It’s a question I have been asked plenty of times… Why should you do an engagement session? What’s the point?
And honestly, I’m not a salesperson and I might make a few photographers out there a little upset for even saying this, but I really don’t want people to do an engagement session if they don’t want to. So, if clients are not into it, I absolutely understand and would never force the issue! Perhaps that’s why I’ve never written on this topic before- I don’t ever want clients to feel like I’m talking them into something they don’t feel they want or need. I’ve photographed plenty of weddings for couples who opted out of the engagement session and I feel that I photographed their weddings just as well as for couples who did choose to do engagement photos with me. Some people feel otherwise, but I personally don’t think an engagement session is necessary at all for me to get great images on a wedding day. However, I do feel that engagement sessions are important and serve a purpose in quite a few ways.
Below are my top four reasons for choosing to do an engagement session, in the least sales-pitchy way I can possibly articulate. 🙂
1. They’re FUN! Ok, I know I’m biased, but honestly getting dressed up to get great photos of yourself in a great location is fun, right?? Is that just me? You can go frolic in a field or walk around downtown. You can find a rooftop somewhere and get epic photos of you enjoying the view together. You can sit at your favorite coffee shop or snuggle up on a bluff overlooking the ocean. You can sip on some wine in your own kitchen while you make dinner or simply stroll around your own neighborhood of tree-lined streets. Whatever you and your fiance like to do, you can do that for your engagement session! Not to mention, you get to spend time with your photographer prior to the wedding and, if you’ve chosen the right photographer, that’s going to be fun! 🙂
2. You get to know your photographer and we get to know you. Like I said, I don’t think I have to do an engagement session with you in order to get great images of you on your wedding day. However, I (like many other wedding photographers) am in this business because I love people and getting to know them. Sure we get to chat a little during the booking process, but if you don’t do an engagement session, the next time I get to see you will be on the wedding day. While that’s perfectly acceptable, I really love getting to spend more time with my clients so that I can get to know them better. I love learning more about you as individuals and hearing the detailed stories of how you met each other. I love hearing about the wedding plans coming together and finding out more about what you do for a living and how you spend your free time. Doing an engagement session gives us time to talk about all that and I love that.
3. You get great photos of you both together NOT in your wedding attire. Obviously, you’re going to look AMAZING in your wedding dress and tux. It’s going to be the best day and you’re going to get great photos of you both together. But, sometimes it’s nice to have some great photos of you and your love not in your wedding clothes. If you’re not going to do a portrait session of you both to celebrate the time you’re engaged, when will you do them? 🙂
4. An engagement session calms anxiety about getting your photo taken. If there is any anxiety about getting your photos done, engagement sessions usually make those clients feel SO much better and more relaxed for all the photos on the wedding day. This is probably the most important reason I like to highlight for clients when they ask me why they should do an engagement session. Some of my clients are awesome in front of the camera and super comfortable there in front of the lens. However, some of my clients get nervous or uncomfortable at the thought of having their photos taken. I TOTALLY get it- having your photo taken can feel awkward. Even I get a little awkward when I’m on the other side of the camera.
For those who don’t feel like having their photo taken is their thing, I have found that the nerves and anxiety are dramatically lessened after doing an engagement session. An engagement session can help people realize that getting your photo taken by a professional who knows what they’re doing is a very easy process- it’s not this big scary thing that people might think prior to experiencing it firsthand.
If you’ve chosen the right photographer, you will feel totally comfortable in front of the camera by the end of an engagement session and, dare I say, even excited to do it again on the wedding day!
After considering all of these reasons, if you’re still not feeling an engagement session is right for you, that’s totally fine! I never try to talk my clients into doing one and don’t think any photographer should. These are just the advantages I have found that an engagement session can provide.
I hope this list was helpful to you if you’re wondering why you should do an engagement session. Have any other questions about engagement sessions? Email me and I’d be happy to chat more. 🙂