Why Engagement Photos?
March 22, 2011 , Tips
I love engagement photo sessions and encourage all my clients to have one. In fact, before this year, I had never done a wedding without one! Yes, who doesn’t want hot shots of themselves without all the wedding gear? But really, engagement sessions are a whole lot more than that – which is why I love them and think they are the key to good wedding pictures. Yup, your engagement shoot will have a very big impact on your wedding photos.
First off, if you hire me to be your photographer, you have probably either come over to my studio or watched my crazy antics on skype. Either way, you have gotten to know me. But I AM a photographer – your photographer. And how I work with a camera in front of my face is something you can learn about and know what to expect for your wedding day. You’ll get used to my sound effects when I love a photo. Or how I react when I find a perfect place to shoot. You’ll learn how I work! Which is perfect for camera-shy people or people who aren’t used to prancing around town with a photographer- which, um, I think is everyone besides models and movie stars. Almost without fail, at the end of a session or when a couple gets their engagement photos, they say “Wow, that was so much more fun then I ever thought it would be.” And that’s the point. I’m not going to beat you with my tripod. I’m here to make you relax, laugh, and enjoy some time with your partner (oh, yeah, and get those hot shots).
Now while your relaxing and getting to know me- I’m getting to know you. And not just the fact you like baseball and kittens. I’m getting to know how the both of you interact with each other. News alert: Every couple is different. Shocking, I know! And each couple has a natural way of interacting with each other, both in terms of body language and personality-wise. Maybe you guys are super mushy and love you some good kissing shots. Lots of them. Or you both like to laugh a lot and always seem to bring out the funny side of each other. You like to hang off trees (don’t laugh, I had an amazing groom who literally hung off trees for the engagement shoot) or just be really playful with each other.
Whatever it is that makes you two tick? I’m finding all that out at the engagement shoot. It gives me a good chunk of time to work out what poses you fall into. What poses we try and then laugh at because it just doesn’t fit you. At your wedding, I will most likely not have the luxury of 2 hours just to play and shoot with you. We will be on a timeline. So the engagement shoot is when I work all that out- so on your wedding day? I knock it out!! I know you guys and how you move and what you do- so I’m already banging out the shots I know will flatter you and make you happy in the short amount of time I have to shoot you on your wedding day.
And after the engagement shoot is just as important. There seems to be an interesting thing that happens to couples. They see the engagement images on my blog and say ‘Wow, those people are really good looking/funny/smart/whatever. I like Kelly’s work but I’m never going to look like that.’ Um. Bullsh*t. All the couples on my blog are just that- couples. I’m not hiring a team of makeup artists, prop rentals, stylists, models from far off lands and lighting gods. So when couple’s actually receive their images, it’s like a little lightbulb goes off. They look goooood. And you know what happens then? They feel super confident I’m going to nail it on their wedding day. They can relax.
And it’s also a time to give feedback. Maybe you thought wanted a super urban, gritty, model-esque shoot but when you got the images- you changed your mind. You want some more kissing shots! You want a romantic feel! And you know what? You now know what you want for your wedding shots. This is the time to tell me what you really want and give me constructive criticism so I can ensure we are all on the same page with your photographic needs.
Peoples, I went to art school. There is no amount of constructive criticism that is going to hurt my feelings. I actually love it when I get real feedback. Why? Because 1. I want to make you so happy you can’t wait to share every picture from your engagement shoot to every family member/friend/dog who walks by 2. I want to get better. Period.
So if you ever wonder why I am such a blabber mouth when your sitting on my couch for a meeting and I’m talking on-and-on-and-on about engagement shoots? This is why.