One of my faaavorite topics— engagements! 🙂 Every once in awhile I have clients who don’t wanna to do an engagement session. And trust me I get it— some people don’t love getting their photo taken (I married one of those humans.. hahaha), others have a friend or family member snap a few and some are just looking to save some money. I was a bride planning a wedding (without an unlimited budget) just a few years ago, so I genuinely understand why this question gets asked. And truthfully— I don’t expect my clients to have an understanding of why engagement shoots can be so important. It’s not their job to know that— it’s my job to help educate them & show them the value. Soooo— why should you do an engagement session with your wedding photographer? Scroll on down & I’ll tell you why. 🙂
- Quality time together! Oooohhh my top love language— quality time, baby! 🙂 You spend more time with your wedding photographer than almost anyone else on your wedding day, so having some quality face-to-face time together before the wedding day is so important. You’ll have the chance to chat & get to know one another, to joke around a bit, ask any questions you might have, the list goes on. Engagement shoots are one of my faaavs for this reason. It’s such a great time to bond & connect with couples so you’re not going in blind on the wedding day.
- No pressure, no timelines. Can I get a hallelujah? Most wedding days come with rather tight timelines. A lot of days run behind & there just isn’t a lot of extra time. Weddings can also come with a little bit of pressure. This day will never happen again. Excitement & anxious energy is in the air & the last thing you should be worrying about is taking photos. At engagement shoot— your attention can actually be on taking photos. We have no strict time constraints & zerooooo pressure (trust me— I like to keep things laid back).
- Get any “camera jitters” out of the way before the wedding day. If you’re a little nervous to get in front of the camera— don’t worry, you’re not alone in that. Most of my couples tell me how “awkward” they are, how they are not great in front of the camera, etc. etc. An engagement session is the perfect time to work through those nerves instead of doing that on your wedding day (when you already might be a little anxious because— ya know— it’s a big day!). And remember this— it’s not your job to be a model (cause let’s be real— most of us aren’t!), it’s your photographers job to make you comfortable & give you good direction. So don’t fret— we got you!
- You get to see how your photog works behind the camera & they learn more about how you naturally interact as a couple. Thiiiiis. This is so important. I’m guessing you’ve had a couple conversations with your photographer by the time your engagement shoot rolls around, but in a lot of cases— you’ve never met in person (or you have only met for a quick coffee or happy hour). Getting to see how your photographer works behind the camera can be nice so you know what to expect on your wedding day. And for your photographer— learning about how you interact naturally is sooooo valuable. We don’t want to take images that don’t feel true to you, so it’s great to get some insight into your story.
- You feel waaaaay more comfortable on the day of the wedding. If you feel at ease with your photographer— it makes a world of difference (for both you & your photog). When you’re comfortable— you’re going to be waaay more relaxed & natural instead of potentially a little stiff or self-conscious (which, by the way, is totallllllly normal when you have a camera pointed at you!). For your photographer— comfort is important so that they’re able to tell your story in the most true & honest way to you. The end goal is that when you receive your gallery— you immediately feel your story come to life.
Can you tell I feel v. v. strongly about this topic? 😉 But honestly, based on my experience— wedding days go so much smoother when we’ve had time together at an engagement session. Besides— the shoots are sooo much fun (pinky promise!) & they don’t need to be a super duper big deal if you don’t want them to be. If you’re a chill couple— I want your images to reflect that. The #1 rule of engagement sessions is that there are no rules. 🙂
Check out this blog post all about ways to make your shoot unique to you. And then let’s get to planing!