Engagement Sessions

by | Jul 31, 2020

Why an engagement session?

That’s a great question, thanks for asking!  There are several reasons why you’ll want to schedule an engagement session with your photographer, and the first is obvious: you’ll have some great photos that you can use for your invitations.  These photos can be used for more than your invitations, however.  Most people send Save-The-Date cards out before the invitations as something of a pre-invitation announcement.

Another great use for them (one that I wish more couples would take advantage of) is actually long after the invitations have been sent out.  Some couples pick their favourite photo from the shoot and get it printed large (usually 11×14 or 16×20).  They then put a mat around the print and place it on a table at the entrance to the reception hall.  They leave a pen (or several pens, as these things tend to wander away) next to the print so their guests can sign it and leave little messages.  I’ve even seen engagement session photos used in a small album at the reception instead of a guest book!

It’s always easier to smile when you have some to smile at…

…even if you need a little help sometimes!

Interesting… what are the other reasons to have an engagement session?

If you’re like most people, you’re not very comfortable being in front of a camera.  That’s perfectly normal.  Most of that feeling of being uncomfortable comes from you simply not knowing what you’re supposed to do.  That feeling of uncertainty is rooted in fear, which makes you become anxious and causes you to tense up.  Think of that wide-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights look on many people’s business portraits.  They almost look like they’re scared.  An engagement session can help you with that.

There’s nothing quite like a good black-and-white photo.  It’s timeless, yet always in style.

If you’re lucky, your photographer might even go the authentic route and shoot a few shots on film!

Ok… go on.

Think of the engagement session as a practice run.  It gives the two of you an opportunity to get used to being in front of a camera.  The session is going to be very similar to what’s going to happen on your wedding day.  You have the opportunity to get accustomed to posing for the camera, but you also get used to ignoring the camera when the photographer wants candid photos.  It’s actually harder than you think to ignore someone who’s taking your photo!

An engagement session also gives your photographer a chance to see what you’re like in front of the camera.  They can quickly get a sense of what kind of posing will work with you, what definitely won’t, and what kind of coaching you might need.

Coaching?

Yup.  Coaching is when a photographer doesn’t just tell you what to do, they tell you how to do it and, if they’re really good, they explain to you why you’re doing it.  “Stand here, look that way, and smile” simply doesn’t work for most people.  When the photographer coaches the model (and yes, you guys are models during the shoot) they teach the model how to pose properly, but they’re also doing something else more subtle.  They’re eliminating the fear.  Remember, that fear comes from being uncertain about what to do.  If the photographer gives you things that you can do anytime you’re on camera, you’re no longer uncertain because you now know what to do.  That uncertainty gets replaced with confidence, and confidence will lead to you looking more relaxed and happy in your photos.  After all, that’s what we’re really after, right?

If you’re looking for more helpful advice to make your wedding as great as it can be, take a look at our planning guide here!

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