FAQ: Why Have An Engagement Shoot?
Goooood morning, friends!! Big apologies for my lack of blogs this past week! Snow days and a few opportunities to relax took over and I have to say I enjoyed every moment! That being said, I am glad to be ‘back’! :) Today, I wanted to take the chance to answer (publicly) a question I am often asked when helping my couples plan their wedding photography experience –
Do we need an engagement session?
The short answer: YES.
There is much that goes into that thought, however, so here goes!
Building a Relationship
When I arrive at your venue on the most important day of your life, I want you to feel completely and utterly confident in me as a professional and as a person. Your wedding photographer will be with you (most likely) the entire day, something reserved for a few select people in your bridal party (and your coordinator should you choose to work with one). Wild, right?! Can you imagine having someone you had never met show up to work with you this closely?! Especially when the stakes are as high as they are on a wedding day?! I can’t. I believe that the best, most genuine images of a couple and their loved ones are captured when there is a level of familiarity and trust between them and the photographer. Bottom line, don’t you want to like and enjoy the person responsible for capturing some of the most special and meaningful moments of your life? The best way to achieve this kind of mutual trust is to have worked together before that special day. Enter, the almighty engagement session! :) When we meet for your e-session (I’m abbreviating from now on! :)), the time is not just spent taking lovely photos (though, that is always the end result!). We chat, I hear about your love story, you share about your family. I tell you about that time I totally wiped out during an e-shoot (all cameras and body parts were fine!) and my favorite recipes as of late. We become friends. I don’t like walking into a wedding day ‘blind’, never having met you in person, or making you do the same.
Getting Comfortable in Front of that Camera
Welp, here goes. I feel super awkward in front of the camera. It takes an amazing photographer (recently, enter Abby Grace!) to make me feel relaxed and not like a total spaz. (Does my face look weird? How’s my hair? Do my fingers look like sausages when we hold hands?) My job as a photographer is to make you feel as amazing as you look. This too, requires a bit of time and the building of some mutual trust. I ALWAYS tell clients that the first 15 minutes of a shoot are going to be completely awkward turtle. I am learning how you work and look together, and you are learning to be in front of a ginormo (yes, it gets larger the more awkward you feel) lens…something very few of us experience on a regular basis. We work together, you fall into step with me, my directing, and fall in love all over again. THEN, a few days later, you receive the finished product and it all clicks. You understand why I was so fanatical about keeping your backs to the sun, insisted on finding the most perfect light, or why your hubby-to-be had to whisper something silly in your ear. You get it. Now, when I show up on your wedding day and it is time for portraits, you completely know what is coming, understand why I am asking what I do, and most importantly, you can relax and enjoy your day.
You Get Lovely Images…Twice!
Heck, who doesn’t want more of a good thing?! Your engagement is, in some ways, just as special as your wedding. Those short months, weeks, etc. go so quickly and you can never really re-live them. It is a unique time of excitement and anticipation for the sweet years ahead. However wonderful it is to be married, your engagement is also fabulous, so why not capture that as well, eh?! I still look fondly back at our engagement photos (many of which are hanging about our house), and smile thinking of that sweet time. I treasure them as much as my wedding photos, and would hate to deny my clients that experience and the images to preserve it.
You Get to Showcase YOU!
Your wedding day will be filled with meaningful details and special touches that showcase you interests and relationship. However, your engagement shoot has even MORE latitude to do the same! You can incorporate your hobbies, interests, etc. much more easily in a casual and relaxed environment. Your images should be lovely, treasured reminders of what brought you together, and your unique story. Goodness, that is what makes me love my job and couples so stinking much! :)
I hope this sums up my thoughts and conveys the importance I place upon the engagement shoot experience! Also, because of the reasons above, couples that I am lucky enough to work with always receive a complimentary engagement session…woot woot! As always, any questions or thoughts, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email!!
Have a wonderful day!!