I have had a photoshoot or two where my clients have clearly been very uncomfortable in front of the camera.
This is something that often happens with people who are not used to having their photos taken, and it may take a while before they relax and start acting naturally. This alone is reason enough to “practice” for the big day – and here are some more good ones.
To help them get to know you, the photographer
In addition to helping clients get comfortable in front of the camera, the engagement shoot is also a great time to get familiar with you, the photographer. Every photographer has a different style of directing and photographing people, and this is a great opportunity for them to get comfortable with your process. Most engagement shoots last an hour or two, sometimes longer depending on the couple and you, and this gives both parties plenty of time to interact, socialize, and chat with each other. This also works on the flip side, where you also get to know the couple. As photographers, we are often looking to understand and learn the relationship dynamics of our clients – how they interact as a couple and what is their comfort level in front of the camera. This way it will help you know how to get the best moments and interactions on the wedding day.
Documenting the relationship
Wedding photos capture one of the most important moments of a couple’s life together. But often, the stress and tension of planning the perfect wedding, and the perfect day, gets in the way of capturing authentic imagery of their relationship. The engagement shoot is a great opportunity to highlight the true personality of a couple in a more relaxed and natural environment. A good tip for both you and your clients is to choose a location that is comfortable, and is a meaningful reflection of the client’s personality. This add a personal touch to the photos, and showcases them in a relaxed environment, that is a true reflection of their personality as a couple.
Uses for the engagement photos
Most clients who choose engagement or pre-wedding photos tend to use the photos as save the date cards, guest sign-in books, wedding website setup, or even placing them around the wedding reception area as part of the reception decor. This gives their wedding guests a chance to get to know the couple more intimately.
Source: Digital Photography School