9 Reasons Why I Love Engagement Sessions
Engagement Sessions and why I love them!
Often, the first time I meet a couple is for their engagement photo session. This is the perfect way for us to get to know each other – meeting beforehand always helps make the wedding day portrait session all the more comfortable.
Getting Comfortable in Front of the Camera
Every couple I meet says the same thing: We’re terrible in front of the camera! I’m not photogenic! He hates having his photo taken! I understand how these couples feel, because I feel the same way about having my picture taken. However, what always happens is that midway through a session, I notice the couple becomes more relaxed. Since I don’t have to direct them as much at this point, they let their personalities shine through.
In order to help you relax in front of the camera, it’s important that we establish trust, which eventually leads to comfort. As a photographer, I always keep in mind that my subjects aren’t professional models – they’re real people who are likely not at home in front of a camera! Once you’re able to unwind, though, you’ll have a much nicer experience, not to mention better photos.
My last couple told me that it would take a miracle to make them look good. They mentioned that they always steer clear of photographers at other people’s weddings. I’m happy to say that I captured them looking lovely and very much in love.
Why I Love Shooting Engagement Photos
1. No two couples are the same. As a photographer, it’s my job to tell the story of how two people relate to each other. Even the differences between two halves of a couple are part of the story.
2. The mood that the couple is after will help determine the location – energetic photos are best in the daytime while dramatic images work better at sunrise or sunset, for example. However, sometimes the couple doesn’t really know what they want. This is where my expertise comes in – by asking certain questions, I’m able to narrow down the atmosphere you’re after.
3. I love finding new locations for clients and going to a place that means a lot to the couple. Back in the summer, I traveled all the way to Cornwall for a refreshing beachside engagement shoot. When choosing the location, I consider places that have some history with or emotional importance to the couple. Another aspect to choosing a location is that the background has to add to the story, not distract from the future Mr. and Mrs.
4. Minimal clutter and good lighting are integral to a successful engagement shoot. If you’re shooting in a popular location, like a city, time of day makes a big difference because you want to avoid having people in the background.
5. Engagement photos are a great excuse for the couple to have a professional set of images taken when they’re in normal, everyday clothing.
6. A range of styles can be shot, making the session appear to have lasted for four or more hours even though it was a simple one or two hour shoot. Why play with so many styles? Dramatic images work well for Save the Dates, traditional and simple photos can be sent to the couple’s parents and the newspaper, and creative shots are excellent for home decor.
7. There are so many opportunities to use engagement photos: on wedding invitations and Save the Dates, during a slideshow at the reception, as table decoration, for the cover of the guest book and even as thank you cards.
8. On the wedding day, I already know what works best for you – what you like about your bodies, which poses and stances you’re most comfortable in, your personalities… This helps me determine if the photos should be playful and fun, romantic and personal, or a combination of both.
9. In the end, most couples admit that they actually enjoyed the session – not only does it provide quality time together, but most people find it quite fun!
While I’m usually behind the camera, I’ll be booking my own engagement shoot soon since I don’t have any pictures of me and my fiancé together! I expect it to be a good learning experience – I will finally see what it’s like on the other side of the camera and to have my portraits taken by a photographer I admire.
My on-location engagement sessions last for two hours. Each couple receives access to an online gallery where they can download and share the images with family and friends.