For almost all of my packages I offer an engagement session but rarely do couples take advantage of it. Most of the time it is lack of interest or even timing in most cases. There are also some cases where couples are simply coming in from out of town to do the wedding. In this post I am going to touch upon the importance of doing an engagement session with your photographer.
Get to know how your photographer works
As I mentioned above, most couples usually meet their photographer for the first time the day of the wedding. There is nothing wrong with this, but it can be hard to feel comfortable behind the camera just like that. It often takes a little bit of time to relax and truly feel at ease when someone is taking photos of you.
So with an engagement session, it really gives you the opportunity to not only get to know your photographer as a person, but also how he shoots and the process in which he takes photographs. Plus, after spending an hour in front of the camera, come the day of the wedding, you will be a season pro!
Also, if for some reason you don't like some aspects of the way your photographer works you can always bring it up before the wedding. I have never had this happen personally, but you never know.
Get comfortable with your other half
Unless you have done numerous photo sessions with your loved one in the past it can sometimes be a challenge getting natural photos right from the start. It takes time to feel comfortable and not be too 'posed'. So by doing an engagement session you get to work out the kinks and really learn how to be at ease and get those great candid shots. Plus, it may even give you some ideas you want to try out for your wedding day.
Using the photos for your wedding
By have engagement photos done before you wedding, it allows you to use those photos for just about anything your heart desires. Couples often use photos from our engagement sessions for invites, the guest book or even a personal website for all the guests. It may even be something as simple as having some nice photos to put up around your house. Some of my favourite photos have been from engagement sessions. The pressure of the wedding is still a long ways away therefore couples are usually very relaxed and playful which in turns creates some truly natural photos.
Yet another option for the photos would be a photo book. I have done a few of these for couples and they have all turned out great. By doing one for your engagement session it gives you a good test run for a full on wedding album.
There you have it. A few good reasons to think twice about not doing an engagement shoot before the wedding. If you do decide to do one, be sure to schedule it for well in advance. That way you will have plenty of time to use the photos for the wedding.