Today I want to tell you about one of my absolute favorite types of sessions to photograph. Anniversary sessions have proved to be one of the most sweet, meaningful, and intentional kinds of sessions that I capture. I always leave feeling like I’ve participated in a significant part of a couple’s story, and many couples have expressed to me that the photos captured at their anniversary session are a true gift, a meaningful witness to the journey that they’re sharing together.
Unlike many other kinds of sessions – from engagements to weddings to family sessions – which often mark a common (if incredibly significant) event in their lives – couples choose to invest in an anniversary session for a lot of different reasons, often very personal to the couple! I want to share some of those reasons here, to give you an idea of how an anniversary session can be a beautiful way to celebrate everything that happens after you walk down the aisle.
Celebrate a milestone anniversary.
One of the most common reasons to have anniversary portraits taken is to mark a milestone anniversary! One year, five years, ten years, even fifty years – they’re all times when many couples feel that a portrait session is a beautiful way to capture a bond that’s grown and changed and become even more beautiful since the day that they said “I do.”
You’ve been through a rocky season in your marriage and come out on the other side, together.
Marriage isn’t always rainbows and butterflies – it’s often a long road filled with work, and challenges in different seasons. When couples choose to travel that road together despite having experienced hard times, an anniversary session can be an amazing way to celebrate that. Choosing your partner again and again is a beautiful thing, and the bond between couples that have experienced both joy and pain together is so tangible in these photos. You can combine an anniversary session with a vow renewal, or just use it as a private time to celebrate and invest in your journey together.
You aren’t thrilled with your wedding photos.
Sometimes a couple’s tastes have evolved since their wedding and they want some alternate photos that reflect that! Maybe your wedding images were too “trendy,” or look dated since it’s been many years since the wedding, and you’d like a refresh. Some couples found that their wedding day ran behind schedule and that they didn’t have the time for dedicated portraits of the two of them that they’d dreamed of. An anniversary session is often a slower, more intentional experience than a wedding day, without the distractions of timeline and guests, and it can be an incredible way to get those timeless portraits to pass down through generations.
You want to do something just for you two, to celebrate yourselves.
Between jobs, finances, kids, and commitments, life gets busy and it can be hard to prioritize time dedicated just to your spouse and your relationship. It’s a rare couple that would disagree with this reality! Some couples use the anniversary session as an opportunity to get dressed up, connect with each other, document their love away from the stresses of everyday life, then head out for date night!
You want beautiful images to share with loved ones.
I recently photographed an anniversary session for a couple whose family lived abroad and who they weren’t able to see very often. This couple had gotten married the previous year, but much of their family wasn’t able to make the trip to attend. An anniversary session was an important way for them to capture their bond to share with family far away to help them feel like a part of their lives.
In the Journal: Scenic Ithaca Anniversary Session
In the Journal: A Classic Engagement Session at the George Eastman Gardens
Get in Touch: Contact me to learn more about anniversary sessions, or to schedule a time to document your unique story!
If you’re interested in scheduling an anniversary session, let’s talk! Send me a note and we can talk about why you want to capture your marriage bond, and how we can document your story in a way that feels meaningful to you.
Emi Rose is a Finger Lakes wedding photographer traveling throughout New York and New England to tell stories of love and connection through natural and timeless images.