Updated: Apr 13
I am a firm believer that everyone needs an engagement session. It is one of the things that people think isn't necessary, but they make so much sense when you do one. Not opting for an engagement session is high on the list of regrets couples have when it comes to planning their wedding. So, why is it so important?
1. It gives you a chance to get comfortable with your photographer. Unless you are models, you probably are not real comfortable with the idea of getting dressed or making out in front of a stranger. You also probably won’t trust that stranger to straight up tell you what to do and how to do it. When you have an engagement session you get to see how your photographer works. You get to hang out in a stress-free environment and spend actual time getting to know each other while you walk from location to location. Best of all, you get to see the results of your session. Sometimes it’s hard for my couples to trust some of the weird things I ask them to do when shooting, but once they see the results of the engagement session, they are confident in my direction and completely trust that the final product is going to be awesome.
2. It gives your photographer a chance to learn how to best direct you. For me, there is no set formula for photographing couples (or anyone for that matter). Some couples are super outgoing, silly, and super affectionate. Some couples are more reserved, anxious, or even awkward! I don’t want to force the reserved couple to pretend to be the outgoing couple, I want to guide them to help document and appreciate who they really are together. Getting to know your personality before the wedding day helps me mentally prepare how I should direct you for the best possible photos that are a perfect representation of YOU and YOUR LOVE. It also gives me a chance to learn what angles work best for you and which ones I should avoid on your wedding day.
3. It gives you beautiful photos to use for the wedding. You can use them on your wedding website, your save-the-date, your programs, your menus, and your invitations. You can have prints at each table at your reception, or display them on the walls. You can order a canvas, or a book of your photos and use it as your guestbook.
4. It gives you photos of you as a couple without all the wedding gear on. Don’t get me wrong, you look amazing on your wedding day, but it’s nice to have awesome photos of you together dressed like you. Doing the things you like to do together without being concerned about things like staying super clean, or not being able to breath or sit because your dress is too tight, or sweating your ass off in your suit, or your foot pain from your wedding shoes. There are so many more fun things we can do for photos when you are dressed in your normie clothes.
5. It gives you a chance to try out your makeup before the main event. Hopefully you will have a practice run with your makeup artist, and if you can coordinate it, your engagement session is the perfect day for your practice run. A full face of makeup takes time and costs money. If you are going to get it anyway, you might as well use the opportunity to make sure the makeup photographs as well as it looks in person. You can make sure your products stay on through snuggles, kisses, or sweat. Sometimes what feels like way too much makeup (especially to those of us who rarely wear it) looks perfect in photos. Sometimes tons of highlighter seems like a good idea, but then looks crazy in photos. Your engagement session is a great chance to test it out.
6. You will have one less thing to be nervous about. Once you have gotten to know your photographer better, you’ve seen the final product of their madness, you know that you can trust their direction and they know what they are doing, you perform so much better on your wedding day! Trust me having one less thing to worry about on your wedding day, is a HUGE relief.
7. You can go somewhere epic. Sometimes planning a wedding at your favorite place isn't possible. When you have family and friends flying in to attend, it's tough to manage car rentals, directions, and lodging for all of them. But when it's just the three of us, arranging to go anywhere you want for your engagement session is very possible. Beach, mountains, forest, open fields, city, country, whatever makes your heart happy, we can make it happen.
8. THEY ARE SUPER FUN! Engagement sessions are a friggin blast! I work directly with you to plan a perfect romantic outing for the two of you. The perfect date will look different for every couple and I LOVE that. Whether you wanna go out for pizza and beer, hike a mountain, have a picnic in a field of flowers, go to an arcade, or snuggle up at home - I guarantee you will have a great time and be so glad you did it.
Are you getting married? Contact me to set up a free wedding consultation!
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Cherish Harper is a professional photographer who owns Cherish Shanell Photography in Washington State. She specializes in wedding photography, but loves variety and often shoots families, high school seniors, lifestyle newborn sessions, maternity and couples. #Engagement #PNW #wedding #Washington #weddingphotographer #photographer #Tacoma #Olympia #Chehalis #Centralia #Longview #Portland #Coast