I am a big fan of engagement shoots. A lot of couples think they are a waste of time and money but actually, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Engagement shoots play such an important roll in your wedding photography for many reasons. 1, they give you the opportunity to get to know your photographer ahead of your wedding which is so important; 2, they give you a taster of what to expect on the day; 3, your photographer gets to test out certain poses and ideas which will give them a vital insight into your personalities and what approach you will feel comfortable with on the day; 4, they are a lot of fun and will help you to feel more relaxed and at ease in front of the camera and lastly; 5, they give you the chance to feedback to your photographer about what you liked and didn’t like so, when it comes to the main event, you will get the very best out of your wedding photos.

When it came to my wedding, I turned down an engagement shoot with my photographers because at the time I believed it was an extra cost that wasn’t necessary. Part of me regrets this now. I love my wedding photos but I do think we would have benefited from a pre-wedding shoot just so Bob and I knew what to expect and could provide feedback on the sort of photos we definitely wanted to make sure were captured.

I know what you may be thinking…………..this is all well and good if you have the spare cash right? I mean we’re not made of money especially when we are saving our socks off to pay for a wedding.

I agree with you.

It’s so easy for me to write the above when I’m not the one who is saving. But! Before you right off this advice completely, a lot of excellent photographers now offer the option of a pre-wedding/engagement shoot as part of their wedding packages so keep this in mind when you are searching for a photographer. If it’s not included then speak to your photographer about it and you never know, you might be surprised at how much they charge.

With all of this in mind, we have a relaxed, fun and very happy engagement shoot to share with your lovely faces today. I’m extra excited about sharing this one because we are going to be featuring these guys wedding on Monday next week so you will be able to see with your own eyes the benefit of an awesome engagement shoot.

Captured by Livvy Hukins and featuring the lovely Anja and Mike, here is their gorgeously informal beach side engagement shoot….

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How did you guys meet…

We were set up by friends through My Single Friend – although as we’re both from Kent, it turned out that we had quite a few friends in common anyway!

What did you do for your first date…

We went to a pub in East Dulwich, where I lived at the time.

Who proposed and how…

Mike proposed whilst we were on holiday in New York – we went for a hike in a town called Coldspring, just north of Manhattan. It was pouring with rain and I was worried Mike was hating it as it had been my idea and he was being very quiet – turns out it he was just extremely nervous!

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Can you tell us a bit about your wedding plans…

Our priorities were having all of our friends in one place, good music, good food and plenty of booze! Our loose overall theme was a relaxed, fun, country, bake-off vibe!

Tell us a bit more about your engagement shoot…

I had first come across Livvy in a local magazine given to me at my wedding dress shop, and having seen her website, loved the style of her photography – relaxed but professional. I really wanted to avoid any filters that would look dated in a few years time, and seeing as neither of us is very good as posing for photos, took up her offer of a free engagement shoot to help us get used to being photographed before the big day! We both had happy childhood memories of spending time at Camber Sands, and just had to cross our fingers for nice weather – despite the wind, we got our wish!

Lastly, if you could choose any festival to go to, which one would it be and why…

Mike’s favourite – Glastonbury! Something for everyone

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