Updated: Nov 30, 2020
When you're engaged and in the middle of planning your whole wedding, getting engagement photos can seem like just another task to add to your list. It seems like a lot of people get them, but you're just not sure what is right for you. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision whether or not to make the jump and schedule an engagement photo session.
If you are one of those couples who hasn't had a lot of professional photos taken, an engagement session is the perfect introduction to what it is like to work with a photographer. At first, most couples say that they are super awkward in front of a camera and not comfortable posing. When we get together for an engagement session, they quickly learn that it is so much more fun and unposed than they were expecting. Instead of setting them in a series of unrealistic positions, I have them interact with each other, think about fun memories together or tell stories about their relationship, and the time flies by. Different photographers will have their unique approaches, so if you are still on the hunt for your wedding photographer, booking an engagement session can be a great way to test the waters and see if you find a photographer that you love. It's kind of like a first date with your photographer!
Your wedding day is going to be so beautiful and amazing. Everyone will be dressed up and looking their best, and the emotions will be running high. These photos will be ones you treasure forever. But do you want every photo in your house to be you in your wedding dress? One great thing about engagement photos is that they allow you to be more casual and more yourself than you might be on your wedding day. You can go to your favorite hiking trail or date spot, wear your favorite clothes, and bring your pets along for the ride. Whereas your wedding day will probably be more formal, anything goes for your engagement photos, and you can make them as personal and fun as you want!
There are so many great ways to use your engagement photos leading up to the wedding and on the day. They are perfect to use for your wedding website, save the date announcements, and invitations. A lot of couples use them on social media to countdown to the wedding.... "365 days to "I do," "99 days 'til we tie the know," "one month to go!" These are such fun posts that help pass the time and build up anticipation until the big day. You can print a collage of your photos to display at the wedding, or create a canvas for your guests to sign with their good wishes for you. Photo books with space for signing make great guest books that are beautiful to flip through and enjoy long after your wedding is over.
If you are feeling super stressed about the wedding and don't feel like you can fit one more thing into your schedule, it is totally okay to bow out of engagement photos. Lots of couples are less into the photos and more into the memories of the wedding, so if you feel like you truly only want to capture the big day itself that is totally fine! And if you feel that way, don't let anyone try to talk you into getting them. If you aren't excited about it, it just won't be a positive experience.
If you are on a tight budget and you just don't think you can fit in engagement photos, that is okay too! Lots of couples these days are paying for their own wedding, and you have to spend your budget carefully on the right things. If engagement photos aren't a high priority, put that part of your budget towards something that is really important to you.
Many photographers will include an engagement session with their wedding package, so if that is the case, you might as well take advantage of it! If there isn't a separate fee, then there is nothing to lose by having an extra set of photos. Many couples who go into an engagement session feeling unsure will come out at the end so happy that they did. The extra time with your photographer will help you get to know them on a personal level and to be really comfortable with them, so any anxiety should melt away. By the end, you should be laughing and having fun, like spending time with a great friend. If you don't feel that way, then maybe that photographer is not the right fit for you.
I always say that photography is like underwear - your style is super personal, and it's not one size fits all. You want to find a photographer who you really click with and who makes you feel amazing. If you feel this way after engagement photos, you'll know you have nothing to worry about when your big day comes.
Still on the fence? Schedule a complimentary consultation to see if engagement photos are a good fit for you! I'm firstname.lastname@example.org.