Why Engagement Sessions are Important

I’ve recently had a few inquiries from potential clients
about discounted pricing if they opt to not take advantage of the engagement
session included in my wedding packages. 
I’m a huge believer in engagement sessions for many reasons, which
brings me to this blog post. I’m hoping that I can help potential brides (and
grooms) to understand why these sessions are so important and potentially even
help some other photographers explain this to their clients as well.

Here are my top 3 reasons why I believe you should take
advantage of an engagement session:

sessions give the client and the photographer an opportunity to get to know
each other
. Have you ever been on a blind date?  They can be super awkward because you have
never met each other before. You don’t know if you are compatible, if you have
anything in common, if you share the same sense of humor, etc. If you don’t
take advantage of an engagement session your wedding could turn out something
like a bad blind date.  If you have never
worked with your photographer until the day of the wedding how can you possibly
know if you are compatible or not?  
Often times photographers have different techniques for “getting the
shot” and sometimes these can work great for individuals and sometimes not. For
example if a photographer relies on humor to get the clients to laugh and
produce genuine happiness in photos but yet the client does not find the
photographer’s sense of humor funny then it’s probably not going to translate
into a very good photograph.  There could
also be a situation where the couple’s personalities simply clash with the
photographer’s.   It’s better that you
realize you are not compatible BEFORE your wedding day on not on it.   Remember that there are no second chances
when it comes to the photos on your wedding day, so don’t take it lightly!  Personally, I like to talk to my clients a
lot throughout the engagement session to find out things like where they are
from, what they like to do together, what makes them tick, what makes them
laugh and so on.  Bonding with your
couples before the wedding is invaluable because it creates a level of trust
before the wedding day which always translates
into better photos.

engagement sessions lets your photographer have an opportunity to see how you
.  Often,  the first time I meet my clients is on the
day of their engagement session.  So many
people are too busy these days to schedule face to face meetings and simply
book a wedding without ever having met me in person.  From a photographer’s perspective (no matter
how much Facebook stalking you do), you have no idea of the client’s best
angles, if they are self conscious about themselves or certain parts of their
body or even how they interact with their fiancé.  There are so many factors that go into making
a good photo and it’s very important to see how your clients photograph before
their wedding day.  If they are self
conscious about their weight they may or may not have said something to you
before the photography session but if they don’t mention it, it’s pretty easy
to pick up on. If I know this before the wedding day its easier for me to plan
out poses that we can do instead of thinking on my feet in a time crunch.  The same situation applies if they are super
shy in front of the camera. Part of being a photographer is reading people and
figuring out what is going to work to make them both look and feel their best
in front of the camera. A comfortable model goes a long way towards creating a
good image!   Lastly, knowing how the
bride and groom interact is very important. If I notice during the engagement
session that for example, the bride is slightly shy and feels more comfortable
when she is always holding her fiancee’s hand then I know that she is going to
feel more comfortable (and therefore look more relaxed in photos) if we do
poses where she is in contact with her man. 
Great!  Now I can plan for a lot
more intimate shots for the wedding day. 
Because we never have much time for photos during the wedding day it’s a
HUGE advantage having all of this figured out beforehand instead of the day

3.       An engagement session doubles as a great
way for the bride to test drive her makeup. 
I am a huge believer in having professional makeup done for a photo
shoot.  Seriously, it makes SUCH a
difference in the way one not only photographs but feels in a photo. I know for
myself, if my makeup is done I feel so much more confident in front of the
camera and it always makes me feel like a better, more polished version of
myself.  If brides take advantage of the
trial makeup run for the engagement shoot she will get to see how her makeup
will look as well as how it photographs. If there are any adjustments she wants
made then she can discuss this with the makeup artist so it’s picture perfect
on the wedding day.

Not only do couples develop a relationship with their
photographer and get comfortable in front of the camera during an engagement
session, but obviously they get to see a taste of how the photographer
photographs them before getting their wedding photos back. Think of your
engagement session as a test run for your wedding.  If there are any pictures that you absolutely
loved then let your photographer know! By the same token if you see something
you weren’t crazy about let them know as well! 
We as photographers are striving to make clients look and feel their
best and (speaking for myself of course) always want an open and honest
relationship with my clients.

I hope this helps someone out there in cyberspace understand
a little bit more about why engagement sessions are such a vital step in
creating beautiful, lasting wedding photos. 
After all, it is one of the most important days of your life.   Happy Tuesday!


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