Every other week it seems a couple is deciding to tie the knot, sharing their news via Instagram or Facebook with a romantic photoshoot. In the old days, couples would send their engagement pictures to a hometown newspaper. Today, thanks to social media your photographs can be seen, shared and enjoyed by practically anyone. It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement.
Like all wedding decisions, whether or not to invest in an engagement session has a lot to do with both time and money, and also whether an engagement photoshoot makes sense for you and your partner. If you have a lot of photos together already and you’d rather save the money or put it toward the wedding, go for it. If you want to capture the fresh excitement that comes from an engagement, here are ten reasons we think you should.
1. Save the Date and Other Announcements
Many local and community newspapers and magazines publish engagement announcements, and encourage a sweet photo to go with the announcement. Engagement photos are also used to give a personal touch to your save-the-date.
2. Get to Know Your Photographer
You're going to be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day. An engagement session is a great way for you to get to know each other better. As photographer Ed Hafizov of Zorz Studios says, "The fun, rewarding experience during the earlier e-session,...makes me their "buddy" on the big day. I am not just a service provider anymore."
Carole Cohen of Carole Cohen Photography shares the same sentiment when she says, "Engagement sessions make me feel super close to the couple. So if we meet once at first to talk about the wedding, a second time for the engagement session and a hot cocoa afterwards (which often happens), I feel even more connected to them on their wedding, and it becomes a special day for me too."
3. Make Sure You Love Your Photographer's Work
Beyond being comfortable, now is the time to make sure you really love your photographer’s work. It's one thing to look at photographs of other people, it's another thing to look at photographs of yourself. Many photographers will reduce the cost of your engagement session if you also book the photographer for your wedding, but that's no reason to stick with a photographer that you don't absolutely love.
4. Find Your Best Angles
Do you know which side is your best side? Do you know how you feel about being photographed from behind? Do you know how to smile naturally on command? Chances are, you haven't spent a ton of time practicing these things. An engagement session gives you a chance to experiment and get comfortable with being the center of attention. You can also arrange to do a makeup trial run before your engagement session to see how your makeup will photograph on the big day.
According to Blaga Ditrow of Lush Life Photography & Film engagement photos are great for getting used to not just your look but "exposing [your] feelings. People are not used to having someone photograph them when they hug and kiss," says Ditrow.
5. Express Your Personality
You love the idea of a rustic country wedding, but your fiance wants a modern urban feel. With an engagement session, you can do both in one day! Try out different styles and themes, and see what really works for the two of you together.
Wedding professionals urge you to express your personality through your wedding, and now is the time to figure out what that could look like. Plus, come wedding day, there will be lots of people to please, from your mothers to your best friends. Today, your engagement photo session can be just about the two of you.
6. Exercise That Self-Love
Although social media puts us in front of the camera more often, most of us still don't get rock star or covergirl treatment. An engagement session lets you and your partner indulge in outfit changes, golden hour lighting and touch ups together. Everyone has a right to feel downright fabulous.
7. Engagement Photos are Future Home Decor
You may be planning on putting wedding photos in your home after you marry. As beautiful as they are at capturing that one special day, they're not how you look every day. Engagement photos can be taken in your every day clothes, in locations that are special to you. Having an engagement photo around can remind you not just of your wedding day, but of that special spark between your and your spouse-to-be.
8. Capture the Moment
You’re in one of the most enchanting stages of your relationship, but the sweet sentiment of being engaged is often overshadowed by wedding planning. Now is the time to get pictures that capture this exact moment of your relationship. Ultimately, your engagement photos are for you and your partner—unlike wedding photos, you don’t have to fit the wedding party and family members into the shots.
9. They Don’t *Have* to Be Cheesy
Okay, sometimes engagement photos get a bad rep for being a little cliche. Why are you kissing under that umbrella? Standing on those train tracks? By picking a meaningful location and keeping it natural, your photos will stay fresh and unique.
10. If Nothing Else, It's a Really Fun Date
At this point in your relationship, we're guessing you've gone on all the movie dates, dinner dates, and romantic escapes. But a photoshoot? Probably not. This is The Bachelor-level extravagant. Think of your engagement photos as a new, exciting date activity you haven't done yet. Make a day of it: Brunch beforehand with a bottle of champagne to follow.
Find your engagement or wedding photographer here.