About a month ago, one of my sorority sisters asked me to do a guest post on her blog for creatives called, Avenue Gray. The topic of the post was about why engagement sessions are important for a couple to consider while preparing for their wedding. I’ve had so many brides ask me about why I offer engagement sessions complimentary to all my couples, and I’ve directed them to what other photogs have said about the topic. I decided it was time to give my perspective on engagement sessions as a former bride and a photographer so when my brides inquire, I can direct them to this post! The wedding industry is evolving, and long gone are the days of church basement receptions with receiving lines and crystal dishes of occasion mints and cocktail peanuts. Modern weddings are events that are truly trademarked by the couples who plan them, ceremonies that reflect the characteristics of the individual couples and love stories as unique as they are. These modern affairs often take months of planning and preparation, and there are decisions to be made at every turn. One of the biggest investments you will make for your wedding is in your photographer.
As the industry has changed, so has wedding photography. Throw a stone on any American city, and you will surely land on a wedding photographer. However, this investment is not one to take lightly. You should not only consider the style of the photography, but the services provided by the photographer as well (and I highly suggest meeting with your photographer over a cup of coffee before you book to ensure your personalities match and you are a good fit for each other, meaning they not only are going to provide you with amazing wedding day coverage, but are also going to be someone you can build a genuine relationship with). One of the services many photographers offer today, myself included, is an engagement session.
I have had many clients ask why you should choose to do an engagement session, so I’m going to give it to you from both the photographer’s perspective and from the bride’s perspective.
As a former bride, our engagement pictures were the first time my husband and I had any formal pictures taken. They became images we used for our save the dates, gifts for family members, and decor for our home. It was a way for us to make permanent memories of the amazing (and fleeting) time of our engagement. We chose a location that was important to us, a small beach town where my family vacations every year, invited our family to participate, and made a day out of it. The images are now ones I can look back on and remember the joy and anticipation we felt in the months leading up to our wedding.
As a photographer, an engagement session is an opportunity for my clients to get comfortable in front of my lens. Being photographed can be nerve racking, especially if you aren’t familiar with the process. An engagement session allows the couple to gain confidence in the poses and with the directions the photographer is giving them. It also allows me, as the photographer, an opportunity to get to know my clients a little better, hear more about their love story, and hopefully have a little fun with them! A fun engagement portrait experience leads to happy memories when the couple sees their images, and happy memories means the next time the couple sees me (most likely on their wedding day) the more excited they’ll be to work together again for day of wedding portraits!