Today I’m talking all about the engagement session! Truth be told, I could write an entire blog series on this topic, but today I’m focusing on the “why.” Why should you even bother having these photos taken? Today, I’m sharing my top three reasons to do an engagement session!
This is my number one reason to do an engagement session. When you hire a wedding photographer, you are making a huge investment. Not only are you paying for their services, but you are trusting that they will capture your day with beautiful images that will bring you joy for years to come. You might not realize this, but you will spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than you will with your spouse! There’s a lot resting on that decision!
As a photographer, I LOVE engagement sessions because they allow me to work professionally with my clients BEFORE their wedding day! During the 90 minutes that we’re together, I get to know them so much better than I could by just talking on the phone or getting coffee. I teach them the “Four Core Poses” that I use, and figure out their “signature pose” (the pose that creates the most emotion or is most flattering to them). I also learn what doesn’t work, or what they don’t like.
All this means that on your wedding day, I already know how to get you to relax. I already know which poses you’re going to love and will make sure we get those. I already know which poses you didn’t love, and make a point to avoid them. It saves us SO much time (which is crucial for a wedding day), and the experience is more relaxing because you’ve already done it before.
In fact, the engagement session is so important to me, that it is a complementary part of all of my wedding packages! It matters to me that much!
An engagement session can be anything you want it to be! It can be formal. It can be rustic. You can have a whimsical session in a grassy field. You could even do a lifestyle session in your home! Since there’s no timeline to stick to or other vendors to coordinate with, you have so much more flexibility with your engagement photos than you do with the portraits on your wedding day.
On wedding days, I recommend that couples pick one or two locations for the bride & groom and bridal party portraits. Between getting ready locations, the church, and the reception the timeline may already be tight, and we probably won’t have time to visit every sentimental portrait location on your list! However, during your engagement session, you can pick whichever locations you want. Since most couples opt for two locations, this is great time to get photos taken in places that mean a lot to you.
This is also a great time to vary the formality of your portraits. If you are having a fancy downtown wedding, but want some casual photos in a park, this may be the time to do it. And if you are having a rustic barn wedding, why not do some photos with an urban feel? This is your chance to mix it up!
The last of the three reasons to do an engagement session is that you can use the photos for so many things prior to the wedding. Of course, one of the most popular things to use your engagement images for is your “Save the Date,” but there are also many other possibilities.
I know many couples (including my husband and I) who put together an album of our engagement photos and used that as our guest book. Guests enjoyed looking through the images while writing us well-wishes and advice. I’ve also seen couples who choose their favorite engagement image and have it framed with a large mat for people to sign at the reception. Not only do they wind up with a beautiful print, they also can see everyone’s messages all the time!
Another great way to use your engagement images is at your bridal shower! This is a great way to add a personal touch to your shower, especially if it’s being hosted in a public location. They make for easy and beautiful decorations that you can then take home and keep enjoying!
Finally, if you’re putting together your own wedding ceremony program, it is always nice to have a professional image for the cover. You would be amazed how much better a high-resolution image looks than a cell phone photo!