This is the first post in part of a series for brides (and grooms!) or for those who are helping someone plan a wedding. My hope is that this series will help you make informed and educated decisions about your wedding day so that it will be as beautiful as possible!
Are engagement sessions really all that important?
Yes. I believe engagement sessions are very important! I always think it's best to do an engagement session with the photographer who will be shooting your wedding when possible. Here's a few reasons why:
1. Your engagement session helps you get comfortable in front of the camera with your photographer
Let's face it, being photographed is awkward! I had the experience of being in front of the camera for my own engagement session last spring and even though I am a photographer myself, I still felt awkward and uncertain of what I should do. An engagement session gives you a great chance to get to know your photographer a little better and to get more comfortable in front of the camera. I think most of my couples walk away pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they felt after they got to know me a little better and after I guided them in different poses. My hope is that this will lead you to feel more comfortable with me and behind my camera on the day of your wedding!
2. You will treasure the pictures from your engagement session for years to come
Engagement pictures give you great versatility because you'll have professional pictures of you and your finance in something other than your wedding dress. Engagement pictures really show off your unique personality and relationship through your clothes, location, and props (if you choose to use them).
3. You can use the pictures from your engagement session for many different purposes
You can use your engagement pictures for "Save the Dates" or for a picture guestbook at your wedding. You can have them printed and displayed at showers and at your wedding. You can also have a canvas of your engagement picture printed and display it at your wedding. I offer canvases and there's a lot of great companies you can order picture guestbooks and other great products from (more to come on that in a later blog post!).
Now that I've established a few reasons why I think engagement sessions are important, here's a few tips when planning your engagement session:
1. Choose a location that is meaningful to you as a couple or that reflects your personality
I love when couples choose to do their engagement session at a location that is meaningful to them! You may want to choose the spot where your fiancé first proposed or a spot where you have good memories of going on dates. My husband and I chose downtown Greenville for our engagement session because we spent a lot of time in Greenville while we were dating and we chose to have our wedding reception at the Certus Loft downtown Greenville. You can also consider choosing a location that reflects your personality and interests. If you and your fiancé really love being outdoors, a field or session in the woods may be a great fit for you. You may love the city and choose to do a more urban session. Or you may consider yourself more of a "country" person and opt for a southern farm session. Choose something that reflects who you are!
2. If you use props, choose them wisely
What do I mean by props? Props can be anything from your favorite blanket to a sign, a letter, old luggage, flowers, old books, mugs, balloons, etc. Props are anything used to "style" your shoot. Props can be really cute but you need to choose them wisely. Think about looking back on your pictures 5, 10, 15 years from now. Will you regret choosing a certain prop or thing for your pictures because it was "trendy" then? Be sure to choose things that are timeless and are meaningful to you and not just choose something because it's trendy or you saw it on Pinterest (although choose trendy or Pinteresty things aren't necessarily a bad idea, just be wise in what you choose!).
3. Consider the style of your wedding
You can take or leave this suggestion. I don't think your engagement session has to reflect the style of your wedding but it's nice when it does! That way, when you send out save the dates they will reflect the style of your wedding and if you create an album with your engagement photos they will match your wedding photos. Consider if your wedding is rustic, woodsy, urban, vintage, etc. and then plan the location and style of your session accordingly. You can also go so far as to choose clothing and props that coordinate with the colors of your wedding if you want. I certainly don't think that's necessary or expected but it's a nice idea!
4. Paint your nails!!
I know many girls don't think about painting their nails and then they regret it when they're looking at their pictures later! My typical style is to get a few shots of your ring and of you holding your fiancée's hand so it's highly likely your nails will be in some of my pictures. I encourage you to paint them if you think you'll regret not doing it later!
I hope you enjoyed the first post in this series! Check back next Wednesday for my next post. I'll be discussing what to wear for your engagement session.