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3 Reasons You Should Book an Engagement Session: Tips from a Southern California Wedding Photographe

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Congratulations! You said yes! Or asked the all-important question. Either way, you are about to embark on the greatest adventure of your lives, provided that you can survive the planning stages. I guarantee at some point you are going to get overwhelmed - with just about every aspect of the wedding. So many locations to choose from! Who knew there were 5,000 different types of "pink" flowers? 21 different flavors of cake to choose from? Well, ok, that could be fun. Do we really need to schedule an engagement session? There’s so much going on.

Yes. Yes, you really do. My job as your photographer is to keep you from getting overwhelmed when it comes to how your wedding pictures will turn out. And one of the best ways to do that is to schedule an engagement session 6-12 months before your big day. Let me tell you why....

  • It gives you time to get comfortable in front of the camera.

Let's face it. Most of us are not super comfortable in front of the camera. I know I'm not. If I could have a dollar for every time a client dropped the word "awkward" - let's just say I'd have a lot more dollars. An engagement session is like a practice run for the big day. It gives you a chance to shake off all that awkwardness (sometimes I literally will tell my clients to “shake it out” as we start the session if they seem a little stiff) and relax. Most of us don’t take professional photos on a regular basis, and so we have no idea what to expect when the camera is suddenly turned on us. Engagement sessions help everyone involved know what to expect, and to take the edge off before game time.

Engagement session at maurice carrie winery in Temecula California
  • It gives you time to get to know your photographer – and for your photographer to get to know you

With busy schedules and the availability of social media, more and more couples are doing all of their vendor booking electronically, after a quick phone interview. While this makes things super convenient, it can also make things a bit awkward on your wedding day, if you’ve never actually met your photographer.

An engagement session gives you the opportunity to get to know your photographer, and it also gives me a chance to get to know you. How you guys relate as a couple, tricks to make you smile, ways to help you feel comfortable, any quirks you may have that can affect your photos – for example if one of you is a blinker – are all things that can be worked out during your engagement session. Engagement photos give us the opportunity to try out different poses and angles, to figure out what works and doesn’t work for you as individuals, and as a couple, ensuring that your wedding day will run more smoothly and that your photos will come out exactly as desired.

  • You’re able to get creative photos that can be used for all kinds of things, including Save The Dates and Invitations

Once you have your engagement images, there are so many things you can do with them. Photos always make great gifts, especially for parents, grandparents, and out-of-town relatives that don’t get to see you often. If you live, or grew up, somewhere that publishes engagement announcements, you can send a copy to your hometown newspaper to announce your upcoming marriage. The photos can also be used for your wedding program or wedding website. You can print a favorite image and then have guests sign a matte around it at the wedding, or you can print a number of the images in a custom guest book to use on the big day. And of course, engagement photos are the perfect thing to use for your Save-The-Date announcements. The possibilities really are endless.

So as much as it can be a pain to try to “fit in” an engagement session amidst all the wedding planning, you are the ones who will benefit. Working together before your big day will help us get to know each other, let us have some fun time together, and ultimately, allow us to know what needs to be done to guarantee that you get photos worthy of your dream wedding.

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