Hi, friends! Meredith of Meredith McKee Photography here! Last week we talked about feeling more comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day (link to last week) & one of the big tips I shared was doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer. This isn’t the only reason to do a shoot, though! There are tons of benefits that I’ve compiled here for you to consider - and just a hint… my biggest take away is to have FUN!
1. Getting to know your photographer
I love getting to do engagement sessions with my couples because I truly believe that they are a VITAL part of the entire process.
Think of it more as a “getting to know you session”.
Just like you have a tasting with your caterer or a walk through with your venue, you should have the same experience with your photographer!
During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know your photographer, experience how they shoot, and learn how they handle posing and lighting. And they’ll get to know how you two interact & fit together! This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. You will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the great practice you had during your engagement session. It will be like welcoming an old friend to your day rather than a stranger and this naturally leads to more authentic photographs. Your photographer will be there for so many intimate and special moments throughout the day so this relationship is important to cultivate!
2. Taking the pressure off
In a similar vein to getting to know your photographer, doing engagement photos lets you take the pressure off of portraits. Some of my favorite photos of my husband and me are from our engagement session, not our wedding! Wedding days can be rushed and stressful. You’re surrounded by family, friends and vendors, and the emphasis isn’t really on getting the perfect portraits of you two (although we know that is a BIG part!) but rather on capturing the day as a whole.
Your engagement session is exactly that, though. 100% focused on you and your love. Engagement sessions are all about having fun and celebrating you as a couple. No rushing between timeline events, answering your mom’s millionth question, or worrying about getting your custom silk gown dirty. You get to focus on your connection, and tell that beautiful story through images.
3. Creativity with location
One of my favorite aspects about engagement sessions is that you can do them wherever you want! I love when my couples suggest going to the ice cream shop where they had their first date, or hiking in the mountains with their pup like they love to do every weekend. This is your chance to tell your unique love story, so feel free to get creative and think outside the box!
If you’re having an urban wedding, consider doing your engagement session in the countryside. This will give you variety in the photos that you will eventually hang around your home, and a chance to explore a different vibe. If you want more inspiration about choosing your engagement session location, you can check out the post I wrote about it over on my blog here.
4. Your season of life
I am a big believer in celebrating where you are at in life & your relationship. Kevin and I had a long engagement - nearly a year and a half. It was important to me to remember this time as a couple and not simply get lost in the waiting and planning. We got our puppy, Lemon, shortly after our wedding, so our engagement photos were our only portraits we’ve taken without her. That is a special (and slightly more peaceful haha) memory to hold on to! Whether you move apartments, or wanted to traipse through the snow before your summer wedding, this time of engagement is unique and important. Photos have the privilege of putting a time and date stamp on our lives and that is truly wonderful!
5. Practicality for wedding usage
It would be silly to not mention the actual practical benefits of doing an engagement session! You can use your engagement photos for anything from save the dates to your guestbook to your wedding website. We even had framed photos of us placed on the gift & name card tables. You can repurpose those framed portraits to start that family photo gallery wall in your home! They’re going to look beautiful next to those shots of you officially saying “I Do!”