I love photographing weddings but there is something about the engagement sessions that just resonates with me. I always tell couples the reasons I really enjoy engagement sessions. It is also why I include the engagement session with each of my weddings.
First off, it is an extended introduction. This interaction helps me get to know the couple better and the couple gets to know me. It seems basic but over the past 7 years and 250+ weddings I have done I can tell you those weddings where I didn’t know the couple at all prior to their wedding day are a completely different feel and tend not to energize my skills.
Secondly, I have a large sample of images to pull from in understanding what the couple likes and more importantly doesn’t like about the images. Now, I strive to have excellent images from start to finish in any session and more often than not there are few to none the couple doesn’t love from our session. However, you can see their attraction emphasized based by the images they select and that gives guidance as to the approach they will prefer come the wedding day.
Lastly, the engagement session is about one sixth the length of a wedding and the wedding is the more important reason for my being hired by the couple. If you were to have a wonderful experience with the engagement session imagine how great it can be for their wedding photography. I could argue the opposite as well but if things had gone wrong on the engagement session there is a lot at play and should be cleaned up in other ways.
As a photographer you need to be confident to interact on an engagement session. If you can do that the wedding becomes much easier. Often it is the personality of a photographer being hired not the photographic ability. Mad skills won’t hurt though. 🙂
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