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  • Writer's pictureNina Bashaw

6 reasons to book an engagement session

As a wedding photographer some of my favorite shoots are engagement sessions. And that is why engagement sessions are included in my exclusive wedding package and premium wedding packages. In the past a few of my clients have chosen to forgo the engagement session due to the fact they are planning there wedding from out of town. However, I strongly suggest considering planning a trip for you engagement session, and here are six reason why you should take advantage of the engagement session.

1 : You get to know your photographer better

The engagement session is a great way to spend some time with your photographer before the wedding day and have a little preview on how you’re wedding photography will go on the day of your wedding. Having a strong relationship with your photographer will help you become more comfortable with each other and build a strong trust with them thus being prepared and comfortable with each other on the actual wedding day. After all your wedding photographer will be around you for the whole wedding day, so a good solid working relationship between you is very important. During your engagement session your photographer gets to see how you and your fiancé interact with each other, and can take time to pose you naturally and in a flattering and romantic way. While these sessions typically have a time-limit, ( I generally spend about two hours with my couples during their engagement shoot) the pressure is off and you’re able to really take your time, relax and have fun during the session.

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2: You get more comfortable in front of the camera

Spending a couple hours in front of the camera is the key to avoiding stiff and awkward looking photos. I am often asked as we start the session questions like ; “What do you want us to do?, Where should I put my hands?, Should I smile and look at you?” These are all valid and completely normal questions to ask. It’s to be expected that you might be nervous about having your photos taken, so it’s understandable that you need and want direction as to what to do. Think about it like when you are learning something new, practice makes perfect! Often some of my favorites from the engagement session are from the last 45 minutes of the photoshoot because you are more relaxed and comfortable at that point. The first half of the shoot I spend a lot of time teaching couples how to relax in front of the camera, shooting lots of different poses and angles. My goal as your photographer is to produce classic and romantic photos, that reflect your personalities. So I will direct and pose you, but then I take a step back and let you create the magic, while photographing at your most faltering angles and genuine smiles.

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3: Using your photos for Save-The-Dates

Save the dates with your engagement photos are not only beautiful, but it also gives your wedding guest a sneak peek into how your wedding will be. Why not show off your beautiful engagement photos with your friends and family! I love creating customized Save-The-Dates for my clients and show my clients examples of what I can create for you. They can be in print form or digital if you’re forgoing printed invites.

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4: You’re able to get creative

This is one area that has a lot less limitations when it comes to expressing your couples style creatively in your engagement session compared to your wedding day. For example, your outfits. On your wedding day you are going to be in that one gown all day, and it will be stunning! But when shooting an engagement session I encourage my clients to bring a minimum of two outfits. You can be causal in one outfit and then more formal in another, plus it gives you more variety in your photos. Make sure to choose outfits that you love and feel beautiful and handsome in. Another way to express your creativity is in the location(s) that you choose to have your photos taken at. After all on your wedding day, nine times out of ten you are limited to the church and / or reception venue. But for an engagement session you can choose several locations. For some couples they love a beautiful state park, the beach, somewhere that holds a special meaning to them. Another option is something less formal such as a lifestyle session, this could be inside your home while photographing you doing things that you love to do together. Such as cooking, reading, drinking coffee, whatever you enjoy doing together and reflects your personalities. Or why not choose multiple locations for your engagement session, I usually do a two or three locations for an engagement session. Just remember to take into consideration travel time between each location.

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5: They might be included in your wedding package

You will find that the majority of professional wedding photographers include the engagement session in their wedding packagings. Some wedding photographers offer engagement sessions as an a la carte add-on to the experience. Either way, it’s worth the investment and you should take advantage of the opportunity to work with your photographer prior to your wedding day. Another thing to consider is if you’ve won a free engagement session at a bridal show, a friend offers to shoot your engagement session, or gifts you an engagement session form another photographer, I would still recommend shooting your complementary session with your hired wedding photographer. One reason is because it’s often included in the cost of the wedding package, and just because you decide to forgo the complementary session, the price of the wedding package will not change or be discounted if you decide not to take advantage of the included engagement session. Also, every photographer has their own editing style, posing and way of directing you in a photoshoot. So the session that you were gifted from a friend or an other photographer could be vastly different from the one your hired wedding photographer has included into your package.

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6: Engagement sessions are fun

Engagement sessions are stress free, no pressure, and meant to be one the most fun parts wedding planning! As stated above you can dress up or down, have a theme, include a pet, celebrate a favorite sports team, whatever your heart desires. And as bonus an engagement session is the perfect way to test out your wedding day hair and makeup.

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