Why Engagement Photos Are So Important
Updated: Nov 8
You’re reading this right now for probably one of two reasons. The first being that you have found one or two photographers you’re about to reach out to, and want to know if you should ask about engagement photos? Or the other reason being you’ve booked your photographer, and their package might’ve included an engagement session that you’ll be gearing up for eventually. Either way, you’re right where you need to be because you want to understand more about the engagement photo process!
For the sake of our time together as you’re reading this, I want you to take whatever idea or image that pops into your head when you hear the words “engagement photos”, and allow me to help reshape that. It’s so easy to only think of this process as a bunch of weird and awkward posed photos, like you’re reliving your prom night (minus the toilet, and your best friend now maid of honor holding your hair back). But trust me when I say, this process goes so much deeper than just the photos. Here's a deeper look as to why engagement photos are so important.
WHAT ARE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?
Let's take a step back for a moment, and talk a little bit about why you've chosen your person. Some very obvious reasons might revolve around who they are on the inside. What they represent and stand for. And unquestionably, how they make you feel. You’ve felt such a deep connection to them, that you want nothing more than to spend the rest of your days at their side. That is one of the greatest gifts we as humans can ever experience, when it comes to connectivity with another. To feel such a deep sense of love and gratitude for someone else. We want to do all the things, all the time, to celebrate and make our partners feel appreciated. So why not take an opportunity where just for a few hours, you two shut the rest of the world out and just focus on just that; appreciation for one another. It doesn't have to be this formal photo thing, with a title on it and an expectation of becoming some overnight model. It can be as simple as an afternoon date. Whatever that may look like. Whether it be a long stroll around your favorite neighborhood that you enjoy going through, on your way to your neighborhood bar. Or just putting on your favorite record, making some coffee, and letting the time slowly drip by as you melt into one another on your living room couch. Whatever it looks like or wherever it takes you, one thing is certain; It should feel good to you. It should feel reflective of you.
These little portrait sessions should be reflective of you two. They should be whatever it is that makes you, you! Aside from having a ton of really beautiful images that you can look through years from now, reflecting this time in your lives, there is other positives to take into consideration when it comes to if you should or shouldn’t take on an engagement session.
ARE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS FOR US?
One of the biggest benefits to scheduling a session with your photographer, is to really formulate a unique relationship with them! Your photographer is going to be by your side probably 95% of the time on your wedding day. So why not get to know them, and let them get to know you too?! If you really want your photographer to do their job at their absolute full potential, the best thing you can do is bring them into your world and build a relationship with them. Think of it as meeting someone new at a party, and wanting to learn more about them after the fact! Meet for coffee, beers, food, go for a walk in the park, and just chat! Talk about you and your partner, tell them about a hilarious story involving the two of you, what's your favorite past time together, an experience you both want to have together in the future, anything! I don’t think that its easy for anyone to just plop themselves in front of a camera, and master the art of acting natural. Anyone can just show up, aim the camera, and press the button. But that image isn’t going to mean anything, if you look at that photo and feel like tourists in them.
Another major benefit to taking the time and scheduling a session with your photographer, is to get used to what it feels like having a camera around you! Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re not an A-list celebrity, who deals with cameras pointed in your direction every time you leave your home. Furthermore, you might even be someone who hates having the attention on them. When you take the time to get to know your photographer while they’re in front of the camera, you’ll be surprised how much more comfortable you’re going to feel when they’re behind the camera. It also in turn allows for your photographer to learn more about your dynamic as a duo. To understand your physical and emotional connection, your movement with one another. You’re allowing them a glimpse into the world you’ve built with your partner, which in turn gives your photographer the ability to capture the aspects that make you genuinely you.
When there is a lack of relationship between you two and your photographer, there is a lack of trust. And when there is a lack of trust, you might not feel comfortable having your photo taken. And your photographer might not be able to do what they’ve wanted to set out and do for you. As a result, this is when I think there ends up being a ton of photos where its just the two of you kissing, or performing some form of cardio. Nothing that you might feel is reflective of you two, or photos that you had hoped to see from your session.
MAYBE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS ARE NOT FOR US?
As much as I can sit here and give you a multitude of beneficial reasons as to why you should schedule an engagement session with your photographer, it just may not be as valuable for everyone. And that is completely okay. You might have had photos taken together before, when a photographer friend has asked you to be their subject in a shoot. Or you may just find that this process is something you really don’t care for. Whatever your reason, I am here to say that it is okay! I’ve had couples who have opted out, and the wedding day was still an absolute rager. Couples who became good friends that I still spend time with, even years after their wedding. It all comes down to whether or not you find value in doing this.