Engagement Photography & Why it Matters

June 22, 2018

London Engagement Photography

As a wedding photographer I’ve had the pleasure and honour of being witness at numerous special days and, more and more I’ve noticed that the weddings where the photography has turned out the best (in my eyes!) are the ones where the couple have had an engagement shoot with me beforehand…

So much so, that I’m considering making it a pre-requisite for my doing their photography on the wedding day itself!

This may sound like a bold statement but here are 6 reasons behind why I think you should be booking an engagement shoot with your Photographer!

London Engagement Photography

Reason # 1

Couples who have invested in engagement photography are more relaxed in front of the camera on their wedding day and this means that instead of worrying about being photographed they get on with enjoying their wedding day, which is surely what all couples want!

London Engagement Photography
Julie Michaelsen Photography

Reason # 2

Couples trust me more because I’ve already given them a preview of my services which means they can just relax in the knowledge that I have the photos covered. Once my couples have done an engagement shoot with me they know how I work and they know what to expect – it’s one less thing for them to worry about. They know that I know how to make them look good, natural and like themselves. 

London Engagement Photography

Reason # 3

An engagement shoot means that we have spent a further hour or so in each others company meaning that I know the couple better as individuals and as a couple. This is so important to me as a photographer because it means that there is an established connection and in my mind, that is so integral to successful wedding photography.

It means that I know how they connect as a couple, whether they connect on a ‘touchy feely’  level or more on a jokey level.  I’m extremely intuitive when it comes to people and can sense whether a couple feel comfortable or not. After their engagement photography my couples know that I’m not going to make them feel awkward on their big day, which really is the one day in their lives where all they want to feel is comfort, familiarity and confidence.

Once we have this connection it also means that I can spend more of my energy on the actual wedding day, creating beautiful imagery as apposed to spending a lot of my energy trying to make them comfortable in front of the lens, we’ve already gotten past that hurdle and its so much more relaxed for all involved! 

London Engagement Photography
fine art engagement shoot by Julie Michaelsen Photography

Reason # 4

I really do believe that in life generally (but also during the wedding planning process) that taking time out to appreciate the one you love is so important… Life can be so short and fleeting and what better way to spend an hour than taking some time out from to-do lists and just be together. Booking some engagement photography is the perfect way to do this!

Looking into each others eyes, kissing and embracing, living in the moment and celebrating that you have found each other… So many of my couples come away from their engagement shoot saying they feel even more loved up and appreciating each other. Life these days moves so fast so being asked by an external party to stop, close your eyes and hold on to each other is an excellent excuse to be present in the moment together.

London Engagement Photography
An elegant black tie fine art engagement shoot in Mexico

Reason # 5

From a practical perspective I encourage my Brides-to-be to arrive at the engagement shoot after having had a hair & make-up trial as it means that you’ll be able to see how it looks on camera which may be helpful in making some decisions for the big day. A Bride recently decided on an ‘up do’ after a loose blow dry felt unmanageable and went everywhere during our engagement shoot!

London Engagement Photography
Fine art pre-wedding shoot in Kensington, London by Julie Michaelsen Photography

Reason # 6

They really are fun!

Not one of my numerous engagement shoot couples have come away saying it was a bad experience! Why must everything in life be so serious? Where is the frivolity? Where’s the fun? Getting married is of course serious business but it’s also one of the most exciting times in your life and believe firmly in celebrating that! 

Also it’s so unlikely that you’ve done this together as a couple, I really think documenting your everyday lives together is just as important as the milestones of your relationship. Couples these days so rarely have more than the odd selfie together which seems such a shame, that’s why an engagement shoot is such a lovely thing to do. It also means you can use the images on your wedding day itself.

A few of my recent couples have used framed prints as the table names at their wedding which is such a lovely personal touch! They also make really great gifts for family members who have perhaps gone the extra mile for you on your wedding day…

Reason # 7

Engagement Photography is a great idea because couples these days so often don’t have beautiful photos of the two of them together (apart from their wedding photos) and I think that is such a shame.  Engagement Photography may seem like an indulgent expense but its so much more than just a few pretty photos, its documentation of your lives, your journey together. These engagement photos as well as your wedding photographs become family heirlooms which future generations will treasure. 

As a Dane the concept of ‘hygge’ has been deeply ingrained within my upbringing. It refers to a feeling of cosiness, of contentment, of celebrating the ordinary and there is nothing more ‘hyggelig’ than the thought of my couples showing their future children these photos and their kids seeing their parents or grandparents ‘when they were young and cool’ and in love… 🙂

Fine Art Spring Engagement Shoot London


If you’d like more information on how to prepare for your engagement shoot head over HERE to read more!