Why You Should Have An Engagement Session
Engagement Sessions. Engagement Shoots. E-Portraits. Doesn’t matter what you call them, this time with your photographer is IMPORTANT!! So often I hear that people had a close friend with a nice camera take their e-photos so they “won’t need an engagement session.” Yes, this is a PERFECT idea, if all you are looking for is great photos. However, I HIGHLY recommend having the person who is shooting your wedding take engagement photos even if you’ve already had a session done for several reasons:
Building confidence in front of the camera
Yes, I know, this first one can be done by your close friend, but having someone who KNOWS how to pose people, who KNOWS how to make them look their absolute best, and can bang out shot after shot of amazing images can skyrocket the confidence of even the most self-conscious individual.
Case in point:
I had a bride a couple of years ago who I met with her and her mother, and we just fell in love. We had an amazing time at the initial consultation, and she was SO excited to introduce me to her fiance. Yay! Unfortunately, when I met the two of them at the engagement session (NOT the above photo), his literal first words to me were, “Hi, nice to meet you. My name is (let’s call him) John Smith, and I absolutely hate having my picture taken.” OOOkay….fast forward about 45 minutes, and I’ve got them kissing in public, laughing like we’ve known each other for years, and dipping – yes, DIPPING – his future bride like a PRO.
Your photographer needs to get to know you as a couple, as well
One of the things I refer to during the e-session is “getting the first 45 minutes of awkward out of the way.” I’m not necessarily speaking about the actual posing or photos themselves, I’m talking about the actual interactions of a photographer and two other people who previously didn’t know him. Yes, they probably had a cup of coffee and talked about their wedding for an hour or so, but knowing how to make the two of them laugh? Trying to get some insight into how they interact with each other? Knowing what not to say the day of the MOST STRESSFUL MORNING of someone’s LIFE? Yeah, you’re going to need a different atmosphere for that!
Developing a friendship with your photographer
When your photographer walks into the bridal suite, you should be EXCITED to see them again, the way you would be to see a close friend. This will rub off on the rest of the bridal party, who will start to see the photographer as not just another wedding vendor, but as just another family friend. The smiles will be more genuine, the jokes will FLOW, and the candid photos will look SO much more natural.
I am seriously passionate about e-sessions and how important they really are. Honestly. A couple of years back, I decided to not charge for engagement sessions, and just include them for FREE if a couple books their wedding with me. That’s it. No more excuses – if you REALLY don’t want an engagement shoot, fine. But I would rather eat the cost of the session if that’s the difference between you saving a couple of hundred dollars, or starting your wedding day off on the right foot. That’s how much I believe that the perfect e-session can set the mood for an amazing wedding day.