I’m a staunch endorser of the engagement session, but only if it’s with the photographer who will ultimately shoot your wedding. Even if the service will cost more, here’s why I believe it’s essential:
1. You need a picture for the newspaper to announce your engagement.
2. Without an engagement session, you and your future spouse won’t have any “casual” professional photos together. You won’t regret having these photos to cherish!
3. Having a professional photo shoot prior to your big day will teach you what to expect and take the edge off once your wedding day comes.
4. You will become (more) comfortable in front of a camera.
5. You will establish a relationship with your wedding photographer prior to your wedding day, which will only enhance your wedding photos.
6. Along the same lines as #5, posing on the day of the wedding will be smoother if you know how your photographer communicates. It’ll become a mind-meld situation!
7. If you’re not happy with the results of your engagement session, this gives you the opportunity to find a new wedding photographer.
I have heard from couples over and over again who booked a random, (invariably) budget photog rapher that they wished they’d learned from their engagement session and found someone reliable to shoot their wedding instead. It’s worth potentially losing the retainer if you spot red flags from the engagement session itself and/or the final product.
8. You can use the photos on your wedding stationery. (Invites, thank you cards, etc.)
9. Your story as a couple can be expressed in the form of photographs using clothing, props, and locations. Fun!
10. The photos will become wonderful mementos and an heirloom, much like your wedding photos will.
Ultimately, I can never find a reason why having photographs taken is a bad idea. If you’re having a creative roadblock, reach out to your photographer for any suggestions or tips on how to style your engagement session. If they’re like me, they’ll be happy to assist you!