You’ve heard about engagement sessions and probably know a few people that have had one in the past. You’ve likely seen their photos but may be wondering what is the point of it all. Why do you need an engagement session? Won’t your wedding photos be enough?
I’m going to be frank and say no, they won’t. Your wedding is more than just one day – this is the beginning of a new journey that you are embarking on together and the option of documenting that journey is so important. Personally I love engagement sessions (and I say that from both the perspective of a photographer and as a bride) and I’m here to tell you why you should definitely have an engagement session before your wedding.
1) GET TO KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Chances are, you don’t know your photographer beyond a friends referral and a brief meeting before making your booking. Spending time with your photographer at your engagement session is invaluable to get to know how they work with the camera and who they are as a person. When I am doing an engagement session with my couples we talk about everything from their work to their home to their dogs and of course, their upcoming wedding along with probably a few inappropriate jokes about the Real Housewives of the OC. From my perspective, the engagement session allows me to get to know what is important to them and it works in reverse as they get to know me.
2) GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE CAMERA AND TECHNIQUES
Let’s face it – most people don’t spend much time in front of a professional photographers camera so having an engagement session is a great way to know how that feels, without the stress of wedding timelines. Having an engagement session helps you understand what it really means to be photographed professionally and once you’ve seen the resulting photos, you’ll have a better idea of how your photographer goes from the photograph being captured to being delivered to you. This is so helpful for you to see how professional photography is more than just a good camera, but also about good lighting, a relaxed and friendly approach and then all the magic that happens in the editing room.
3) SEE YOUR INVESTMENT BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
Your wedding photography is a big investment and your engagement session is an ideal opportunity to see the result of your investment and build trust in your photographer before your wedding. I often find my clients are nervous as we start their engagement session but 20 minutes in, they are relaxed and enjoying the process. This helps when the wedding comes around, as what I am doing is not even in their mind and they have complete trust in me and my techniques.
4) A UNIQUE TIME IN YOUR LIFE
The time between getting engaged and getting married is incredibly unique and will never be repeated. There is such an excitement of the future and being able to have photographs of this time is something you’ll treasure and I promise you, is well worth the investment. I often tell my clients that their wedding is about 2 families coming together while the engagement session is about the 2 of them and their love and the photos do represent this. These images are much more relaxed as you’re in less formal clothes than your upcoming wedding and it’s a chance to celebrate your love as it is right now.
5) QUALITY TIME
Oh my gosh, this ALONE is reason enough to have engagement photos done. I found with my own wedding that in the final 4 months of planning, most of our discussions with family and with each other were based around our wedding. As much as we loved planning for this day, there was an underlying amount of stress that each conversation led into the wedding and budgets and family. Our engagement session however was the perfect opportunity to leave our worries at the door and just enjoy each other’s company for a couple of hours. Let’s face it, you can’t be talking about wedding budgets and be looking at each other lovingly at the same time – it just doesn’t work. For us, our engagement session was the day before our wedding and let me tell you WE WERE STRESSED OUT! Those 2 hours we spent with our photographer let us forget about all the to-do lists and just spend time in each others company and resulted in some of my most treasured photographs of the two of us together.
6) CASUAL PHOTOS VS FORMAL PHOTOS
An engagement session can be as formal as you want but ultimately, nothing is as formal as the black tie and wedding gown you’ll be wearing for your wedding. While having your wedding photos taken are a no brainer, there really are only so many wedding photos you can have around your house before your friends think you’re that crazy. Your engagement photos however are much more casual and relaxed and are a great way to get an updated couple photo for yourselves, your parents or anyone else.
So there you have it! Six reasons why you should have an engagement session and how it can add to your wedding photographs and experience. If you’d like to get in front of my camera for an engagement session, I’d love to hear from you!