I think the engagement session is a very undervalued part of the wedding process for many couples. Whether you already had a session when you got engaged, or you had a friend take your pictures for you, or you already sent out your Save-the-Dates, I still HIGHLY recommend an engagement session with your wedding photographer. As a matter of fact, I so highly recommend this, that I decided to include a complimentary engagement session in my wedding photography packages!
So, why do I feel so strongly about engagement sessions? I’m so glad you asked!
I have three reasons, as a matter of fact.
Leading up to your wedding day, you will be in contact with several of your vendors, several times, to plan the perfect day. There are some vendors you will work very closely with to create your vision, and some you’ll be spending a lot of time with on your actual wedding day. Photographers fall into the latter category. There are times when I am with the bride and groom and no one else is. I see tears and laughter and it is my job to make sure that you feel 100% comfortable with me so that I can document every moment, feeling and emotion. I can’t promise that it’s easy to be yourself, when we don’t know each other all that well.
There is so much I learn about my couples at an engagement session. I am able to take my time and observe, so that I understand their relationship, making sure I am capturing moments that are authentic and natural. On the flip side, my couples are able to see my thought process of lighting, location and posing. Which brings me to my next reason.
Having pictures taken by a friend or another photographer is completely different from getting in front of my camera. Photography is an art, not a science. Every photographer is different, and I want to make sure that every one of my couples feels comfortable with me as their photographer. While I strive to make sure the moments I capture are authentic, sometimes we have to work with posing to get this to translate into a photograph that you will love! That means laughing at each other, or holding a pose that makes you work a little harder than you thought you would need to! I want you to walk away from this session feeling confident that you made the right choice, and excited that you are in good hands for your wedding day!
What if you already created your Save-the-Dates? What’s the point of engagement session photos? Look at the walls in your home, or the pictures you have at your office, or the images you use to represent you on social media. Now envision all of those frames filled with photographs from your wedding day. That’s a lot of dress and tux. Do you often sport a white dress and tuxedo? If you’re my husband, you probably love looking like James Bond 24/7, but I would say that he is not the majority. Your engagement session is so much more than Save-the-Dates! It is a representation of you! Who you are, how you look, what your style is. You will, of course, want a fabulous picture from your wedding day, but you will also want to have great pictures of you being you in a location that you love.
Spoiler Alert! I explain this in great detail in my Bridal Guide 😉 but for the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to give you some quick tips. I recommend scheduling your session as soon as you book your photographer. Just pencil in a date! If you are getting married on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, then you can assume your photographer is booking a whole lot of Friday, Saturday and Sunday weddings and you’ll want to be on their radar for an available one! If you’re getting married in the Fall in the country, maybe you want to switch it up and take pictures in the Spring in the city! My absolute favorite time of the day is late afternoon. The light is the most flattering, and then you can head out for dinner “camera-ready” right after your session! I hear there is really great light at sunrise too…but I haven’t yet discovered my inner “morning bird.”
So many outfits, such little time! It’s true, we can’t get through your entire wardrobe in one engagement session. But, we most likely can get through two. I recommend you choose a base color and then some complimentary colors that support that base color. Keep away from complicated patterns, lettering, or any vibrant colors that may cast color on your skin. That should narrow down your wardrobe a bit! Bring one casual outfit and then something more fun!
I know this is not the most exciting moment for my grooms. It’s okay, I am not offended. Make sure the location is something you both really like and bring along a bottle of champagne, or a six-pack if that’s more your style! My greatest accomplishment is at the end of the session when my groom says “Hey! That wasn’t bad at all!”
Think of your session as hanging out at your favorite place, or going on a date…with me! My goal is to make sure you feel comfortable enough to really enjoy your wedding day your way, confident that a close friend is going to capture every happy memory.
Haven’t scheduled your session yet? What are you waiting for? Contact me today and we’ll make it a date!