Many photographers offer an engagement session as an add-on to their wedding photography packages. Every single one of my wedding packages includes an engagement session, even if the couple has already had them done. Why?
An engagement session is a valuable and vital opportunity for you to get to know the couple, and for them to get to know you. Moreover, this is a chance for all three of you to get comfortable- for them to get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding day, and for you to get comfortable working with them. Every couple has their own energy, vibe, and things they are more or less comfortable with. In an engagement session, you can gauge this energy and figure out what works photographically for the couple.
At its core, an engagement session is a warm-up period for the wedding day. Practice poses that you’d like to do on the wedding day, so that when the day rolls around the couple has already been in them, felt comfortable in them, and perfected them. I assure you- this will make all the difference in the world in your wedding day portrait photos. Then, on wedding day, when you say “okay, do this pose!”, you may need to refresh their memory, but muscle memory will kick in and they’ll remember doing the pose before. They’ll also have seen the result of the pose in the engagement photos, and a) know it looks good and b) know how to tweak it to look even better than before. Practice makes perfect!
An engagement session is also a chance for the couple to trust you. The more you get to know about each other, and the more time you spend with each other, the closer a relationship you will form. My business is all about relationships, and so this is extremely vital to my brand and my business. If a couple trusts you, they will take your direction (even when it feels weird), and you’ll end up with striking portraits.
Lastly, engagement sessions are a chance to have fun and create genuine portraits! Less formal than the wedding day, e-sessions can capture a couple’s personality, their goofy side, their interests, and more. Perhaps they love hiking, so you go shoot on a trail in the mountains. Perhaps they bring their dog. Perhaps they tell you their entire story about meeting in college, so you walk around campus and photograph at all their favorite locations.
Use the engagement session to your advantage, and I assure you it will make all the difference come wedding day!