Every couple wants amazing wedding photos. A start to finish documentary of your wedding day, told in fine art images, is almost as much of a requirement these days as an officiant or a reception venue! The engagement session, though, remains a bit of a question for some couples. Why do an engagement session? Can you fit it into your schedule? Is it worth paying for? Will you (or more likely, your future groom) feel weird in front of the camera?
I feel so strongly about the value of the engagement session that I include it as a complimentary offering in every wedding package. It’s a core piece of the Emi Rose Studio wedding experience, and I truly wouldn’t want any of my couples to miss out!
Spenser and I had engagement portraits taken shortly after we got engaged, and I’m telling you – they’re still my favorite photos of the two of us. Our wedding photos are beautiful, and I’ll treasure them forever, but there’s something about the casual excitement and just-the-two-of-us happiness in our engagement photos that will always have my heart.
Here are just a few of the reasons – both sentimental and practical – that I think the engagement session is such an important part of your whole wedding process!
1. A moment to reconnect
Wedding planning can be stressful! I’ve been there. Between touring venues, making (and remaking) guest lists, choosing attire and decor, and the thousand little “to-dos” that pop up in the planning process, it can be easy to lose sight of the romance. Engagement portraits give you a chance to take an afternoon off from your to do list, focus on each other, and celebrate the reason behind it all.
2. A chance to celebrate your story
The engagement session is an amazing opportunity to show what makes you YOU. Maybe we’ll go to the spot that you two had your first date, or the ice cream parlor where you first said “I love you.” Maybe we’ll head to your favorite hiking trail. Maybe we’ll bring your violin, or your canoe, or your dog! My favorite sessions are often those in which couples show off some aspect of their unique personality. We kicked off Meaghan and Brian’s engagement session at the Skaneateles Bakery, where they had their first date. Caroline and Matt’s dreamy e-session included their spunky Border Collie, Scout, who pretty much stole the show.
Whereas your wedding photos will tell the story of the wedding day, engagement photos are often a perfect way to tell the story of you, and in my book, that’s really what this is all about.
3. A chance to get comfortable in front of the camera
Let’s just face it. On some level, every single person is worried about how we might look in front of the camera or how bad we might feel they we at “posing.” The engagement session is the perfect way to dispel this kind of negative self-talk before your wedding day! I want every couple to walk into their wedding day feeling confident that their real, most beautiful self will shine through in every photo, without feeling the pressure of being a world-class model. I find that one of the best ways to do this is to have an engagement session, so that you can get comfortable with taking pose prompts and with acting natural in front of the camera. Once you two see how much you love their engagement photos, even if you felt self-conscious as the photos were being taken, the wedding day tends to be a lot less stressful.
4. An opportunity to get to know your photographer
We’re going to spend a lot of time together on your wedding day, and instead of feeling like you have a clingy vendor following you around, I’d prefer you to feel like I’m just another friend hanging out at the wedding! During your engagement session, you will get to know my style and how I interact with clients during a photoshoot, so that you know just what to expect on your wedding day.
For me, it is so important to get a sense of your personalities and your dynamic as a couple before the wedding day. I’ll take note of how you interact with each other, how you make each other smile, and how you make each other laugh, so that on your wedding day, I know how to capture those little moments that could only happen between the two of you.
5. Amazing photos to celebrate this time in your lives
You probably have some cute photos of the two of you already, but there is really no replacement for professional, romantic photos of the two of you for things like newspaper announcements, your wedding website, and save the dates! (P.S. Check out my blog post on when to schedule your engagement session if you’re curious about how to schedule your photos, announcements, and save the dates!).
I love photographing engagement sessions because I love photographing love, and there’s something about the ease and happiness of two people just being together that makes this whole engagement process a joy to photograph. I love it SO much, I’ve made it a complimentary part of each wedding package at Emi Rose Studio, so really – why NOT?
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