Tuesday April 7 2015.


Hello Bijou girls, I hope you had a fabulous Easter break.  The treats aren’t stopping, today we’ve got the delectable and super talented Julie Michaelsen Photography sharing her top tips for getting the most from your engagement shoot.

julie michaelsen photography

Engagement shoot / Love Shoot / Couple Shoot / Pre-Wedding Shoot whatever you want to call it this phenomenon has swept across our shores from the states and if you’re getting married I really think you should be doing one. Here’s why…

getting the most from your engagement shoot

1. …Allows you to get to know your photographer better…

Choosing a photographer is no easy task, there are so many wonderful photographers to choose from but it’s also a very personal choice.  It’s not just about whether you like their photos or style but also whether you like them enough as a person to allow them access to such a personal and intimate day!  You need to meet them for longer than a couple of minutes to get a sense of how they will be on your big day!

your engagement shoot

2. …Allows your photographer to get to know you as a couple….

Photography is all about connection.  The best photos are the ones where the photographer and the subject have some understanding of each other.  Be it knowledge of the couples history or knowing that they aren’t a particularly ‘touchy-feely’ couple but that they connect in a different way.  Capturing the essence of a relationship is no easy task and the more your photographer can get to know you as a couple the better your images will be.

julie michaelsen photography

3. …Gives you the chance to practice being photographed…

So many people these days say they don’t like to be photographed or feel awkward in front of the camera…the way to take away this fear is by doing a practise run so that you see it isn’t as bad as you thought!  I have a lot of nervous couples and not one has come away saying they hated the experience!  A good photographer will have a variety of little tricks and distractions to help you relax in front of the camera.

getting the most out of your engagement shoot

4. …Forces you to take a romantic moment alone….

Your engagement shoot is an unashamedly hour or so of your life when you are asked to take a step away from all things practical and wedding related and just be together.  Your photographer will hopefully guide you into poses / situations where you feel relaxed and able to just focus on each other.  If you’re getting married you’ve probably been together a while and have experienced various romantic moments and activities but it’s unlikely that you’ve ever had your relationship documented by a professional photographer!

getting the most from your engagement shoot

5….Allows you to celebrate the ordinary…

People often ask me what they should wear for their engagement shoot, and some couples go all out and hire a hair and make up artist with outfit changes etc but I tend to tell my couples to just come as you are (definitely run a brush through your hair and make yourself presentable though!).  For me the engagement shoot is about documenting your ‘every day’ as a couple, not just the big milestones of your relationship but the subtle everyday things you do together, how you interact and react to each other.  A relationship is not just about the wedding, the highlights, it’s about all those inbetween days that make your relationship what it is.  In my mind there is such beauty inherent here and it deserves to be documented for future generations, displayed in your homes and fondly looked back on when you’re old and grey.

engagement shoot adviceGetting the most out of you engagement shoot

I wish I’d had an engagement shoot for all the reasons Julie mentions, if you have the opportunity do it.  And then show us your pretty pics!

Huge thanks to Julie for all her great advice.  To find out more about Julie and see if she’s available to capture your day, head to

Image Credits

Julie Michaelsen Photography

Headshot of Julie captured by Sophie Chadwick Photography