Have you ever wondered, “is an engagement session really necessary?”
Most couples have. And it makes sense. Being in front of the camera can be scary. I often hear, “I never look good in pictures”, “I’m always so awkward in front of the camera”, or concern that the groom just isn’t going to dig frolicking around taking pictures because family pictures went so well during the holidays… 😉
Now don’t get me wrong, I know many a groom that are as gung-ho as the bride or, at the very least, are willing to take one for the team (shout out to my groom who grew a 70’s inspired mustache for his bride to complete the styled engagement look!). But occasionally, I have a bride that isn’t quite sure how well the groom is going to take the idea of an engagement session in the Alps and she’d like to have her pitch ready.
Ready, set, catch. See what I did there?? 😉
Reason number 1: Opportunity for us to get to know each other.
If you’ve spent any time with me at all, we’ve probably talked about this. And I’ll admit this might seem like an obvious statement but I cannot overstate the importance of this one. Just to be clear. We are NOT that photography studio that shows up on your wedding day and snaps a few pictures. We’re more like your super funny-yet-totally-crazy-cousin that is always way too involved in your life. 🙂 I started this wedding photography studio over 10 years ago with the idea that you need beautiful imagery as well as real moments with the people you love. Whether we’re photographing in Cleveland or we’re adventuring somewhere around the world with you guys. My team can’t pull that off if we don’t know what matters to you as a couple.
Over the course of your engagement on the way to your wedding day, the team will spend hours communicating, planning, and talking with you both. Traditionally, I will spend a lot less time with the groom. Having the two of you in one place is a really big deal for me. Getting a feel for you guys as a couple is huge. Watching how you interact, how he looks at you, what matters to him helps us tell your story. The more foundation we have, the stronger the relationship on your wedding day, and the better we can tell your story. That’s a win for everyone.
Reason number 2: Freedom to get comfortable in front of the camera.
Because most people aren’t photographed on a regular basis, (unless they’re a model, go you) it’s natural for there to be a few jitters in front of a camera. That is totally normal and totally expected. The most important thing to note here is having your photos professionally taken is NOT the same as the snapshots or selfies you’ve had in the past. It is an entirely different experience and one that I think you might be surprised how easy and fluid it really is. You’ll never have to wonder where to put your hands, you’ll never have to wonder where to stand. What you will do is a whole lot of laughing and remembering why you fell in love in the first place. Also, there is a 75% chance you’ll make me cry when you share some of your love story with me. Bonus entertainment. 😉 It takes time to get comfortable with each other and being able to do that on a day nowhere near your wedding day is a big plus! It also means that on your actual wedding day when we walk into the room both you and your groom are going to be totally relaxed and excited to see all of us. It makes my heart happy when we walk in a groom’s getting ready room and he introduces us to his groomsmen by saying; “these guys are awesome, it’s not like getting your photo taken”. Win.
Reason number 3: No pressure.
No matter how brilliant your wedding timeline is (and believe me, if you’re a Dragonfly bride, we will all work together to make sure that the timeline is brilliant), there is still a strong pace on a wedding day with a lot of unknowns. An engagement session is absolutely stress-free in that we can explore, take time, do something really different and there aren’t any other things on the agenda. Also, I may bring snacks.
Reason number 4: Good coffee.
Here is the thing, we really need to keep everyone happy on an engagement shoot day. Obviously, right? Right. If you spend more than, oh say 5 or 6 minutes with me we will probably stop off for a good cup of coffee. Because, hey, if we’re going to be friends and all… NOTE: this especially applies if we’re scheduling a sunrise engagement shoot. 😉
Reason number 5: The sign in Album.
Swoon, swoon. I wish at this point in your reading you could pick up a sign-in album and fully appreciate the beauty that it is to behold. Oh man, this may be my favorite reason. A sign-in album is my favorite way to display your engagement images at your wedding. It’s a super gorgeous album that when laid flat would have an image, or a spread of images on one side and the other is blank and ready for guests’ notes and signatures. I LOVE this option because it allows your guests to see the beautiful engagement images that we made, something they wouldn’t ordinarily be seeing, share with them some of your story before the wedding day and it allows you to capture your loved one’s well wishes on something that is going to be classic and not go out of style. As ‘cute’ as all those Pinteresty sign-in ideas are, where are you going to stack 300 cards, fingerprint paintings, glass ornaments, etc. in real life? Exactly. In case you couldn’t tell, I adore these albums.
Hopefully, this was a little help in seeing the incredible value of an engagement session. If you’re looking for what to wear for your engagement session check out this post for a little more help in that direction.