Relationships communication

Engagement Shoot

Do I need an Engagement Shoot?

If you have started researching wedding photographers you have probably come across the term “engagement shoot”. What is an engagement shoot and do you need one?

Many of my couples decide to book an engagement shoot with me. In fact probably about three quarters of them. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about how an engagement shoot works and why they can be so beneficial to me as your wedding photographer. I will also show you why and how an engagement shoot saves you time on your wedding day and will result in even more gorgeous wedding photographs.


Couple walking in the grounds of Chiswick House


Engagement shoots are a fantastic chance to get some practice in front of the camera. They also an opportunity for me to establish how to photograph you best.
In my experience, if you do an engagement shoot, come the wedding day you will already be ‘warmed up’ for your couple photos. This will not only help you to feel more relaxed but also save precious time, so you can get back to your guests (and that glass of fizz!). 
It’s also a good time to get to know each other better and have a good old chat about your wedding. I love hearing all about your exciting wedding plans. I’m often told that chatting about the wedding makes you feel even more excited for the big day!


Elegant couple cuddling in the autumn leaves in their romantic New Forest engagement shoot

What does it involve?

The shoot last about 1.5hrs and takes place in a location of your choice. I will ask you where is meaningful to you, be it a beach, woodlands or a special building. I will get you chatting, laughing and cuddling whilst I move around you photographing.
In my experience, the photographs that are most loved are the really relaxed natural shots of the two of you happy and in love. I will often find good light then ask you to tell me the story of your engagement or how you met. This always sparks lovely memories and helps me create a romantic atmosphere. You can hug, kiss and touch as much as you like, the more the better!


Engaged couple with their dog smiling at the camera. Captured on film by Camilla Arnhold Photography


Most people feel awkward in front of the camera to begin with so I have some tricks up my sleeve to make you feel more relaxed. Usually walking and talking helps everyone feel more at ease and after the first few minutes you will have forgotten that I am there.
During your engagement shoot you will discover that it’s actually quite fun having your photo taken and when you see the beautiful results it will give you even more confidence in your wedding photography.


couple sitting amongst the heather on St Catherines Hill Dorset

What shall we wear?

This is a question I’m often asked and the answer is ‘whatever you feel great in’. Some people love to dress up for the shoot whilst others prefer to keep it casual. If you like you can bring a change of clothes along to switch from casual to formal.
As long as you feel gorgeous in what you’re wearing you will look gorgeous on camera. 


Venice engagement shoot. Gay couple sitting on bridge overlooking canal in Venice

Shall we bring anything?

I love it when my couples get creative with their shoots. Feel free to bring along some bubbly, a picnic or whatever else you think might work. Just let me know beforehand if you’re thinking of using any props. I usually have a blanket with me if we are going into nature so that you can sit down for some photographs.


Happy couple in the grounds of Magdalen College Oxford


I always ask for feedback on your photos. This helps me understand which ones you love and which you’re not so keen on. This means that on your wedding day I will be able to focus on type of shot that you like and steer clear of any angles you don’t.


Couple laughing in front of Goodwood House Sussex on their engagement shoot

An engagement shoot if a fantastic way to get used to being photographed and spend some romantic time together.
If you’re interested in an Engagement Shoot please get in touch