Sydney Wedding Photographer


4 Reasons why an Engagement Shoot is a good idea.


Hi, I'm mandy.

I'm so happy you found the Sugar Tree blog. Here you'll find posts from recent sessions, personal ramblings and tips and tricks on anything from taking better selfies, to how to get great snapshots of your kiddo's. Stay a while and say hello!

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Is an engagement shoot necessary header image. Couple photos collage

He finally proposed and you’re planning your wedding!!! Cue the excitement… and all the planning! You have definitely been looking at wedding photographers (that’s how you came across this blog post 😊) and you’ve started to notice that some photographers include a complimentary engagement shoot in the package or offer it as an add on. And your first thought might be – is that really necessary? You might get your man to agree to one set of photos because it’s a significant day that you want to remember forever, but how could you possibly get him to agree to two? 🫣

A wedding is one of the most significant milestones in your relationship to date. It is a day that will be remembered forever, and every couple wants to capture those precious moments to relive them over and over again. So it’s a no-brainer that you’ll get wedding photos taken.

But before the big day arrives, there’s another important photography experience that many couples often overlook: the engagement shoot. This pre-wedding photoshoot is where the wedding photography experience really begins. It’s the ideal opportunity for you as a couple to get comfortable in front of the camera, ease all that anxiety about looking awkward, get to know your photographer, and walk away with gorgeous photos to remember this exciting part of your life together. After all, it’s not everyday you get engaged and if you’ve been waiting any length of time for that ring, you want to make the most of your big moment. So let’s dive right in as I walk you through a few of the benefits of having an engagement shoot as part of your wedding photography experience.

An Engagement Shoot helps you feel comfortable in front of the camera

For most people, being in front of the camera can be an uncomfortable experience. Even though we all have cameras on our phones and we’re constantly in candid photos or selfies, most people aren’t used to being photographed by a professional photographer. And being photographed with a “proper camera” is often a daunting experience, even for the most seasoned selfie taker!! It’s understandable; And this is where the engagement shoot comes in. I like to tell my couples that this shoot is a practice run for your wedding day. It’s a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera, get used to your photographer’s direction, joke around, have fun and realise this whole photoshoot thing is actually quite fun!

Engagement shoot - Black and white image of engaged couple
couple laughing at engagement shoot. Colour bride to be in red dress and groom to be in Black suit
Couple at engagement shoot in blues and neutrals

Build a relationship with Your Photographer

Building a good rapport with your photographer is key to ensuring your wedding day photography is a stress free experience. After all, your photographer will be with you even more than your spouse on your big day, capturing some of the most intimate and personal moments of your life. By having an engagement shoot, you start building that relationship with your photographer before your big day arrives. You’ll get to know them better, learn how they work, explain any of your insecurities (because we all have those) and understand their style of photography. The more comfortable you feel with your photographer the more relaxed, authentic and candid your photo’s will be.

engagement shoot couple

At your Engagement Shoot you will get to Know Your Photographer’s Style

Every photographer has a unique style, and it’s key to find one who has a style that makes your heart sing. By having an engagement shoot, you’ll get to interact up close and personal with your photographer and get a real feel for how they work and how you get along. You’ll see how they use light, angles, and poses to create beautiful images. This will help you understand what to expect on your wedding day. It’s also impossible to like everyone we meet and whilst you might love the images a certain photographer takes, your personalities might clash. For example If you’re a bride who likes to be updated on a regular basis, you will struggle to work with a photographer who is not very good at replying to emails or texts.

Engagement shoot - close up of engagement ring and bride-to-be's face
engagement shoot - couple walking hand in hand
Engagement Shoot - ring detail shot. Engagement ring on pink blooms
engagement shoot - couple leaning in for a kiss

An ideal opportunity to create beautiful memories

Finally, having an engagement shoot is an opportunity to create some beautiful memories with your fiancé that you can cherish forever. Your engagement photos will capture your love and happiness, and they will serve as a reminder of the excitement and anticipation leading up to your big day. You can use these photos to decorate your home, create a photo album, or simply look back on them and relive those moments again and again.

engaged couple in distressed brick archway. Engagement shoot
engagement shoot -  black and white close up crop of couple
engagement shoot
engagement shoot
engagement shoot

When I asked Misty, a recent Sugar Tree Photography bride, if she’d be willing to share about her engagement shoot experience this is what she had to say:

My husband and I had no experience with professional photography and were clueless with what we needed to do or how to react in front of a camera. We were a little shy and fairly awkward for the first couple of photos but Mandy quickly made us feel at ease. I’m so grateful we did our engagement shoot first- not just to get a feel for how best to stand, how to pose or how to act but because the time Mandy spent helping put us at ease, explain everything and establish a relationship certainly saved so much stress and time on our big day. An added advantage was that we got to see our photos from the shoot and know that we had made the right choice because the photos were amazing! This meant that on our wedding day itself we were already comfortable with her and confident in ourselves and the photos we would receive as we had gone through the awkward phase prior and could spend all our portrait time at ease knowing we were in good hands with such a great photographer.

You won’t regret it!

Personally I believe having an engagement shoot is a vital part of your wedding photography experience. It’s an opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera, get to know your photographer and how they shoot, not to mention capturing beautiful photos while creating some unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. I believe in it so much that all of my full wedding packages (and a few of the elopement packages) include a complimentary engagement shoot. So, if you’re planning your wedding, and haven’t settled on a photographer yet, let’s chat about your special day and what you envision for your photos
– I can guarantee you won’t regret it!

engagement shoot

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welcome to my blog

I'm Mandy and I'm so happy you found the Sugar Tree blog. Here you'll find posts from recent sessions, personal ramblings and tips and tricks on anything from taking better selfies, to how to get great snapshots of your kiddo's. Stay a while and say hello!

Learn more



The sugar tree Wedding portrait guide

Planning your wedding? I got you girl... Grab your free guide here!

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WEDDING photography portrait GUIDE

Your wedding photography portraits are one of the only tangible memories you will have after your wedding day. These tips will guide you through making decisions to get the best possible wedding photographs on your special day.

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