Featured: Things to think about when planning your engagement shoot

Hi everyone, with it being the first day of Autumn yesterday and the wedding season beginning to quieten down, our engagement shoot session gets into full swing! Here at Graham Crichton Photography, we just love doing engagement shoots. They are always so much fun and it’s a great way to get to know the couple and how they tick. It is also a great chance for you to get to know me too! We have found over the years that the people who have had engagement shoots tend to get much better wedding photographs too, as it gives you a good practice interacting with each other in front of the camera. We tend to spend an hour or two with the couple at their engagement shoot depending on location and of course weather, but unlike weddings with engagement shoots we have the luxury of putting them off if the weather is rubbish 😉 With that in mind I thought I would dedicate this week’s post to a couple of the key things that you should think about when planning your engagement shoot.

Location, Location, Location

We have done engagement shoots all over the place, from the centre of Belfast to picturesque country parks to even clients own homes, so get creative! Don’t just think that because it wouldn’t be an obvious place to have your photos taken that somewhere wouldn’t make for stunning images. Some of the best images Graham has ever taken have been in places that you wouldn’t dream of going normally. Also the reverse can be true, just because a garden is a lovely place to relax doesn’t always make it a great place for photographs. We are always looking to do new and interesting shoots and if we can combine it with a chance to get away in the tent then we don’t mind it being a bit further afield either. Also do a bit of research about your location first – is it quitter in the evening time or first thing in the morning?

planning your engagement shoot

planning your engagement shoot

planning your engagement shoot

Time of year

I know I said in my introduction that this time of year we tend to do a lot of engagement shoots, but we don’t do them exclusively in the autumn. Did you get engaged at Christmas? Why not have a Christmas themed engagement shoot? Or are you happiest on the beach in the hot (ok “warm” it is Northern Ireland after all) summer sun? Then schedule your shoot to reflect that. Love roses? Thinking of having the rose garden at Botanic or at Lady Dixon in your photos? Then make sure its timed for when the roses will look their best. 🙂

planning your engagement shoot

planning your engagement shoot

Appropriate clothing

We tend to spend between one and two hours with a couple on an engagement shoot, so your killer heels may not be the best foot wear choice. Even in the city centre, during shoots there can be a considerable amount of walking about done in those two hours, and no matter how much you love those shoes you will want to throw them in the River Lagan after two hours of walking around in them! Also if you pop along to the engagement shoot gallery on the website, you can see that pretty much all our shoots take place outside and you could well be lying on the ground, sitting up on walls, climbing up trees, or even in the sea. So perhaps your favourite dress is also not the best choice. Think relaxed casual and something that you don’t mind getting a wee bit dirty 🙂

planning your engagement shoot

Props & Pets

We love pets! Why not bring your furry friends with you too?! We also love props! So bring any props with you that you think are unique to you. We had a couple back last year who had carved pumpkins with their wedding date on, they then used their engagement photos as save the dates! The same goes with pets, your furry family members are always welcome alone 🙂 But do check that the location allows pets before hand though, some beaches for instance in the height of summer don’t allow dogs during the middle of the day. You may also not want your furry friend in all of your photographs, so think about what you can do with them too while you are having all of your pictures taken.

If you have any great ideas for your shoot why not drop us a quick message and get it booked in now 🙂

About Graham

Graham Crichton is an award winning professional wedding & portrait photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With 10 years of experience and having photographed hundreds of weddings he has photographed weddings all over Ireland, the UK and abroad.

About Hannah

Hannah Crichton is the principal photographic assistant, blogger and studio manager (and other half of Graham Crichton Photography). Hannah and Graham recently married themselves in Ynysybwl, Wales, where Hannah is originally from. Hannah loves “everything wedding"!



PPANI - Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland


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Graham Crichton Photography,
A110 Portview Trade Centre,
310 Newtownards Road,
Belfast BT4 1HE,
Northern Ireland.

 Phone: 02890 99 77 98

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I don’t think we can say how amazing Graham and Hannah are in this review! But we are so glad we found Graham! We’re not one to pose for photos. Come the wedding day, it felt like a pleasure to have Graham and Hannah at the wedding! Our guests loved them, Graham is fun and enthusiastic, but also discrete!

Stunning wedding photographs at Limepark Cottages

5 / 5

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