most confident and comfortable.

Incorporate meaningful props or elements:

Whether it’s your furry friend, or a cherished heirloom, incorporating meaningful props adds an extra layer of sentimentality to your photos.

Communicate openly with your photographer:

Don’t be afraid to share your vision, preferences, and any ideas you may have with your photographer. This includes things you’re not comfortable with. If you’re more comfortable moving around than being still and close to your partner then let your photographer know. They can then tailor their ideas to what works for you. Doing this before the wedding is less stressful and will improve your experience on the actual wedding day.

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Your engagement is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that deserves to be celebrated and immortalized. So, embrace the opportunity to capture the magic of this special time with an engagement photo session. Even if it’s just for a new profile photo on social media!


Thanks for reading this blog! My name is Steve McSmailes and I’ve been capturing moments that matter for over 10 years and have built a photojournalistic documentary style, blending into the background, capturing natural reactions and providing a very relaxed and flexible no fuss coverage of your special day. You can learn more about my wedding photography on my website and start capturing your story by filling in the contact form below.


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