What exactly is this term ‘engagement session’? Another surprise proposal around the corner? Nothing so dramatic; rather, it’s more fun and practical. We like to think of it as an extra photo shoot, or a trial run before the wedding. An engagement session is a relaxed portrait session allowing you to get comfortable in front of a camera and bond with your photographer.
The reasons are multiple with one of the most important being the new found confidence and comfort you’ll feel while being yourself around live action film. With this experience you’ll be able to preform like a rock star on your wedding day, one of the most important days of your life (not that we need to remind you!).
We would estimate that about 90% of us do not feel atomically comfortable in front of the camera. We smile with a cheese-like grin, holding stiff poses we’ve polished over the years. In the comfort and privacy of an engagement session, your professional photographer will be able to impart of wealth of experience and know-how to make the whole experience second nature. No deer caught in the headlights for my happy couples!
Why are engagement sessions important?
One, we want to get to know each other. I’ll get to know your best physical features, what makes you smile, and how you look when you’re feeling shy. It’s all about building rapport. This is also the time for you to share your creative ideas, expectations and desires. We will than have built a trust, leaving you confident that I will capture all those desires at the big event just for you.
Two, it’s time to let your inner Top Model out and get rid of the nerves. Just like you’ll probably practice the first dance a few times before the reception, it’s a good idea to get comfortable in front of the camera as well. It's unlikely that you've worked with a professional photographer before, thus it’s totally natural to feel a bit nervous. Part of the goal here is to get rid of the camera jitters. When the big day rolls around, you won’t be paying a second thought to my paparazzi working our magic in the background as you enjoy your wedding day.
Three, if you have a hair and make-up team already selected this can be a great opportunity to test out your ‘look’ or at least get a great feel for each other with a professional practice run. Remember to choose outfits that reflect your personal style as well. They can be fun, funky, artistic, sporty—whatever makes you YOU! It’s all about personality and planning. The more time you invest in choosing a stylish outfit for your photo shoot, the happier you’ll be with the outcome.
When’s the best time to plan this?
Well this can depend on how long in advance you’ve planned the big day. We’ve had some couples book us 9-12 months ahead of time. They than used their engagement session photos as a Save-the-Date invitation for their guests. The least amount of time we recommend is 2-4 months before the wedding. This gives both of us plenty of time to go over the shots and make adjustments. Another idea is to use some of these engagement photo session pics for a guest-signing book at your reception, as an engagement picture for your hometown newspaper to announce your marriage or in your wedding program.
Location, Location, Location!
We are more than happy to suggest a fantastic photo site that fits your preference in case you are having any difficulty coming up with the ideal venue. Here are some fun ideas to consider:
Horse back riding or farm setting
Hot air balloon field
Orange groves or botanical gardens
Rent a sailboat
Remember, this is all about you. This is your engagement; it should be honored and celebrated. Take the time to document your love story. These moments are special and deserve being captured as part of your life’s journey. Plan a day of it, and a night as well. We say head right from the photo shoot to date-night out and continue the fun!