I get asked this question all the time…”Why do we need an engagement session?” Lots of times this is followed up with… “I already had one from a friend!” or “My Fiance hates to have his picture taken!” and “We were hoping you would give us an extra hour at the wedding instead!” or “We don’t need that many photos of us!” And every time, I tell my couples the same thing…I believe that the engagement session is SO important that I actually give this to all of my wedding clients, FREE! Why, do I think it is so important?? Well, I am so glad you asked!! I could go on and on about this topic forever…but let me give you the highlights!
Weddings are a little like being in a tornado! There is lots of parts spinning, there are people pulling you in all directions and the day moves lightening fast. When I come into a getting ready room of a Bride and Groom that I haven’t worked with at an engagement session, we are at a disadvantage. We don’t really know each other, yet. We aren’t completely comfortable around one another. And you probably don’t 100% trust me, either. Trying to get to know each other on a wedding day is nearly impossible! And besides, there are tons of people that flew in just to see YOU! You don’t want to spend time trying to get to know me!
When I enter the room of a Bride and Groom I have done an engagement session with…the vibe is completely different! You already know that I am freakin hilarious, we are comfortable around one another, (I probably picked something out of your teeth, or my teeth) and you trust that not only am I going to document this amazing day…but I am going to make you look and feel amazing, too! Your Fiance, who hates to have his photos taken, knows that I am not going to torture him…in fact we are all going to joke around and have a blast! So he is happy to see us too. This is because we already shared an experience when there was no wedding pressure…it was just us…and we had FUN!! You will spend more time with your wedding photographer at your wedding than any other vendor…so taking the time to get to know each other will really pay off, I promise!
There is some teaching going on at engagement sessions! These things seem little but on the wedding day it makes it so much easier when the Groom already knows several things to do with his hands! 😉 And the Bride feels confident in front of my lens. Having an engagement session helps us learn essential things about one another! I learn what your preferences are for PDA, and if you have a side you like to be photographed from. Are one of you a blinker? What is your height difference? Are you reserved and shy or more outgoing? All of these things are important for me to learn at our engagement session! And you learn that this really is very fun, pretty easy and you build confidence with one another. This makes the wedding day portraits run so much more smoothly!
Another thing I love about engagement photos is when I give them back to you, you can let me know if there is something that you would like me to shoot differently. This helps me greatly on a wedding day because I can have this in mind when I am shooting to make sure we get the best images possible! For example, I once had a Bride that told me she didn’t favor one side of her face. During the engagement session, I took a lot of photos of her from the side she wasn’t as happy about. On the wedding day, I made sure to photograph her most often from the side she preferred…and she LOVED her wedding images! If we hadn’t done an engagement session, she wouldn’t have been able to give me feedback and maybe would not have been so happy about her images!
As with anything in life, practice makes perfect! For most people, it isn’t every day you go out and have a photo shoot. Being in front of a camera can cause anxiety! But if we take the time to do our homework…you will exude confidence on your wedding day! And that is when you look the most beautiful anyway!!