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Importance and uses of an engagement shoot.
By: Joe & Linda Crosby

Are you undecided whether or not to have an Engagement (E-Shoot) done? Before you decide, be sure to read about some of the reasons for having one done professionally.

Through the years, we have discovered that when an E-shoot is done, the entire wedding experience is enhanced. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, is for both you and the photographer to gain knowledge – not only knowledge of photography, but also of each other. You will discuss desired poses, uniqueness and or challenges of your chosen venue, your personal style, your proposed timeline, and many other things. This is also a great opportunity for rapport building with your photographers and to overcome any camera shyness that you two may have. Remember you will be spending most of your wedding day with your photographers (on average 8-10 hours of your day) -- during this time they are capturing your every move. It is key to begin building this important relationship early in the process. By interacting with your photographers at your formal shoot, you will not only gain knowledge about posing, lighting, angles, and many other things, but you will also exchange ideas about your dreams and expectations for your special day.

Unlike the engagement shoot of the past, today there are multiple uses for the images. An E-shoot, as referred to by most photographers was historically done to capture a single image to be sent to the newspaper. However, today the usages are only limited to your photographer’s skill and your imagination! One popular use is in a “Save-The-Date” announcement. These announcements can take on a variety of shapes and styles – they can range from a small post card, to a note card, a bookmark, or even a 4x6 refrigerator magnet. This is an area where you can use your own creativity and go to one of the many websites that offer these products or use your photographer’s expertise to create a unique card for you and order it through their printers. Sometimes one favorite image and three or four smaller images are combined for a unique look on the card/magnet. The use of digital imaging has opened up a whole new world to the brides of today.

Another popular idea is to use a 5x7 or 8x10 image in a large signing mat where the guests will write messages and sign for you to frame later. If using the 8x10 size, you can again be a little less traditional and ask your photographer to compose a collage with two or three images so you get more use of the many great images taken at your E-shoot. If you have one absolute favorite, but want to be unique, ask for special edging or other effects to be applied or have it converted to black and white. Using a signing mat requires a little forethought for the day of the wedding – decide ahead of time where and how the large matted photo will be displayed so people will see it and sign it, and remember to purchase the right pens to use for signing the special matte surface – usually fine point permanent pens.

Your photographer can also be a great resource for creativity and to collaborate on ideas. Perhaps you want an 8x10 or 11x14 image displayed on the sign-in table. his can again be a single image or it can be a unique collage using anywhere from 5 to 10 your favorite images from the E-shoot. It is typically then framed and displayed next to the guest book and later hung on the wall and cherished for a lifetime. If you decide upon this option, be sure to have a frame stand, as most larger frames holding collages are meant for hanging, not standing on a table.
What about a photo guest book? This functional book not only gives your venue a personalized uniqueness while allowing you a way to utilize 10-15 images from your E-shoot. The trend seems to be catching on -- it gives the guests something to look at, and chat about while the formal wedding shoot is taking place.
Still other uses are emerging all the time – many printing companies can use an image within the design of the invitation making your invitation even more personal. Images can be used and imprinted on wedding favors such as coasters, wine glasses, beer steins, mugs, and many other mediums. Take the time to explore the options and talk to your photographer about their suggestions – use their experience and combine it with your individual style.

After becoming engaged, the sooner you choose to have your E-shoot done, the more advantage you gain. It will give you time to use these images in many different ways to enhance your wedding day with personal details.

For more information or questions, contact us at:
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