Five Reasons Why We Believe Engagement Sessions Are Important

So, you’re engaged?!? Congratulations!!! Whether you knew about it or it was completely a surprise, this has to be an exciting time for both of you! After you’ve alerted everyone, shared your engagement story, and alerted social media (we can’t forget social media), the real work begins. Fast forward a few weeks or months and you’ve determined a wedding date, selected a venue, and maybe have even talked to some other wedding professionals. Next on your list may be interviewing and hiring a photographer. Once you meet with your photographer and make the commitment with him or her, you’ve hopefully included this session called an engagement session.

Most may think engagement sessions are photos we can use for our Save the Dates, or just images we can hang around the house. These sessions are actually more than you may think!

The most asked question we get in regards to engagement sessions is when should we take them? Honestly, it depends on what you plan to use them for. If you decide to make Save the Dates out of them then I would suggest at least a year in advance! However, should you decide to use them just as images for the two of you there really isn't a deadline. However make sure you take advantage of the session if your photographer offers it in their package or if it is an additional cost, think about adding it to the package! 

Another very popular question is, We already had engagements done does that affect your pricing if we take that out? 
Our engagement session is complementary, meaning that doesn't affect the cost. It is used as much, much more than just images of he two of you! I would love to share with you just 5 reasons why we recommend the session...

1. You are able to get to know your photographer.

     The engagement session is the perfect opportunity to spend some time with your photographer before the wedding day. Let’s face it, on the wedding day there are so many things that happen – hopefully all good of course. Having a relationship with your photographer after having taken engagement photos, will allow you a level of comfort and trust since he or she will be the one wedding professional that is around you for the entire wedding day. In addition to the relationship, it becomes a win-win for both you and the photographer because you will receive images that you can use for your save-the-dates, wedding website, or wedding day display. Your photographer also gets to see how you and your fiancé interact with one another, and can better direct you two into natural, flattering, and authentic poses. While these sessions typically have a time-limit with us they are time limitless, and you can accompany that with multiple locations, outfits, or even seasons!

2. You're able to become comfortable in front of the camera.

The number one question that I am asked when a couple starts their session is “Okay, what do you want us to do?” I always answer be yourself! When I begin an engagement session, I let the couple know a few things up front about what to expect in order make them relax, and while it may take a few minutes to get into the swing of things, we always get to the point where their true personalities come alive! The best direction I can give is none at all! I will suggest a few possible poses but for the most part I let my couples decide what they want to do! You could talk about what you did yesterday or talk about the color flowers you want to have on your wedding day! When you are yourselves the images appear 100% more realistic. I may say a few times smile , or give a kiss. But I want  you to make those moves on your own! 

 

 I get it, how often do we take professional photos, right? Probably not often since selfies don’t count, so it’s natural to have a feeling of uncertainty in the beginning. When I begin an engagement session, I let the couple know a few things up front about what to expect in order make them relax, and while it may take a few minutes to get into the swing of things, we always get to the point where their true personalities come alive! On occasion, the groom-to-be is not as thrilled as his future bride is to be spending a portion of his morning or evening openly showing his affection. Consider your wedding photography as an investment in a lifetime of memories. Your ability to relive those moments from the wedding day is most likely what you can expect from your photographer and that’s understandable, so ensuring you are comfortable in front of the camera will add value to your experience in the long run. Trust me!

Sometimes locations are a difficult decision as well. I always recommend choosing a place you love to go or something you love to do! Go the beach if you love sand in your toes, or go bowling! The more fun you are having the less you even know your photo is being taken!

3. Your session can serve as a hair and make-up trial.

​This shoot can also be a practice run for hair and makeup, call up your wedding day hair stylist or make-up artist and explain you would like to have your trial on the date of your engagement shoot, and it will be hard for them to say no, because you'll be photographed with their beautiful art of hair and make-up. 

You will also be able to see what it will look like in images delivered back from us. Sometimes IPhone or Point and Shoot images dont do your make-up or hair justice. Let us process the image the same way your wedding images will be and let that be the test! Some clients may not wear so much make-up or curl their hair normally on an every day basis, so they may feel overwhelmed with the professionals opinion. But almost always after the client sees the images are they happy about the decisions made in the chair at the salon or studio!

4. Your session is complimentary.

We include your engagement session as a complimentary session to booking with us for your wedding. As mentioned before the session allows your photographer to get to know you but also allows for you to become a little less camera shy. You will find out how much it will feel like we aren't even there on your wedding day as we may direct you to a few formal poses but for the most part its about you being you. How you interact with each other on a daily basis is important for us as photographers whether its shy, very outgoing, corny, conservative, or just funny. Those are traits we pick up on as your session unravels. While some engagements take a little planning for place, time, outfits, or props they are meant to be care-free and fun and enjoy time with your fiancé!  

If you by chance already had a engagement session with another photographer or even one a free session at a bridal show. We still recommend having an engagement session with your wedding day photographer. Whomever it may be the styles of direction may vary between photographers, so take advantage of that session to get to know your photographer!

5. Creative photos for you and your fiancé.

How often do you get to do something you really enjoy or be at a place you love to go with a professional photographer? Its a comical questions because their are cameras everywhere nowadays but there is also some truth in it as well! Your session should be all about the two of you! Think of your first date, places you love to go together, the proposal, or even where you first met. Use these locations to tell your story!

 

There are so many unique places to every single couple out there, incorporate them! Your engagement session can be a random park in town, but it can also be somewhere special to the two of you. Some locations that may seem like boring or dull for photos turn out the best because you and your fiancé begin to tell a story, then begin to laugh, and before you know it the photographer says okay, were done. And you sit there and think wait, huh? That whole time you were joking and laughing and being yourself, our cameras snap away and you don't even think about the fact that your being photographed!

So we want you give us as many locations that mean something to you and we will strive our best to capture all those special moments!

We hope this article allows you to think about all the amazing opportunities an engagement session can offer, and hope you will take advantage of yours! We look forward to capturing your unique locations and creating photographs that last a lifetime! 

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