The Engagement Shoot-Do you really need one?

I love engagement shoots!  They are a great opportunity to get to know my clients.  They also give us the chance to leisurely shoot in the best light of the day.  That gift is not always available on a wedding day.  But I don’t include engagement shoots in every wedding photography package as they are not always necessary.  I recommend considering your options before booking your engagement shoot.

So is an engagement shoot really for you?  The first thing you want to consider is what you’ll do with the images.  There are several great uses for engagement photos.  Below, are just a few.

  • You’ve chosen the perfect Save the Dates and they have a space for an image of the two of you.
  • You’d like to incorporate the images into the wedding day (photo guestbook, signing board, table numbers, some framed photos as guests enter the ballroom, etc.).
  • You’ve got a wall space in your home that is just begging for a professional photo of the two of you!


If you’ve got a great way to use the images from your engagement shoot, then, of course, you should include one in your wedding package.  If you don’t, you’ll want to consider the other reason you’d book an engagement shoot as part of your wedding photography package.


This may sound counter-intuitive.  But if you and your fiance hate having your photos taken, an engagement shoot is a great idea.  Spending some time with your photographer without the pressure of the wedding day timeline can help you create a relationship that will make you feel more comfortable on your wedding day.  You’ll also get used to being in front of the camera with each other.  Finally, once you see how quick and painless the shoot can be and how great you look in the photos, you’ll actually get excited about your wedding photos!


If you’re completely comfortable in front of the camera and have no use for the images, it may be best to save yourself some money and skip the engagement session.  But if you decide you would like to include an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer, below are a few suggestions I give to my clients.

  • Choose a location that is special to you.  If you’ve never walked through the Boston Public Garden together, it’s probably not the best spot for your engagement session.  On the other hand, if you love fishing together, why not plan the engagement shoot at your favorite fishing spot?
  • Wear clothing that makes you comfortable.  If you are uncomfortable in your clothes, you’ll look uncomfortable in your photos.  Alternately, if what you’re wearing makes you feel great, you’ll look great.
  • Be sure to match each others formality level with your attire.  If you’d like to wear a cute cocktail dress, make sure your fiance is not wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops.
  • Don’t clash colors.  There is no need to be “matchy matchy.”  As a matter of fact, I’d avoid it.  But do make sure the colors you choose look nice next to each other.  If you’d like to make a statement with a loud, crazy pattern then go for it!  If not, it’s best to avoid them.
  • If you decide to include your beloved pet in your engagement session, be sure to bring a friend to watch them when they are not in the shot.
  • Have fun!
About the Author:
Nikki Cole is a professional photographer who captures Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Senior Portraits and other life events. Please contact her to start telling your story!

Leave a Comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *