As a photographer, I get asked a lot if it is worth having a pre-wedding photoshoot or an engagement shoot as they are quite often referred to and the answer is always yes, there are many benefits to having a pre-wedding engagement shoot. If you aren’t familiar with what an engagement shoot is or why you may want to have a pre-wedding photoshoot then let me explain some of the top reasons and benefits.


Also known as a pre-wedding photoshoot, an engagement shoot is quite simply a photo shoot that you have before your wedding day. They are usually around an hour or so in length and can be captured anywhere. Whether it is your favourite place to go as a couple, your potential wedding venue, or even in the comfort of your own home. They can be any time in the lead-up to your wedding day and having an engagement shoot has some real big advantages over not having one.

Often the title “engagement shoot” gets presented with the same questions – “We are already engaged, why do we need an engagement shoot?” so let me explain the 5 big benefits of having a pre-wedding shoot, as I prefer to call them, with your chosen photographer.

A woman is leaning back cuddled in to her fiance. He is whispering something in her ear and she is giggling. They are standing outside in between a historical house and bush with flowers around them for a pre-wedding engagement shoot.

1. A Chance To Meet Your Photographer

Engagement shoots are the perfect chance to meet with your photographer before the wedding day and get used to how they work. Up until this point you may well have seen lots of their gorgeous wedding photographs, and maybe met up with them over a coffee to get to know them a little more. But, you haven’t seen them in action. Having an engagement shoot with your photographer gives you a chance to understand how they will be on your wedding day – how they offer direction (or if they offer direction at all), how long do they spend capturing each pose, how do they make you feel during your time together.

These are all important aspects to consider when it comes to you and your wedding photographer – you will spend A LOT of time with them on the day – your photographer will be with you for so many hours, so having someone you feel comfortable around is a huge advantage.

2. They Help You Relax

This leads me nicely to the second reason for having an engagement shoot, they are the perfect chance for you and your partner to learn to relax a little in front of the camera. Let’s be honest it isn’t every day you have a professional photographer following you around (unless you’re Kim-K and Kanye of course) and this can be daunting for most people!

Having an engagement shoot will allow you and your partner to get used to being in front of the camera, learn how to relax a little more, and get used to pretending the camera isn’t there before the wedding day. I would say at least 95% of couples I photograph always lead with “we feel awkward in front of the camera” or “we hate having our photograph taken” (snap btw!) so look at your engagement shoot as a chance to rip off the plaster. To get over the first hurdle nerves and dare I say it, actually enjoy it – I promise!

A man and a woman stand cuddling each other in a field full of yellow daisys. They are laughing and looking at each other. she has her hand leaning on his chest to show off her engagement ring as they having a pre-wedding engagement shoot.


3. Improve Your Wedding Day Imagery

You know how they say, practice makes perfect – well that is also the case when it comes to posing together as a couple. A good photographer won’t ask you to stand there awkwardly and hold an uncomfortable pose of you two kissing, they will guide you, teach you how to interact with each other as a couple so together you can forget the camera is even there. Having a pre-wedding engagement shoot enables you and your photographer to both relax and learn a little more about each other before the wedding day. 

It is very hard for couples to imagine how their own wedding pictures will look no matter how many galleries and portfolios of their photographer they have gone through. Having your finished professional photos is perhaps the most important reason why you should have your engagement photos taken by your wedding photographer. It will give you the opportunity to see what is to be expected for your wedding day and understand how your wedding photos will actually look. You can decide what you love, your favourite angles and ultimately know a little better about the images you want to be captured on your wedding day. Your photographer will learn a lot about the imagery you love from the engagement photographs you love.

4. Creating Collateral To Use Pre-Wedding

If you do decide to have a pre-wedding shoot the possibilities are endless when it comes to using the professional images captured to enhance your wedding. You can create personalised save the dates, use them to spruce up your wedding website or even use your favourite one for a guest book to hang on your wall. Having go-to professional, high-quality photographs of the two of you will come in super handy.

5. A Chance To Celebrate Your Engagement

And finally, but by no means least an engagement shoot gives you a chance to celebrate this short time that you are engaged. I always say you should treat your wedding as a whole planning process culminating in one day – not just about the one day itself. Celebrate every chance and enjoy all the little wedding planning wins.

Having an engagement shoot allows you to remember this very short, but precious time together spent looking forward to your wedding day. To remember how you felt, the excitement, the nerves, the love!


A man ans a woman walk arm in arm bumping hips and laughing at each other. They are clearly very happy as they walk down this Cotswold path on a bright summers day. This was taken during a pre-wedding engagement shoot.

So if you are unsure as to whether or not you should have a pre-wedding engagement shoot, if the budget allows I think it is one of the best things you can do together as a couple in the run-up to the wedding day. If you have any more questions or would like to find out a little more information about having a pre-wedding shoot please do get in touch.