i’m not usually a huge fan of engagement shoots but they are starting to grow on me. one of my issues is that the final result is often simply glanced at in excitement for the real pictures, the ones with the white dress. the canvas wraps, beautiful albums and space on the mantel is all reserved for the wedding pictures. i see e-shoots on blogs that are professionally styled, themed, accessorised with props, signs and headpieces and i am beyond confused as to what it’s all for.
i like to photograph emotion. i want to see something real between people and tell that story, rather than looking for great angles to shoot a posing model. you will never find me shooting fashion, senior portraits or even maternity (but i am in awe of the people who do it well and can send you to some amazing photographers who make art out of some girl just standing there)
engagement shoots are sort of out in milestone limbo where you have two people super thrilled about a day that is not quite here yet. amy and jason are one such couple, so ridiculously, adorably excited for their wedding (and their wedding pictures). amy is also my cousin so i could be brutally honest with her about what i as a photographer want from her and surprisingly, it paid off big time.
now i use e-shoots as teaching ground and practice for the wedding pictures. if i get less pictures but dispense more advice and can then reverse that on the wedding, i’ll be happy. there are things i don’t want to waste time explaining on your wedding and thats what the engagement shoot is for. i can learn my clients, how they move, what makes them laugh, what angles work, how their height difference translates into poses. and they can learn not to do claw-hands and trout-mouth.
it’s win-win, even without the elaborate set-up.