Woohoo, if you’re reading this it’s because you’re engaged to the love of your life. Time for some celebratory drinks because you have officially entered one of the most exciting times in your life!! Your engagement should be celebrated much like every step of this wonderful journey that you are enduring.
That is why investing in your engagement photos should be equally as important as investing in your wedding photography. So if you’re in the “debating whether or not to book an engagement session” phase, let me clear some things up for you.
What Is An Engagement Session?
An engagement session is a portrait session of you and your partner celebrating your current engagement before your wedding day. Once you get engaged, celebrating your engagement should be a priority of yours. I mean, after all, this is a life-changing moment!
What Is The Purpose Of An Engagement Session?
Everyone may have different reasoning behind the purpose of their engagement photos. Oftentimes, however, engagement sessions are done for two reasons. One, because you are documenting this special time in your life. It’s not every day that you get to marry your best friend, right? So you might as well embrace every aspect of calling yourself a fiancé.
Second, it’s a way to help tell your love story. Imagine opening up a book just to find that you went from Chapter 1 to Chapter 5. Chapters 2-4 have been completely skipped! That’s how I like to view skipping an engagement session, like missing pages in a book. All chapters of your love story deserve to be documented.
What Are The Benefits Of An Engagement Session?
Whew, well when it comes to the benefits of an engagement session I could go on and on. Don’t worry though, I’ll try and keep this short and sweet!
Get To Know Your Wedding Photographer
Getting to know your wedding photographer has got to be one of the many amazing benefits of booking an engagement session. For some of you, this may not be your first rodeo being in front of the camera. For many of you though, this may be your first time getting professional photos taken – especially with your significant other. This can lead to a lot of nervousness building up, which is probably one of the reasons you may be hesitant to book an engagement session in the first place.
Let me tell you though, your engagement session is the perfect time to get to know your wedding photographer and how it feels to be in front of their camera. After all, this is the person that will be with you for your entire wedding day! Ideally, you want to establish a close relationship with the wedding photographer who will be there to capture your special moments. It not only makes you feel more comfortable but allows your wedding photographer to document your love story more organically.
Get Practice In Front Of The Camera
An engagement session gives you the opportunity to practice being in front of the camera. Again, this could be the first time being in front of a professional photographer and camera. The nerves are running high and I hate to break it to you, but being uncomfortable can show on camera. I know, not the things that you want to hear. However, that’s why booking an engagement session is so important! It gives you the chance to find out what you are and is not comfortable with and allows you to get a little bit of practice in before the big day.
My priority during sessions is always keeping you comfortable so I promise once you shake those initial jitters, you’ll be a natural in no time 😉
Have Photos For Your Wedding Materials
While the above two reasons may be more common, one common aspect of your engagement session that often gets overlooked is how you can use your engagement photos. Oh, you thought that you just get them taken and they live on your phone/computer forever? WRONG.
Many couples actually utilize their engagement photos all throughout their wedding materials and essentially get the most bang for their buck. This can include using your photos for save-the-dates, invitations, wedding table decor, wedding guestbook, etc.
Tip: If you’re planning on using your engagement photos for certain wedding materials with a specific deadline, make sure you communicate this with your wedding photographer. Your wedding photographer may specify a certain time frame in which to expect your final gallery and it just falls within when you’re needing your photos. Make sure that you and your wedding photographer are on the same page about when you should receive your engagement photos.
What To Do With Your Engagement Photos?
As I mentioned above, there are several different ways that you can repurpose your engagement photos to get the most bang for your buck. This can include using your engagement photos in:
- Save the dates
- Photos for your wedding website
- Guest signing book at your wedding
- Prints for your home
- Use them in your party favors
What Is The Experience Like Getting Engagement Photos Taken?
While I can’t speak on any other wedding photographers’ experience doing engagement photos, here is what you can expect working with me!
Throughout your engagement session, you can expect a very relaxed and easygoing atmosphere. I try my very best to get to know my couples prior to the engagement session. Come the day of your session we then basically feel like BFFs – woohoo! I am big on being able to incorporate a traditional style of photography along with my signature documentary style. Which, if you don’t know the lowdown on my documentary-style photos, click here to read more about it.
To sum it all up, I am big on capturing perfectly “posed” photos while still incorporating a more authentic and candid style into your engagement photos. It’s the perfect blend to get you the best of both worlds during your engagement session. This style allows you and your partner to be authentically you and I take care of documenting the rest.
I also encourage couples to choose a location that means something to your love story. This in and of itself helps enhance your overall engagement session experience. It helps tell your love story in a unique way that makes it completely yours. This could be where you first met, your first date spot, or your favorite place you both frequent together.
Creating a relaxed and easygoing environment along with choosing a location that helps tell your love story are the two magic ingredients to a beautiful and meaningful engagement session.
Misconceptions About Engagement Sessions
It’s important that before you make your decision about whether or not an engagement session is in your foreseeable future, I have to debunk some common misconceptions.
You Have To Go All Out For Your Engagement Session – WRONG
While I am a big believer in self-care and indulging in the moments that matter, that does not mean you have to go BIG for your engagement session if that feels inauthentic to you. Oftentimes, we have this pressure to “show up” for social media. Wear the best clothes and go all out for what looks good on your IG feed.
However, if I’m being frank a lot of my favorite sessions have often been at places a bit more subdued and meaningful to my couples. Not to say that going above and beyond for your session is not something I’m TOTALLY down for, but I want you to know it’s not your only option!
Your engagement session can take place as a chill night in your home documenting your space and doing your favorite activity. Rather than thinking about trying to go out of your comfort zone for your engagement session, think about it as an opportunity to incorporate elements of your personality, locations that are important to you both, activities you have enjoyed over the course of your relationship, etc.
Your Engagement Session Needs To Happen When It’s Warm Out – WRONG
Being a Chicago wedding photographer, I have learned that some of the best moments to document special memories are just about anywhere, at any time of the year. Here in Chicago, it can get coldddddd. That doesn’t mean you have to hold back on booking your engagement session though. I’ve had plenty of couples who want to bundle up and explore the city in the peak months of winter, and couples who want to embrace the beautiful flowers in the hottest months of summer. No matter the season, you can book your engagement session!
Your Engagement Session Needs To Be Outdoors – WRONG
With the above statement, many couples also believe that your engagement session needs to take place outdoors. This is entirely false and in fact, many of my favorite engagement sessions took place inside restaurants, bars, your home, or even in a professional photography studio. This is especially helpful when you’re dealing with the colder months and you do not want to entirely freeze your toes and fingers.
“What if my wedding is not that far away?”
“We already did an engagement session. Do we still need one?”
“What if we don’t have a ‘purpose’ for our engagement photos?”
“We already sent out our save-the-dates, now what?”
All of these things are valid questions to be asking yourself if you are in one of those four positions. Let me start off by saying that your engagement session does not need a specific purpose. Engagement photos are a moment in time spent celebrating this next step in your journey as a couple. It’s a time to get away from the stress of wedding planning and have a fun night together enjoying each other’s company.
I encourage you to look at your engagement session as more than just a way to “spend more money” because in all actuality money has nothing to do with it. It’s creating memories, documenting moments, and capturing your love. THOSE are the moments that are worth investing in that don’t have a price tag.
Get In Touch
If you’re a couple in search of a Chicago Wedding Photographer, then look no further! Inquire here and let’s chat about your wedding plans.