I've been seeing more and more requests from couples lately who are not interested in having an engagement session before their wedding. It's throwing me for a loop, because I see engagement sessions becoming more popular as time goes on. Many couples, after hiring a photographer to shoot their wedding, aren't even meeting up before the big day. So, what's the reason? No time? Travel issues? Not in the budget? I believe your engagement session is one of the most important parts of the wedding photography process. Let me give you a few reasons why you'll benefit from investing in a quality engagement photographer.
1. We'll find out if we're a good fit
When you meet your photographer for the first time at your engagement session, it's refreshing, relaxing, easy, fun, and stress-free. This is your chance to talk with your photog and get to know them better. By the end of the session, you'll be confident in your decision on whether or not they are the right photographer for you. Fast-forward a few months to the wedding day: Things will be hectic. Guests will run late, you'll forget an earring, and among other things, you won't be able to relax. The last thing you need to worry about is feeling awkward in front of the camera (don't forget, your photog spends the most amount of time with you on the wedding day, more than any other vendor). You can breathe a deep sigh of relief knowing there's a friendly and familiar face behind the camera (the same person who's seen you kiss your fiancé a hundred times at your engagement session!).
2. You'll learn all the best angles
Your photographer is going to do their absolute best to make you and your fiancé look AMAZING in your photos. You should receive specific instructions on how to pose and how to position your body in a way that is flattering on camera. The awkwardness in the beginning will eventually go away, and you'll get plenty of time to practice your posing at your engagement session. When the wedding day finally arrives, you'll be a PRO, and you'll know exactly what to do and how to pose. This is all so that you feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
3. one step ahead of the game
If you plan on sending Save the Dates, your engagement photos make the perfect card to reveal to your friends and family! I also know couples who have used one of their engagement photos for a newspaper announcement. There are several amazing companies out there who print Save the Dates. If you decide not to order them through your photographer, I recommend using Minted. They offer some of my FAVORITE types of printing, including letterpress and foil stamping. The end product is worth it (trust me), and it definitely builds up the excitement for the big day among friends and family!
4. More pictures = more variety
Your engagement photos show just a glimpse into the pages of your love story. Having them will give you more of a variety of photos to choose from when selecting artwork to decorate your new home, when giving to family members as gifts, or when creating your wedding album. You can also make prints to display at your wedding reception. You can even use them for Christmas cards! The options are endless, and you don't have to wait until after your wedding to enjoy your photographs.
So if you're asking yourself, "Michelle, why bother explaining all of this? Let us just do what we want to do!" In the end, if you choose not to have an engagement session, well, that's your decision! I can totally respect that, and at least you've heard me out. But your wedding day only happens once. Make the most of it. Get some engagement photos. Have fun. I PROMISE, you will. not. regret it.