Firstly, in answer to the article heading – yes and no.
The advice I give to my couples on whether or not to have an engagement shoot depend on a few things.
- Were both the bride and groom at the wedding photography booking appointment?
- Are either of you worried or nervous about having your photo taken?
- Have you only ever had bad photos taken of yourself and are worried about not getting good photos?
To tackle these points, it’s important to understand that great wedding photos (or any portraits for that matter) will depend on some kind of relationship and trust between the photographer and the subject. This usually starts at the booking appointment but can still work if it starts on the wedding day – but it will depend on your personality to a degree.
In a wedding scenario, it can be difficult turning up to the grooms home on the morning of his wedding and expecting instant rapport and fantastic, intimate, artistic photos having never met the guy. It’s not so difficult for me as the photographer so much as it can for the groom if he is lacking confidence or is nervous about photos.
He has to trust that I will take great photos and show him in his best light. This may mean some direction or moving him into what may appear a strange part of the house (a hallway for example) to grab some shots. It may be that there is some great light and I know that it will work well for some striking images – in his head though, he’s thinking, what’s this guy want me in the hallway for, when the lounge room has just been tidied, painted and looks perfect?
That trust can come from a prior meeting or an engagement shoot
If there is trust and confidence from a previous shoot this is never an issue – he knows and believes that I’m doing everything I can to improve his photos – I’m working my butt off for him.
Have you only ever had bad photos taken of yourself?
If you or your partner have never had great photos, it can be daunting booking and paying for a professional wedding photographer. Why pay all this money if you think you’re only going to get bad photos? That doesn’t make sense.
If this is a thought you have – definitely book an engagement shoot. If you have booked Impact Images or another great wedding photographer, you will be blown away by your photos.
With an engagement shoot, I’ll be able to prove that I can photograph you better than you’ve ever been photographed before – and it has nothing to do with photoshop!
I’ll show you how to stand to appear slimmer than you are if you want to look slimmer in your photos. Want to look bigger (some guys do) I can help with that too. I’ll show you tricks to accentuate your best features and hide the things you don’t like as much.
worries you had will fade away as you decide on which photos you like most
In a recent shoot with Louise and Dave, Louise had warned me that she hated every photo of herself because she had bad skin. To hide the bad skin didn’t require loads of makeup but a simple adjustment in the way she faced the light when photographing her.
Any side lit photos showed her skin at it’s worst as each little skin imperfection cast a shadow which made the damaged skin look worse and more noticeable. By turning her face towards the light, there are no shadows caused by the damaged skin and any blemishes are hidden – naturally.
A little makeup on her wedding day and the correct lighting and she looked absolutely stunning and she trusted me 100% because of the engagement shoot beforehand.
Using little “tricks” like these, it’s simple to make a nose appear smaller, hide flabby arms, add weight or take it away – the list goes on.
If you’ve only ever had bad photos, following your engagement shoot, you’ll be looking forward, more than ever, to your wedding day and being photographed.
Worried about having your photo taken?
Some couples are really worried about being the centre of attention and not knowing “what to do” for their photos. Honestly, you have nothing to worry about but if you need proof, have an engagement shoot.
During the shoot, you’ll see the photos are the one thing you don’t need to worry about – if you have a professional wedding photographer. An experienced photographer will capture the candid moments when they are happening and help guide or direct you when you need it. That’s what you are paying for.
Some things aren’t blindingly obvious at the actual engagement shoot but they will be once you come in to see your photos. It’s here that you’ll see that all of your photos can be great – the candids, the directed, the posed, the close-ups and the creative photos.
Any worries you had will fade away as you decide on which photos you like most because there are just so many.
In the end, if you are at all worried about your wedding photos or are unsure about hiring a professional wedding photographer for your day – do yourself a big favour and set your mind at ease.
Book an engagement shoot – it’ll be the cheapest insurance of great wedding photos you can have.
Want to learn a little more about engagement shoots, you can do that by clicking here.