I know what you're thinking. Weddings cost enough money...why on Earth do we need to add an engagement session on top of everything else?!? They're cheesy and fake and no one puts an engagement announcement in the newspaper anymore. Perhaps we're a touch biased, but there actually are quite a few great reasons to have an engagement session. Not only do you get some great professional images of you NOT in formal wear, but you also build confidence in yourself and your wedding photographer. Engagement sessions are so important to us that we include one with every wedding collection. Why? Read on!
Also, I maybe could have condensed this list, but Tom really likes prime numbers so I turned my original six reasons into seven. :)
1. Have fun!
Wedding planning can be extremely stressful. How about taking an evening to just enjoy each other and create some awesome memories? Over the years we've had some pretty memorable engagement sessions that the couples still talk about years later. We've trekked around waterfalls, gone down into rock canyons, gotten way too close to snakes, enjoyed out of this world sunsets, frolicked with horses and cats, and meandered around with coffee looking at ice sculptures. Make it a date night!
2. Get to know your wedding photographer
Stressed about what your wedding day photography will be like? Are you wondering if Tom and Kristin will be complete nerds and tell bad jokes (spoiler alert: this one is true), or will they be helpful and guide us into looking and feeling our best (also true)? Are you wondering what kind of equipment we use, or how we pose our couples? The engagement session is the perfect opportunity to de-stress. You get 2-3 hours to learn how we operate, get used to having camera equipment in your face, and get comfortable having your portrait taken. Professional photographs aren't something that most of us have a ton of experience with, so the engagement session lets you get comfortable with who we are and build trust before your wedding. You have enough stress on your wedding day - don't let photography add more.
3. Let your photographer get to know you
Nearly every couple who comes to us comments on how not photogenic they are. This is our chance to prove you wrong. What jokes or conversation topics get you to smile naturally? What poses are you comfortable with? Your engagement session is the time to experiment and figure out what makes you tick. We want to capture YOUR unique love story. Every couple is different, and every couple loves different images. Some of our couples prefer more traditional, looking-at-the-camera images, while other prefer more natural candid images. We want to figure that out before your wedding day so that your wedding images will be perfectly you.
4. Get the wedding images you've been dreaming about
We always recommend having an engagement session with the photographer who is doing your wedding if possible. Why? Because after that session you'll know exactly what to expect from your wedding images. If you absolutely love your engagement session, chances are you'll be over the moon about your wedding images. If your engagement session leaves something to be desired, you want to figure out what went wrong and fix it before your wedding. Maybe you and the photographer didn't click as well as you thought, or maybe you weren't clear enough about your vision for the session. I can't count the number of times clients have told us they like one thing before the session, but after seeing their engagement images they completely change their mind. The images that speak to you are not the same as your best friend. When you're under a time crunch on your wedding day, you want to be 100% certain that your photographer is going to give you exactly what you want.
5. Personalized images without wedding day constraints
Your wedding day is dictated by so many factors that often there isn't time to take truly personal images. Romantic, yes. Beautiful, yes. But photographs in a library with antique books? Or trekking out to the lake for summer portraits on the beach? Depending on the location or season of your wedding, portraits like that aren't always feasible. So use your engagement session to get those dream images. Have you always wanted a gorgeous sunset silhouette of you two on the beach? Do you want to have portraits taken where you got engaged? Would you like to go out at night and play with light sabers? Do you want portraits with your dog, but she's not allowed at your wedding venue? Your engagement session is your chance to be free and get some amazing images without wedding day constraints.
6. Have some images of you not in formal wear
As much as I loved my wedding dress (and we've been married long enough that you could probably date our photos just from the style), we still have some of our engagement portraits displayed as well. Not only did my hair look really good, but they're a great reminder of a really exciting time in our lives. Our engagement portraits are also a bit more romantic, because we didn't have 150 family members and friends breathing down our necks wanting to know when cocktails were starting.
7. You don't really want a cell phone photo on your wedding invitation
In these times where social media is king, images are everywhere. One could say that images are a dime a dozen, and anyone with a decent smart phone can take a photo. But how often do you go on a date and end up taking a selfie because there's no one else to take your picture? We've seen a ton of slideshows at wedding receptions, and it's funny to watch over the years how many images of the couples are becoming selfies. But do you really want a cell phone selfie on your wedding invitation? This is your chance to have professional images where you look amazing and you can rock that all over the place. Instagram, Facebook, Save the Date cards, your wedding website...the options are endless.
Recently engaged? Congratulations! We would love to chat with you more about photographing your wedding day. Lanari Photography is based in Appleton, Wisconsin, but we photograph weddings all over Wisconsin and the Midwest. Contact us today!