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What do engagement photos cost?

Not only are engagement photos a beautiful way to commemorate your engagement, you can use these photos for your save-the-date cards and to display at your wedding. Best of all, your engagement shoot will prepare you for your wedding photography and give you a bit of time to get to know your photographer more and ask any questions you may have - if using the same photographer of course! The average cost of an engagement shoot in the UK is £200, however there are quite a few considerations that can affect the price, and length, of the shoot. Find out more about wedding photography prices more generally.

Minimum You Should Pay £150
Maximum You Should Pay £250
Average £200
Average Range £150-£250

 

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Do I Need to Use the Same Photographer for Both Engagement and Wedding Shoots?

You do not need to use the same photographer for both your engagement and wedding photos, although many couples like to do so to help keep a certain cohesiveness and aesthetics to their photos. Some photographers go for more of a light, airy look, whereas others like to use geometric elements and high saturation, so your engagement photos and wedding photos could potentially clash if you used photographers with distinctly different styles. For some that may not be an issue, but if you are looking to frame a few of each of your engagement and wedding photos in your home, that clash could become more apparent. Related to this, it's important to make sure you are choosing photographers with experience with engagement and wedding photography, rather than one with experience quoting for product photography pricing, or a different discipline which involves a different skill set.

Many couples like the experience of working with the same photographer as it gives them time during the engagement shoot to develop a bit of a repertoire and begin to feel more comfortable, which helps especially when it comes time for the wedding. Some photographers will offer a discount for booking both shoots with them, so that is always an advantage, especially if you have found a skilled photographer whose style you love.

Another advantage of using the same photographer is that you will be prepared for your wedding photos and will have a better understanding of what to expect; you will see the level of interaction and direction that your photographers give and learn to work with that. You can also ask for some tips and pointers for how to pose on your wedding day, although they will often guide you on the day itself, but it can be helpful to be ahead of the game!

What Do I Wear for an Engagement Shoot?

So many couples are stumped wondering what to wear for their engagement shoot. Here some of the best tips of what you and your partner should wear to get the most out of your engagement photos:

Wear Clothes that Are You!

It is important to wear clothing in which you are comfortable, so your natural self shines through. If you do not typically dress up, don’t force yourself into wearing something that isn’t who you are, which could leave you feeling uncomfortable and awkward - all of which will be seen in your photos.

Avoid Matching, But Do Complement

Choose complementary colours when picking out what you are going to wear. Avoid anything that is too patterned as it can be quite distracting in your photos. Many couples like the idea of matching, but it is a bit dated now and complementary colours will help create a contrast that is lovely to look at.

Think Pastels, Cool Colours & Neutrals

These colours ensure that the focus is on each of you, not what you are wearing! Bright, vivid colours are another distraction and can look a little tacky in engagement photos. Colours like orange don’t always come out well on camera, so it is best to avoid them.

Think of Your Colour Scheme

The best way to decide on colours is to think of the colours you have selected for your wedding. You may have bright colours, but you can always opt for the pastel versions of these or stick with neutrals so that there is a beautiful cohesion between your engagement and wedding photos. A lovely way to play with your colour scheme in your engagement photos is for you to select a colour and alternate between who wears it; for example, if you have chosen a pastel yellow colour, you can wear something pastel yellow for the first half of the photos and then switch so that your partner is wearing that colour for the remainder of the shoot.

Add an Accessory

With engagement photography costs as opposed to drone photography prices, it's the close up shots which are a really valuable part of the shoot. Think along the lines of a statement necklace piece or a scarf to provide a pop of colour without being overly distracting. Of course, don’t forget that your ring needs to be in pristine condition to get a few great photos of it. Limit the amount of accessories you wear on the hand with your ring, as they can take away from the ring.

Choose Classic Over Trendy

A timeless, classic outfit will never go out of style, whereas trends are constantly in and out. How many photos have you looked back on and thought ‘what was I wearing?!’? You will want to avoid having that feeling a few years after your engagement shoot, so sticking to more classic outfits will ensure that your photos withstand the test of time!

Have Two Outfits Maximum

Many couples like to switch up their outfits during a shoot, but the maximum number you should have is two. You could lose precious shooting time if you are on a timed shoot by changing your outfit too often, and these photos are to highlight the love between you and your partner.

