Whenever I'm talking to a new couple, I'm occasionally asked if I offer packages without engagement sessions. I include engagement sessions as a gift in every package and the reasons might not be what you think. Occasionally, a couple will have an engagement session with a friend immediately after getting engaged or the couple might not feel the need to have an engagement session if it will save some money.
Engagement photos serve a greater purpose than just getting save the date images, so here are 5 reasons why you need to have an engagement session
1. Get to Know Your Photographer
This is the most important reason to have an engagement session with the photographer you hire because, most likely, this will be the first time you meet them in person. You might have had a consult, but it's a different experience when you are actually spending time hanging out with the person you are going to be spending your entire wedding day with.
When you don't have an engagement session with your photographer, you won't get to know them very well until your wedding day and that takes away precious time that your photographer could be using to take your getting ready photos.
You really want to make sure your personalities mesh well before the wedding. On rare occasions, you'll find out you don't vibe well with the photographer or maybe the image style wasn't what you were expecting. Wouldn't you rather figure that out before the big day? If you have any issues with your photographer, you'll have plenty of time to work it out. As much as you don't want a photographer who doesn't fit your style, we don't want to work with someone who will be unhappy with the final result so this is a trial run for both of us!
2. Practice your posing
Most couples have never had professional photos taken together before the engagement session, so chances are, you have no idea what to do with your hands or face.
The engagement session is a trial run for your wedding day because not every pose looks good on every couple. It saves us valuable time on the wedding day to know what works, so we don't waste the little bit of portrait time we have on something you know you don't like.
If you are working with a professional, your photographer will guide you through every pose, so you'll be pros by the time your wedding day rolls around. Maybe you figure out you really don't like dipping poses or lifting poses, so we'll figure this out without having to waste time teaching proper techniques on the wedding day.
3. Have an excuse for a date night
Who doesn't like getting dressed up and loving on the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with? You probably don't have too many excuses to get all dolled up, so take advantage of it with an engagement session. Splurge on hair and makeup, find a pretty dress, and buy a bottle of champagne. Engagement sessions are supposed to be fun and give you a chance to really spend this time together. Might as well take advantage of it! I once had a groom tell me after the session, "I had no idea there would be so much making out. Totally worth it." Yep, if for no other reason, get prettied up and kiss a bunch. It's fun. I promise.
4. Release all the awkwardness
Going back to the second point, you probably haven't had professional photos before. The engagement session will give you this time to get familiar with being in front of the camera. If you aren't big into PDA, you'll be doing a lot of kissing on your wedding day, so it's time to get familiar with it in front of a camera.
Same for the first point of getting to know your photographer. It's super awkward if I show up on your wedding day and barely have any idea who you are. I'll be spending literally your entire day with you. I'll be in the room while you are putting on your dress. Let's get comfortable. That way I'll feel like one of your bridesmaids and it will be so less awkward sharing your most personal moments with me.
5. Create unique reception decor
Even if you already have had engagement photos, you can never have too many photos to decorate your reception hall. I've had couples print out big canvases for their walls or small prints for each table. How can you get more personalized than using your own faces to decorate your reception?
There you have it! 5 reasons why you should have an engagement session. Regardless of if you've had pictures prior or don't feel the need to have pictures at all, the engagement session has a much bigger purpose than just getting you pretty images! You'll release any awkward tension and have fun with the one you love most (me obviously...kidding..but still our relationship contributes as much to you receiving good images as your relationship with your spouse).
Still worried about feeling comfortable? Fear not, I got you! I send a full style guide and questionnaire to get to know you before our session, so they'll be no awkwardness!
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