Why do you need an engagement session in your photography package?
While finishing up a blog yesterday I read something on the TheKnot talking about engagement sessions. The blog earlier this year (Tips for Being a Better Wedding Photographer) was more focused on the side of the wedding photographer needing to offer this portrait session. For my photography couples everyone of them know how important I feel this engagement photo session is.
I get asked all the time if a couple can take this option out to save money. Or they feel they don’t need because a friend gave them a photoshoot for a gift. There are so many reasons to keep this I decided to write this blog to highlight why an engagement session is needed for a future couple and for wedding photographers to offer one in your wedding packages. I also wanted to give you some insight from other photographers and wedding websites.
1. The first thing of why I included an engagement session with every package is it gives me a chance to work with my couples prior to the wedding date.
I can start to earn their trust and hopefully they start to feel comfortable with the choice they have made for their wedding. This is huge in them feeling comfortable for the actual wedding day. The more comfortable a bride and groom is the more natural they will look and feel. This starts to unlock getting the true emotions into a photograph.
Some people ask why we include engagement sessions with every wedding that we photograph, and the answer is simple.
The engagement session is the perfect excuse to hang out with our clients, get to know a LOT about them, and allow them to get used to being photographed by us. These are big advantages in crafting a comfortable, smooth, positive experience for our couples.
2. This is photography session the perfect chance for a wedding photographer to see how each couple fits together.
We all know that sometimes as photographers we get couples that the bride might be slightly taller than our groom so every pose has to be tweaked just a little bit to see how it will work. You might also find out that some poses that are sort of your go to poses don’t work with this couple and you have to figure out something a little different.
Not every kiss is a cover of a romance novel.
My tip is for a genuine kiss is have the bride always lean toward the groom. Grooms tend to hunch over and get the fish lips to kiss his bride. When your groom stays in position she fills the gap and no hunching over and no fish lips.
3. The perfect smile might not be a smile.
For for the bride and groom this photo session gives them a chance to see how different expressions look in the camera. The bride, groom and photographer will get a chance to see what expressions my look a little better. Brides and grooms its also ok to go home with a mirror and practice a few. You can see whether you like your smile a little bit more or you just really don’t like the serious. Either way this gives everyone the opportunity to discuss what you like and don’t like.
4. This is a perfect opportunity for a bride and groom to get a chance to see a photographers workflow.
By posting pictures on social media then also posting on your favorite site you can walk your wedding couples through exactly the process they will have after the wedding day for them to see all of their beautiful photos.
5. I am a huge believer in style.
I always try to talk to my brides and grooms prior to the wedding day about what style they are really looking for. Plus I really want to make sure that style matches up with the style of how I shoot. With the engagement session I really start focusing on the style of my wedding couple. I let my couples know ahead of time that sometimes I try to get more of an elegant poses and maybe more expression out of them. Then there’s other times that I’m really looking for that fun giggling big smile something that really says I’m happy to be here. Then there are the some couples that I can get a little of both.
By knowing some of the styles that I am going for as well as what works perfectly for this particular couple it really focuses my wedding day coverage on exactly what style that I need to shoot. I’m a firm believer it makes the wedding photos not only go faster but also I get a lot higher quality. It allows me to spend more time on exactly what I’m really looking for prior to the wedding day
6. Posing tips.
Brides and grooms are wanting to look the best on the wedding day and the engagement session. It is our job as wedding photographers to help them through their photo session. While we can try different poses during an engagement session it is also the perfect opportunity to talk to our couples about the little nuances that come with those perfect poses. Also with the way that our couples fit together it does dictate a little bit of what poses we can do, and we can talk to our couples about those poses. How many times have you gotten a link from Pinterest of a bride’s perfect engagement photos. But looked at them and cringed knowing that type of pose something you can never do with this couple. So it’s our job to take our style in our posing to get that same look up her feel out of them and talk to a Bride and groom about this.
Here’s an example of a little tip that I learned. Found this on a fantastic wedding photographer Jerry Ghionis. This was in one of the Kelby one wedding how to videos.
One of the things that I always ran across was when you’re photographing a couple together because of angles lenses as well as height difference sometimes a brides arm can kind of look a little bigger than what we want to look like not only not exactly something that arm bride wants to see either. So he had a tip of placing the bride’s elbow just on top of the groom’s arm so that way there was really nothing pressing against the side of her arm in any time in so when you’re in those situations you can just talk to her and say hey move your elbow on the outside again like we discussed in the engagement session.
Establishing a relationship with your photographer long before your wedding will make a difference in the outcome of your wedding images.
Source: The Knot