When Marty and I got engaged and booked our photographer (back in 2008! Holy cow!), she didn’t offer an engagement session as part of her wedding package, and truthfully, we didn’t feel like paying extra cash for a session when duh, we had an awesome point and shoot (they were real big in the late 2000’s). My younger sister was more than happy to drive over to a beautiful local park with us and grab some rockin’ shots, and truthfully, I’m so glad we took them! However, I didn’t know enough to realize what sort of impact a professional engagement session could have had on our wedding day. Does that sound strange to you — that an engagement session can actually affect your wedding day? If you need some convincing, keep reading!
I include a complimentary engagement session with every wedding I book, and the vast majority of my couples choose to schedule it! I’m so glad, because I truly think it’s an essential part of their wedding day photography experience, and here’s why:
1 — We’ll get to know each other better.
Your engagement session is our longest opportunity to meet and chat before your wedding day! You’ve probably seen me on Instagram, but during your session, we’ll get to know each other face-to-face! I’ll learn about what makes you both laugh, you’ll see my goofy side, and we’ll laugh at some awkward moments. (Lately, at my shoots, I’ve been managing to get my hair stuck in a bush or tree while I’m shooting. Cue the emoji with the nerd glasses.) I love learning more about both of you, seeing different sides of your personalities, and watching how you click together. This is all really important for me as I plan for your wedding (see #2!).
2 — I’ll teach you everything you need to know.
You’re probably not professional models — and that’s GREAT. I think a lot of couples go into photo sessions feeling nervous because they don’t know what to do in front of a camera. But guess what? It’s my job to tell you what to do. You don’t have to do a thing besides follow my directions (and my directions are easy!). This is when you learn the core poses I teach my couples. We’ll play around with a few different things and find out what works for the two of you and your dynamic together. We’ll get some gorgeous images that you’ll love. And when your wedding day comes and it’s time for portraits, everything I taught you at your engagement session will come flooding back to you. It will feel easy and effortless… which leads me to point #3!
3 — Grooms feel much more comfortable!
I know it’s a stereotype and definitely not true of everyone, but in general, lots of guys just don’t love getting their picture taken. Throw in a fancy tux, shiny shoes, and a really important, highly anticipated, and potentially stressful day filled with a ton of emotions, and you’ve got a recipe for one very uncomfortable groom in front of the camera! BUT, what if portraits were something he’s already done before? What if he feels comfortable with the photography process, because he’s already met me, worked with me, and knows exactly what I’m going to ask him to do? Because of his engagement session experience, wedding-day portraits are easy and enjoyable for the groom!
A few common objections (with a quick response!):
…my friend already took our photos!
I’m sure they did a fantastic job! Still go ahead and schedule your session with me, and you’ll get two sets of gorgeous photos, and all of the benefits mentioned above!
…my fiance just isn’t that excited about getting his picture taken.
See #3! It’s my goal to make the photography experience as enjoyable and lovely as possible for you! Walking away from one of my engagement sessions this past summer, I heard the groom say to his fiance, “Wow. I actually really enjoyed that!” And I basically fist-pumped, right there in the middle of Grand and Michigan Avenue.
…we’re just really busy right now!
Let’s schedule a quick session then! Can you spare a 20-30 minutes? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s just get together and take some pictures, even if you’re wearing jeans and a cute shirt (which is what I’d wear anyways, if I were in your shoes 😉 Your wedding day will be that much smoother, and you’ll have a beautiful set of photographs to document this fun, exciting season in your life!