Dress for Your Body Type

Whether you are exploring engagement photography or commercial photography rates, it's important to think about the parts of your body you would like to accentuate and find clothing that does this and fits just the way it should. Here are some ideas for different body types:

  • Pear-Shaped: cinch your waist perfectly with an A-line silhouette which flares out at the bottom.
  • Apple-Shaped: choose something that is more A-line that gradually flows from from the waist out to the legs.
  • Busty: opting for a sweetheart or scoop neckline will ensure that you are supported, but doesn’t make you feel trapped either; these styles will ensure the focus remains on your face as opposed to your bust.
  • Small Chest: seek out textured necklines and ruching, which can help to make your chest area look more full.
  • Plus Size: empire waist dresses are great as they place the most emphasis on the smallest portion underneath your bust area and create a slender silhouette.

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Factors Affecting Price of an Engagement Shoot

Time

Most engagement shoots are about an hour to two hours, on average. However, there are quite a few things that can affect the overall time and therefore the price. If you wish to change your outfit, this can add more time, as does travelling to a location of your choice. Most photographers will have a set price that includes a certain mileage radius and anywhere that exceeds that will have a surcharge for travel. You will find that most photographers either charge by the hour or a set package with a set number of hours; if you do wish to use your own location over a studio and you want outfit changes, speak to your photographer about adding those onto your package to see how it impacts your cost.

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Indoors/Outdoors

Making the decision between your engagement shoot at the studio or at a location of your choice can be quite difficult! The advantage of shooting at a studio is that regardless of the weather, your shoot won’t be affected; however, shooting at a location, such as where you met or a beautiful field, can help tell a story and create a better aesthetic.

Experience

A skilled engagement shoot photographer is going to cost more than an amateur! Always do your research and check out portfolios prior to settling for a photographer. Not everyone’s style is the same, so being able to view a portfolio will make sure you are a good match for each other. Reading reviews and testimonials is also a great way to get a feel of who your photographer is and how they work. Don’t be shy to ask your photographer about their experience with engagement shoots to get a sense of how much they know and the level experience they have.

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Location

London photographers are typically the most expensive, so if you are able to find an experienced photographer that is local to you, you can expect to see a difference in price. Remember if you are hiring a photographer that is not local to you that you are likely going to be paying travel fees.

Photo Format

The way in which you receive your photos can influence price. The majority of photographers will upload your images to a private online gallery that is password protected for you and your family to view; from there you can select images that you would want to purchase for prints, save-the-date cards, etc. If you would prefer to have them on a CD or on a USB, you can discuss whether this is an available option with your photographer, although they are likely to charge an additional fee for this.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Your Engagement Shoot

For the most natural looking photos that capture each of your personalities, follow these do’s and don’ts on the day of your engagement shoot:

Do’s:

  • Make eye contact with your partner! We know it may feel a little funny at first, but try to forget about everything else around you so that the photos show the love between each of you.
  • Move around rather than remaining posed in one position.
  • Chat with your partner; talk about lighthearted things which will help keep your photos looking natural.
  • Trust your photographer. While it is so easy to want to recreate shots you may have seen in magazines or on Pinterest, you may be limiting your photographers creative abilities and you may miss out on a chance for a photo opportunity that would have been better than you imagined! Let your photographer guide you and trust that they want your photos to look as good as you want them to.
  • Coordinate your colours to help create cohesion between your engagement and wedding photos. Many people opt for colours that are going to be used at the wedding. Alternatively, if you want to display your photos in your home, you may have a certain decor you would like the photos to blend with.

Don’ts:

  • Make eye contact with the camera - which is so hard to do! But doing this can make your photos seem staged and less natural.
  • Let your arms hang by your side, which makes you look stiff; instead, hold hands or give each other a hug.
  • Be scared of coming across as silly! Let your personality shine through and this will be captured in the photos.
  • Worry about the way you look. Of course, you are going to want to look your best, but thankfully editing can fix anything that you may not love as much. The key is to relax, enjoy yourself, and to let the photographer do all the hard work!

Luckily, your engagement photos cost a fraction compared to your wedding photos, but are a great way to get comfortable with your photographer and capture some beautiful images for your save-the-date cards, wedding album and to help decorate your home. Your engagement shoot will help relieve some of the initial awkwardness you may feel being photographed, helping you relax more so that you are ready for the big day!