Hey guys! Today, I'm happy to share a special and extremely informative guest post about why it's a good idea to do an engagement shoot by photographer Heather Scharf. So take it away, Heather!
"Would you like to add an Engagement Session to your Package?" If you are a bride, this question will inevitably come up. As a wedding photographer, the number one thing that my brides and grooms spend the most time debating over is whether or not to include an engagement session in their wedding photography package. I have talked through just about every doubt with my couples debating this decision. Let's get to the bottom of why Engagement Sessions are a must have! In order to do so we must first explore why a couple might pass them up:
"My fiance hates taking photos, and I just know this would not be fun for him."
"We have tons of photos of us already, we don't need more."
"We are camera shy and having a camera on us for 2 hours sounds terrifying."
"We are on a tight budget and the engagement session seems like the thing we don't need."
Do any of these reasons sound familiar? If so, keep reading to see why you and your photographer will be much happier if you decide to move forward with an engagement session.
- Warm Up Session: Just like you would never take an important test without studying first, a photographer would not want to dive into a wedding day without getting to study, if you will, the couple in front of the camera first. We are all very different when a camera is on us, and most of us are shy and uncomfortable. Engagement sessions are a great time for the couple to warm up in front of the camera, and more importantly for your photographer to learn how to best photograph you before the Big Day.
- What Makes You Click: Your photographer wants to get to know you as a couple and learn what makes you "click". We want to figure out your dynamic so that we can bring out your personalities in every image. The goal is to make you as comfortable as possible because when that happens beautiful, genuine, and fun images are the result.. aka magic!
- Photographer & Friend: You have most likely chosen your photographer not only because they are talented, but also because you liked them as a person. I personally LOVE engagement sessions because this is when my clients become friends. It is the difference between a vendor taking photos of you on your wedding day, and a friend capturing you in the best way possible on your wedding day. This relationship undoubtedly comes through in your wedding photos.
- Circle of Trust: A HUGE amount of wedding day stress is lifted because the engagement session has built a strong foundation of trust between you and the photographer. You love their work, you loved your engagement photos, and now you can sit back and enjoy your day knowing you are in good hands.
- Millions of End Uses: I don't know about you, but just about every photo I have of my husband and me were taken of us by us. I will be the first to tell you that the angle is never a flattering one. It is so nice to have professional pictures where you look beautiful, in love, and oh so stylish! These images have endless uses: (deep breath) Save the Dates, Guest Sign in Books, images at the reception, wedding websites, wedding slideshows, Thank You cards, and enough Facebook profile pictures to last a lifetime!
- Makeup Test Trial: A great makeup artist might be one of the most important components of looking and feeling your best on the big day. Why not kill two birds with one stone, and do a makeup trial for your engagement session to see how you like the makeup, and even more importantly to see how it photographs!?
- It is Fun!: The guys are always the ones who are the least excited about the engagement session, but I will tell you that your man secretly loves to look good and be photographed more than you or maybe even he knows. I always show the guy a photo from my camera during the session so he can see what a rock star they. It really does work wonders for the rest of the session, and by the end they shake my hand and tell me that they had way more fun than expected. (Ladies, let's keep this one between us. We want them to come to this conclusion on their own :)
Now that you are 100 percent convinced that you MUST HAVE an engagement session, here are a few ways to prepare:
- Start the session 2 hours prior to sunset to get beautiful golden light and some sunset shots
- Bring 2 - 3 outfits: a dressy one and casual one
- Prepare any props you want included in the session such as Thank You signs, blankets, balloons, picnic set up, pets, etc. Anything that expresses who you are as a couple really adds a lot of personality to the shoot.
- Wine! Why not have a glass before the session to celebrate a fun day! It will also ease any nerves you might have.
- Bring your love for each other and the photographer will take care of the rest
Photos are forever. I am sentimental to a fault and once in a while I take a moment to look at some of our Engagement Pictures framed in the hallway and smile at how much we have changed not only physically, but how much we have grown as a couple. I like to think of our future kids laughing at how young mom and dad used to look. In the end, you reap the benefits of the extra investment for a lifetime.