Engagement Photoshoots: Are they A Necessity?

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If you recently got engaged, you may have noticed that engagement photos are pretty popular. You may be wondering to yourself, “Do we really need engagement photos?” So today, I’m going to chat about what engagement photoshoots are, how they go down, what they’re used for, and ultimately, whether or not they’re necessary in your wedding planning journey. 

Engagement Photoshoots: What Are They?

Engagement photos have been around a long time. They were originally used to announce a couple’s engagement in the newspaper, and looked much more like a stiff “one and done” than anything that we see today. With the rise of social media, couples have started booking photographers for full-on photoshoots either during the proposal or shortly after. 

How do engagement photoshoots go down?

The engagement photoshoot process is similar to any other photoshoot where you’re hiring a professional photographer. You inquire with one–or several–photographers that you’re interested in, then choose one to photograph the session. You collaborate on the style, the location, the outfits, etc. Typically, engagement photoshoots are either combined with a surprise proposal, so that both the proposal and photoshoot are a total surprise to the other half of the couple, or they’re planned in the weeks following the proposal. 

What are engagement photos used for?

Primarily, engagement photos are used to announce your engagement on social media. They’re also extremely handy to have for wedding stationary like save-the-dates and wedding invitations. If your families are more on the traditional side, consider sending an engagement photo to your hometown newspaper to print your engagement announcement (check with your photographer about this first for print rights) or send your family a few prints to hang in their homes.

Are engagement photos necessary?

At the end of the day, engagement photos are definitely not a necessity. But, they are a great addition to your wedding journey for a number of reasons. Keep reading to learn why I usually recommend engagement photos to my couples!

They’re a Great Head Start in Finding Your Wedding Photographer

Getting engagement photos is a wonderful, celebratory way to kickstart your wedding planning. Plus, the engagement photoshoot is a great way to vet a potential wedding photographer. If you love your engagement photo experience and the resulting photos, hire that photographer for your wedding! If not, you now have the opportunity to find someone else before it’s too late. 

They Make Your Invitation Suite Stand Out

Having a gallery of beautiful, professional imagery makes creating your save-the-date and other pre-wedding stationary so much easier. Bonus: plan your engagement outfits or location to match your wedding colors. That way, your wedding theme is consistent throughout your entire invitation suite! 

Treat Yourselves

Have you and your significant other ever had a professional photoshoot for just the two of you? Trust me, you’ll want memories from before you were married, and this is the perfect time to capture them! Besides, if you don’t get a photoshoot done now, when will you have the opportunity to again? Having a big milestone, like an engagement, is the perfect excuse to splurge and treat yourselves!

Your Hype Girl

As a seasoned engagement & wedding photographer, I can genuinely tell you that engagement photoshoots are an absolute blast! Not only will a professional photoshoot get you hyped up for your wedding (I’m the ultimate hype girl, if I do say so myself), but it’ll also make you feel like wedding planning has truly begun! It’s pretty much a pre-wedding planning party that also happens to be photographed!

A Bonding Experience

Over the next several months of wedding planning, you and your fiance may feel the stress of planning such a momentous event. Sometimes, this can put a strain on your relationship. An engagement photoshoot is an amazing bonding experience for the two of you, and creates lasting memories for you both to rely on during the (sometimes trying) wedding planning process. Plus, it’ll help you both feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera for when the big day arrives! 

Although I would argue that engagement photos are a great way to celebrate the beginning of your lives together as a couple, it’s 100% okay if you opt out of engagement photos! Maybe they don’t fit in your budget, or maybe you simply don’t feel comfortable being photographed. Remember that whatever you decide, it will be the right choice for you. 

I hope that reading a bit more about engagement photos and why I love them helped you decide whether or not an engagement photoshoot is right for you! Want to stay up to date? Follow me on Instagram to see more behind-the-scenes and even more gorgeous wedding photos! Want to see some more engagement photoshoots? Click here to head to my blog with several stunning engagement photo galleries!

Looking for an engagement photographer in the Southern California area? Click here to book me. 

Best of luck with planning your wedding! 

Xoxo Shelby

About Me

I am a wedding & portrait photographer based in Southern California and beyond!

I started at the young age of 16 in my hometown of Orange in Orange
County, California. As my photography business grew and I got married,
life took me to the Chino Hills area, making me more centered to all
major Southern California counties.

Here on the blog, you will
see a variety of posts regarding tips, sessions & weddings, and my
personal life of being a wife, mother, and business owner. To learn more
about me or to see more daily adventures, follow me on Instagram and/or

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