Five Reasons You Need an Engagement Shoot

During the initial meeting, one thing that you should discuss with your clients is the engagement photo shoot. A great time to do so is after the first 15 minutes when you’re getting to know each other, and right when you transition into talking about photography. Start by asking, “Have you guys thought about doing an engagement session?”

This is an excerpt from our Wedding Workshop Part One | Communication, Planning, and Ecstatically Happy Clients. To see the entire workshop, click here.

Note: Some photographers add an engagement shoot into their packages, but a built-in engagement session tends to be undervalued in terms of its price and client perception. Sometimes clients would ask for it to be taken out to save money, but the engagement shoot is an incredibly important part of the process and very valuable in many ways.

These are five reasons why an engagement photo shoot is valuable, and sharing these reasons with your clients will help them see the value in it as well.


1. Great Images

When your clients book an engagement shoot with you they will be able to get great images. You can tailor an entire session around them, their personalities, and their mood board. As you explain this to them, show them gorgeous images of previous engagement photo shoots that you’ve photographed and they will want these for themselves.



An engagement shoot helps build a stronger relationship with you and your clients. It will build trust in you as a photographer and it’ll be easier to communicate with the couple on the wedding day since you’ve worked together prior to it. This will lead to improved wedding day imagery.



An engagement shoot will help your clients understand posing. At the beginning of every session, we cover the foundation posing framework. This is where we educate our clients on how to pose, giving them guidance so that they will be more comfortable in front of the camera and know exactly what to do.



Before an engagement shoot, instruct your clients to create a mood board so you can tailor the shoot to their vision and what they want in terms of the activities, the style, and the look.

After the photo shoot, can can discuss with your clients the images that they loved and the ones that they didn’t, so that you’ll know going into the wedding day what their vision is and they can be aligned with yours.



All of the reasons above end up improving the wedding day imagery for your clients, and you and your clients will have a stronger relationship when the big day comes. You won’t be a stranger just showing up on their wedding day, as you’ll already have  rapport and that will help them stay relaxed in front of the camera. Your clients will also better understand posing so that your limited time on a wedding day will produce many more solid images, as  you’ll be able to move in and out of poses quickly because your clients will already be attentive to and understand the little details.

Essentially, you will have a better vision of everything going into the wedding day, so you’ll be able to deliver a better product for your client.



When you educate your clients on these things, they will always see the value in an engagement photo shoot, and most of the time, they will book the engagement session in addition to their wedding package.

If you want to learn more about wedding photography and how to create ecstatically happy clients, check out our Wedding Workshop  Part One here. Gain access to this workshop and so much more by becoming an SLR Lounge Premium Member here.


The Initial Meeting

Prepping for the Engagement Talk Through

Engagement Shoot Prep & Communication

Prepping for the Wedding Day Talk Through

Wedding Day Preparation & Communication


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