6 reasons why you should consider an engagement or pre-wedding photoshoot

If you’re camera-shy, an engagement or pre-wedding photoshoot may seem like the last thing you’d want to do, but it could be the warm-up you need to truly shine on the big day. Here’s why you should think about having one…

half-dressed man wearing trousers kissing and carrying woman over water in Scottish loch
BEFORE: Lucy and Cameron had a cinematic engagement photoshoot with photographer Cameron Pagan of Hemera Visuals. “Shooting in one of Galloway’s most remote lochs at sunset was a particular highlight,” he says

1. It helps put you at ease

“I think engagement shoots are a fantastic idea for any couple getting married,” says Cameron Pagan of Hemera Visuals. “First of all, they are a great way to get you feeling relaxed in front of the camera ahead of the big day. I can understand why people are nervous about it but, after the shoot, when they’ve been put at ease, it helps them so much.”

bride and groom in autumn woodland beside waterfall
WEDDING DAY: Hemera Visuals captured Lucy and Cameron just as beautifully on their wedding too

2. It’s a good test-run for the wedding

“I find pre-wedding shoots hugely beneficial,” agrees Aberdeen photographer Zoe Rae Photography. “It allows you to have a trial run of how things will be on the day itself, to get to know your photographer beforehand and feel more comfortable having your photo taken. It’s useful for us too, as we get to learn and observe how the couple interacts and what poses they prefer in their imagery.”

Man kissing woman on cheek
BEFORE: Rachel and Cameron had a laid-back pre-wedding shoot at Aden Country Park with Zoe Rae Photography

3. You get nice couple pics that aren’t just grainy selfies

“The images make for wonderful, personalised save the dates,” suggests Cameron. Even if you don’t use them for that purpose, surely the prospect of having some bonus shots of you together from an exciting time in your lives that aren’t just blurry/blinking/ever-so-slightly inebriated holiday selfies might be enough to convince you?

Bride and groom wearing black leather jackets in garden of a hotel with groom nuzzling bride on cheek from behind
WEDDING DAY: Here’s Rachel and Cameron on their wedding day – 13th July 2019 at Meldrum House in Inverurie – also with photography by Zoe Rae

4. It’s a fun way to get you excited for the real event

“Don’t squeeze it in at the last minute though,” cautions Zoe. “I’d suggest a month before the wedding at the latest. Bear in mind, though, that photographers are usually busy over the summer, so they may not be able to fit you in quite so easily then.”

man and woman walking in grounds of Mar Lodge Aberdeenshire
BEFORE: Eilidh and Glen had their engagement shoot at National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge in Aberdeenshire with Aboyne Photographics behind the lens

5. You can have a framed memento from your favourite place

“If you have a particular place that means something to you, that can be a perfect location,” says Cameron. “Also, I also have a series of local and not-so-local options scouted out in advance so couples get to pick if they feel short on their own ideas,” he adds.

“Couples might choose where they met, or their first date location, and these can be really special,” says Zoe. “Think about the season too; a cosy, autumnal shoot can be breath-taking if you have a spring wedding planned, for instance, to add contrast to your photos.”

back of bride and groom looking out across Aberdeenshire countryside
WEDDING DAY: Eilidh and Glen then tied the knot on 21st September 2019 at the same venue, with Aboyne Photographics on lens duties again

6. They don’t need to take long

Shoots typically take an hour, notes Zoe, and what you’re left with is around 10 shots in total – and hopefully a sense of calm ahead of the big day. “It’s nice to have a shoot where we can take our time,” Zoe says. “Weddings are often quite frantic, so I’d suggest making the most of the more chilled pace!”

Scroll on for some more ‘before and after’ engagement and wedding images by Scottish photographers…

Camerashy Photography

black and white photo of man and woman kissing against a wooden wall
Charline and Lee held their engagement shoot at Carrick Castle Estate, which has plenty of photogenic spots
bride and groom kissing in Scottish landscape
The couple headed back to Carrick Castle for their eventual wedding on 14th July 2018 and the resulting shots are spectacular

Iris Art Photography

man and woman hugging with view of Edinburgh skyline in background
For Edinburgh-based Jasmin and Hugh, the pre-wedding shoot had to be at Arthur’s Seat
bride and groom holding hands and walking amid greenery and festoon lighting
Iris Art Photography was only too delighted to follow the couple to the south of France for their sensational big day on 27th July 2019

Jenniflower Photography

man and woman hugging in woodland setting in Scotland
Arran and Claire enjoyed an idyllic engagement shoot with photographer Jennifer Lorenz of Jenniflower Photography in the woods behind her house
smiling bride and groom with King Charles Spaniel dog on wedding day
The couple’s wedding took place on 24th May 2019 at The Parsonage, and their adorable pooch got involved!

Dave Fallon Photography

man and woman holding hands walking along beach in North Berwick
A pre-wedding shoot at North Berwick with Dave Fallon Photography set Laura and Andrew up nicely for their big day
bride and groom standing by loch and woodland
The bride and groom wed on 17th October 2020 at Loch Drunkie in the Trossachs, against a fiery backdrop of autumn colours

Kalisterscope Photography

man and woman pictured outside in countryside landscape with heads together and happy pet dog
Ruth and Craig took to Mugdock Country Park with their fur baby and Kalisterscope Photography in tow for their pre-wedding shoot
bride and groom standing by wall and hedge in Glasgow
The pair’s wedding at Killearn Church on 16th October 2020 was a day full of smiles

Lee Fletcher Photography

man and woman sitting on a tree trunk kissing in Scottish woodland
Laura and Richard steal a kiss in Falkirk’s Callendar Park, the scene of their autumnal engagement shoot with Lee Fletcher
bride and groom holding hands walking through pretty garden in Scotland
They tied the knot on 1st March 2019 at The Three Kings

The Pend Studio Photography

Pend Studio man and woman posing for engagement shoot in studio and same couple kissing under veil on wedding day
The Pend Studio Photography had bride and groom-to-be Ashley and Bernard come into the studio for their engagement session ahead of their big day, which was on 4th September 2020 at Lady Kitty Gardens

John McDermott Photography

man and woman looking at each other with boats and harbour in background
John McDermott Photography took Michelle and Calum to the harbour in Musselburgh for their engagement shoot
groom hugging bride from behind with boats and harbour in background
They then had their wedding at Joppa Parish Church on 28th July