E Session, engagement shoot, pre wedding shoot, are all just different names for the same thing; a chance to get some great images before your wedding day but there can be more to the shoot than meets the eye.
I can’t remember the number of times that I have raised my camera to have couples and mainly the guys (who have been dragged to the shoot) say “I hate having my photo taken.” If this is you or your partner, read on, as the best thing before your wedding day could be an e-shoot.
I find that after a couple have experienced an e-shoot they have a different experience on their wedding day in regard to photography. It’s not common for couples to have experienced a photo shoot together and the notion of being photographed for a whole day can be a daunting thought, especially if you have never had a good photograph taken, you don’t like being in front of a camera and you don’t know what to expect.
What is an E-Shoot
The shoot itself usually takes about an hour at a pre determined location that can be chosen depending on the style of images you are after. After some discussion on the style of shoot, most of our couples go for a more relaxed approach and location like the beach. The location of the shoot will usually have a bearing on the fashion, the make up and the feel of the images.
Typically, a beach shoot will involve casual wear like jeans and top, bare feet and minimal make up and hair styling. In contrast, if you are having a trial make up session for the wedding on the day of the shoot, we may go for a more high fashion shoot at a different location like an urban setting, a hotel foyer, coffee shops etc.
If either of you are at all concerned about having the photos done, the best option is a more relaxed approach like the beach and casual fashions. Other popular locations are parks, bush settings, ocean baths, beach headlands and rocks.
NOTE: If you are going for an outdoor location, have long hair and would like to wear it out, go for it but bring some pins, bands, combs or what you like to manage it if the wind becomes too much of an issue.
What about the Photography
I will always start slowly and with some pretty basic and easy photos until my my couple warm up and realise that the whole thing is fun. It’s usually not long before the laughs are coming, everyone relaxes and the images are looking great. For the shoot, we are mobile and moving from location to location in the one area, just like on your wedding day and making the most of the light and the environment.
Although the bulk of the shoot I will concentrate on photographing the couple, I will always get some individual images to give the future bride and groom a chance to experience what it’s like in front of the camera – solo. Photographing the guys individually is usually a highlight for the girls as they watch their man “work it” ah-la Australia’s next top model.
When to Shoot
I like to plan the e-session at least six months before the wedding for a few reasons including the difficulty in the couple finding time for the shoot and the viewing session as the wedding date approaches.
Being six months out we get a totally different set of images in regard to seasons, weather and temperatures. A set of images in summer will have a totally different feel to a shoot in winter. While the summer images could be the jeans and top, barefoot on the beach, the winter shoot at the same location would be coats, scarves and hats for a completely different look with long shadows and quieter locations.
Time of day for the shoot is not too much of an issue unless you have a particular look you are after. I’ll discuss the options before the shoot and work out a time that suits you.
Being six months out also leaves time to view the photos, order your complementary enlargement and purchase any other prints you may like. It also means we get to meet up a few times before the wedding. These little meetings at the viewing, when you collect prints, the shoot itself all mean there is more familiarity before your wedding day which in turn means a more relaxed wedding and better images on the day.
After the Shoot
It’s normally a week or so later that the couple make it to the studio to view the images and are blown away. This is often the first time that couples have ever seen great photos of themselves and as a couple. Once again, there are usually plenty of laughs – this is a great time.
After picking a favourite image to be enlarged as part of your shoot costs ($100 unless it’s included in your wedding photography collection) you will have the option of purchasing more images but there is definitely no obligation.
Some regular additions to the enlargement include a signing print for the wedding, wall prints for the home, gift boxes with prints for parents, albums or coffee table books.
All in all, the E-Session is about getting some beautiful images for you, providing a great experience that will have you excited about your wedding photography and allaying any fears you may have about being in front of a camera. It’s fun – trust me, I’m a photographer.