It's 2017 and there are still people who think "engagement photos" happen when the groom-to-be gets down on one knee. They think the photo that's used to announce their engagement (let's face it, 75% of the time it's in front of the Christmas tree...) is their engagement photo.
We know this isn't the case.
Most of you will think of casual, candid photos that honour the season of a couple's engagement. You are on the Laura Kelly Blog after all, and this probably isn't your first visit. I'm thankful that engagement sessions are becoming more and more popular with every passing year, but there's still a ways to go.
Today, I'd like to share the answer to a question I get almost weekly:
WHY SHOULD WE TAKE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?
My answer begins back in 2011 when I started offering my first wedding packages a-la-carte. How many hours? Would you like to add a second shooter? How about adding an engagement session?
Most often the engagement session would be the first to go in favour of saving a bit of money in their package. What ended up happening was that when the wedding day finally did come, our portraits took more time. There was stiffness, awkwardness, and a learning curve.
Couples who had added an engagement session had a completely different outlook, attitude, and demeanour during the wedding day photos. They were comfortable, confident, and at ease. By the end of 2012 the engagement session was included with every single package over 5 hours, and I've never looked back.
So what is it that happens during this magical hour that leads to such a dramatic change?
1. PREPARING YOU FOR THE WEDDING DAY
You know you want to look happy and effortless on your wedding day, but you've never really had professional photos taken of you and your man. In fact, he has probably already told you that he's dreading the whole photo taking part in general. Well, engagement session to the rescue, my friend.
This is the part where I teach you how to walk on camera. This is the part where I find your best angles, loosen you guys up a little bit, and convince him that being photographed doesn't have to be torturous. He'll be skeptical, but he'll go because he loves you.
And on the drive home he'll say it actually wasn't bad at all. He'll say he's no longer dreading that 30 minutes following the ceremony. He'll say you made a great choice.
2. A BOOST OF CONFIDENCE
Confidence is what allows you to truly LET GO and find real happiness on your wedding day. When your engagement gallery hits your inbox, you'll breathe a sigh of relief that tells you you made the best decision. Not only do you LOVE the photos, but you look your absolute best.
This confidence will carry you through the next year of planning your wedding, suddenly knowing that no matter WHAT happens with the seating chart or the furniture delivery, that you're in good hands.
3. THE FEEL OF THE WEDDING DAY
The engagement session was our chance to work through all of the kinks, shedding the awkward and the stiff and instead finding comfort. You'll carry this comfort with you into the wedding day, causing your family members and wedding party to feel comfortable as well.
Ask any of the Laura Kelly Brides over the years and they'll tell you the family photos, wedding party photos, and even the photos of just the two of them were fun. And how cool that we could take something that could have been torturous and make it...fun!
4. MAKEUP AND HAIR TRIAL
A makeup and hair trial is incredibly useful as a way to garner trust and confidence in those vendor relationships. And the engagement session acts as a way to put those trials to further use! Your makeup artist will tell you you need a little bit of extra makeup to compliment your photos, but this way you'll really be able to test it out!
Plus, who doesn't want professional hair and makeup for their engagement...it's a win win!
5. ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS CAN BE USEFUL
Beyond simply updating your profile and cover photo on Facebook, your engagement photos can be useful in other ways!
We can happily grab a couple photos for a save the date, a thank you card, and you can have your photos printed and turned into a guest book for personal messages at the reception. I've seen engagement photos used on menus, table number signs, posters outside the ceremony venue, etc.
6. CELEBRATING THE PRE-MARRIED SEASON OF YOUR LIFE
The season that you spend engaged is a sweet one. Family and friends are pouring out their love to you and supporting your plans to start your life together. It's one of the shortest seasons in our lives, but it deserves to be savoured.
I look back on my own engagement photos and think about how young and in love we were. We're still fairly young, and we're certainly more in love, but having those as a reminder of where we began our journey is truly something I treasure.
I'm so excited to begin this blog series on engagement sessions and can't wait to share more about every aspect of the shoot, including:
WHAT TO WEAR
HOW TO PREPARE
CHOOSING A LOCATION
& so much more!