If you are on the fence about booking an engagement session, here are 5 reasons why you should:
1. It helps to build the relationship between you and your photographer.
This might not seem all that important but remember you will be spending about 10 plus hours with him or her on your wedding day. From my perspective, I like to get to know a couple and let them get to know me. We spend a few hours together, visit several locations, and sometimes break the session into two smaller sessions to get both daytime and nighttime locations incorporated into the story. It’s a fun, relaxed environment without all the pressures of the wedding day. The couple usually has a few locations in mind that are important to them – where they met, where they had their first kiss, where they like to spend time together. I consider this important rapport-building time. I interact with them, ask them questions, make them laugh, smile and of course, kiss! This helps the couple get used to me and to the way I shoot and how I provide direction. The more comfortable they are with me and having their pictures made, the better the photos are.
2. Practice posing.
I’ll let you in on a secret: dramatic, knock-your-socks-off, timeless pictures rarely happen without some help. Although my shooting style is documentary, I rely on posing at certain points throughout the wedding day to get those dramatic, pictures. Good posing takes knowledge and practice to do it just right, so that it looks natural instead of forced and awkward. I give fast-paced direction to the couple, moving them in and out of light in striking ways, positioning their heads or arms to create a sense of heightened emotion captured by chance. The engagement session allows time for the couple to practice poses, laugh and have fun. See my blog post, 5 Tips on Posing.
3. Let’s tell your story!
People often tell me that after they look at one of my engagement albums they feel like they know the engaged couple. How can this be? The photographer that can quickly develop a strong rapport with the couple and gives solid posing advice will be able to show the couple in their best light, get them to smile, and let their guards down. Once this happens, great photographs are inevitable. The couple’s love for each other shines through every time.
4. You get great pictures to use on your save the date cards.
My wife’s favorite photograph of us together was snapped a few moments after she accepted my proposal of marriage – it’s timeless and the smiles on our faces couldn’t be bigger. We had this photograph printed onto a postcard and mailed it to our friends and family to announce our engagement. Later, we gave this photograph to our parent and siblings and it’s the one we still see in everyone’s homes 10 years later. You might not think about how important photographs of you and your fiancé will be to your future self. You can use photographs from your engagement session on your Save-the-Date cards, as table decorations at your reception, or in a signature album for your guests to sign. And definitely get your favorite picture in a frame to keep at work or to adorn a table or wall in your house.
5. Its really quite fun to have your pictures taken.
It’s quite possible the last time you had professional photos made was when you were a senior in high school. Don’t think of the engagement session as the standard studio experience. Together, you and your photographer can pick some great locations that will provide a unique background to your story. Pick out places that are important to you as a couple – like where you had your first date or your favorite ice cream shop. Mix up day and night shots for more drama.