Who needs to do an engagement session, and who doesn’t?
If you’re getting married this year one of the things you may be asking yourself is whether or not you need to do an engagement session (E session) with your wedding photographer. I think most future brides should do an engagement session with their wedding photographer before the big day, but not everybody really needs to! Today I’m going to write about who should do an E session with their wedding photographer and who is probably alright to just skip it. These days it’s customary to do an engagement photoshoot with your wedding photographer prior to the wedding. There are a lot of good reasons for this.
The first reason you should consider doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer is so you can get to know your photographer better and become more comfortable in front of the camera! If your wedding day comes and you haven’t really gotten to know your photographer you may feel a little awkward in front of the camera. Doing an engagement session is the perfect way to not only find out more about each other, but get comfortable in front of the camera. Your wedding photographer will show you tips and tricks on how to feel comfortable in front of the lens, show you posing tips, and put you more at ease. You’ll be spending a good portion of the best day of your life with your photographer nearby, so it’s important to spend a little time together before the wedding. An E session is the perfect way to establish a great relationship with your wedding photographer prior to the big day!
The next reason you should consider doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer is to verify that you love their shooting/editing style. You’ve probably been poring over every local wedding photographer’s website for weeks or even months trying to choose the right photographer to capture the biggest day of your life. By now you’ve seen that shooting and editing styles can vary greatly among photographers! Some photographers are light and airy while others are dark and moody. Once you’ve decided which style suits you best you’re probably ready to pick a photographer! An engagement session is a worthwhile investment even if you love all the work on your photographers website. You need to work with this photographer personally to verify that you love how your photos are going to look shot and edited in their style. Sometimes brides will think they love a dark and moody look when searching through photography portfolios, but then once they see their own photos edited in that style they realize “light and bright” might be the better fit (and the opposite can also be true).
Sometimes things we see on websites look beautiful but then once our own photos are delivered we realize we may want something entirely different. Engagement photography is a great investment. You do not want to wait until you receive your full wedding gallery to realize your photos are way too dark (or way too bright) for your taste. Remember, these photos are going to be the memories you have of your wedding for the rest of your life. What’s in style today will likely not be what’s in style 5 to 10 years from now. Editing styles that are going to “date” your photos may not be the best choice. I recommend you do an E session and get your photos back before you sign a wedding contract. My brides sign their wedding contract at the engagement session photo reveal. This way I know they love the photos I created for them! So what happens if you get your engagement session photos back and you don’t love them? Well, you’re going to need to find another photographer and yes, I recommend doing another engagement session. Money lost on any engagement session will seem like nothing compared to being disappointed with your entire wedding gallery!
I mentioned that there are some brides who may not need to do an engagement session. Who are these brides? If you’ve already been working with a professional photographer for many years, you may not need an engagement session. If you have a photographer you love, he/she has been shooting your family photos for the last decade, you know and trust this photographer fully, and there’s no one else you’d rather have shoot your wedding, then I’d say you’re safe to forgo the engagement session. However, you might still want to do the session anyways just because it’s awesome to have professional quality photos for your Save the Dates!
In conclusion I think you should do an engagement session with your wedding photographer prior to the big day! In the end you may end up doing more than one engagement session, but I promise you it will be worth the investment when you see your wedding photos delivered!