What is an Engagement Shoot or Pre-Wedding Shoot?
Engagement shoots or pre-wedding shoots sometimes referred to as Eshoot or Esession are all synonyms. In Toronto and all over North America, it is mainly known as Eshoot. It is the photoshoot couples will plan before their wedding. Usually, pre-wedding shoots are when couples book a photographer to photograph them in a non-wedding setting before the wedding. About 80% of our clients book us for engagement shoots as it gives them a good understanding of how it feels to be photographed and how posing works. It is also a great way to build a relationship with your photographer.
How to find your perfect wedding pre-wedding shoot?
Don’t know what your perfect engagement shoot style is? Don’t worry – we have created this free quiz which can help you make your mind on the type of engagement shoot you may like.
This engagement shoot quiz gives you a profile based on your inputs. Whether you are looking to get a bright and airy fairy tale or dramatic Bollywood shoot, this quiz can help you narrow down your choices.
While planning the pre-wedding engagement shoot, usually couples ask us if we should change outfits or locations. If we do change outfits during the shoot, then how many should we plan? How many different locations should we travel for our engagement sessions?
These are questions which a lot of our Indian brides ask. We thought this would be a great blog topic to educate Alfaaz Photography blog readers. After planning over 300+ e-shoots in the last 8 years in 11 different countries, here are our thoughts on how many outfits and locations you should change in a pre-wedding shoot.
Golden Rule – it’s about your chemistry not what you are wearing!
Engagement shoots should reflect who you are as a couple, not necessarily what you like wearing according to us. When we are photographing couples, we want to photograph their chemistry, their love story, what makes them laugh or the romance. Twenty years from now, it wouldn’t matter what you will be wearing as much as your chemistry.
Our recommendation is to keep change of outfits and/or locations to a minimum. We do not recommend moving from location to location or changing outfits more than once in a 2 to 2.5 hours shoot .
Here are some reasons why we do not recommend multiple outfits on an Indian Pre-Wedding Shoot/Eshoot:
- Avoid comparing – How the human mind works is that we like ourselves in one outfit or one location more than others. Therefore, even if the same photographer photographs the same couple in the same location in different outfits, you may like one set of photos more than others. There may be nothing wrong with the photos but since you prefer one look/outfit over the other, it may ruin your experience.
- Save yourself time – Depending on if you have access to a changing room, if you want to change hairstyle with the second outfit, a lot of time might get used in the change. According to our experience of 8 years of doing and planning engagement shoots, changing outfits or locations can easily take up to 15-30 minutes. If you are planning a two hour shoot, that is 25% percent of the time you are losing. Most photographers in North America, usually offer 2-3 hour engagement sessions in which the time starts from the time we start photographing clients.
- Breaking the momentum – The first 10 to 15 minutes are required by the photographer to get used to couples face angles, lighting and build relationships/teach couples how to pose. Imagine in a 2 hour pre-wedding, right when we start getting good photos and the couple is starting to feel comfortable in front of the camera, we decide to break the momentum and decide to change the outfit or drive to another location. It does break the flow of the eshoot. When you come back with the second outfit, the photographer will need about 5-10 minutes to understand how to photograph that outfit on you in the best lighting (different colors and fabrics react differently to lighting) or new location to get best results.
- Less is more – If you are changing multiple locations and having multiple outfits, you are losing about 20-25% time in that process which gives less time for photographers to create images. Less time can rush your photographer or miss the opportunity to try something more creative or use the best lighting situations. Less is more, we rather deliver 40-60 good images to our clients in a 2-hour shoot instead of delivering more images with less quality.
- Don’t stress yourself – From our experience, the most difficult part of the engagement shoot is finding the right outfits and then a good versatile location. Imagine now having to buy 2 or 3 outfits and matching the jewelry for each outfit, or finding 2-3 locations.
Ways Around to Make it Work Efficiently
From our experiences while we are planning an engagement session or pre-wedding shoot. We rather spend more time photographing you vs the material or the location we are in. However, we understand that sometimes you just can’t pick one look! Here are some efficient ways to make it work.
Here are some things you can do if you really want to have a second look:
- Add additional time – If you really wish to have two different looks or two different outfits, it’s definitely doable! We recommend adding an additional hour or book a totally different session on a different time of the year to incorporate two shoots.
- Plan one look with your photographer and one with a videographer – You can also have a wedding cinematographer concept shoot on a different date, time, location and outfits than your photography engagement shoot. This way you can get some versatility in your photos and videos. Essentially, creating two unique looks if you want.
Pro-Tip – Plan one look with your photographer and one with your videographer!
- Change quickly and keep locations closeby – Look for locations which have easy places to change clothing, avoid changing hair/makeup – maybe just change the color of lipstick! Also plan for locations that are close to each other so you do not lose much time driving to and parking at other locations.
Here is more location where we photographed this photoshoot – Jupiter Florida
For more tips on planning your engagement shoot, see our blog on What to Wear on an Engagement Shoot.