At times, I get inquiries from clients who come to us on the fence about an engagement session: Whether to get one or not. Some come to us with their minds made up, others, its budget related, or matter of comfort or time in front of the camera.
Here are my thoughts:
Engagement sessions are highly recommended:
1. It’s a great time for us + our camera to get to know you- the couple better.
We can observe how you two are together, what inside jokes there are, and how you hold hands, or embrace, and study your smiles. We also coach you on certain poses and expressions as needed for great captures. This means, it will go that much faster on your wedding day!
I read in passing somewhere, that getting professional portraits done is a passage into adulthood. There’s some truths to that. When we are under 18, we get ‘pro’ photos of ourselves for the yearbook annually, but after that, most of us have snaps shots from cell phone cameras and friends’ cameras.
The engagement session can be a time where you are wearing everyday attire, and have fun with your beloved partner, and get them captured by professional photographers. Wedding photos are a must-have to commemorate that full special day that’s like no other day, but in my opinion, engagement portraits are timeless. When I am 40 years older, and picture in my mind a cluster of frames that mark our family’s timeline, I’m certain professional shots of my husband and I from our young, happy dating days are just as important as the images of us in our wedding attire.
When Dan and I were getting ready for our engagement session, my dad blurted out, “Don’t get those cheese overdone images that don’t look like you!” He was referring to the formal portraits some of our friends who have strong roots in Asia get done in professional studios. The couple is often wearing several rented costumes of ball gowns, uniforms, or traditional attires. To the current lifestyle image fans, it can look quite startling. We don’t do that to you, don’t you worry. Of course you are welcome to dress up for the engagement session, our intent is to capture you as you want to be. The bride is wearing a long white gown on the wedding day, so perhaps, an engagement session can be in a short colorful dress, or jeans, or with your pet dog, or your favorite props (flowers, guitars, tennis shoes, that cute stuffed animal your boyfriend got you, etc.) In fact, we often encourage you to wear classic-timeless clothing that your children’t won’t poke fun at 10 years from now.
3. It’s fun
In the midst of making hundreds of decisions that you normally don’t make (so and so’s who needs to be invited to the wedding?), engagement session is like a getaway with each other, where you can go back to the dating days of just sharing thoughts, laughing, embracing, and taking a stroll. On your wedding day, a mom’s eyes, or a maid of honor’s eyes may be on you the entire day, but on engagement session day, it’s just you and your loved one, and a camera or two capturing you. We’ll interact with you, but we’ll be many feet away from you, and can’t hear what you are whispering to each other~ =)
4. It’s captivating
Did you start dating in Boston? Was your first date in an ice cream parlor or Starbucks? Did you go to school at MIT? Did you propose at the Arboretum? Or do you love the Charles river or Boston museums? Or do you love the Boston skyline? Do you love autumn colors of New England? Depending on your sentiments or history, we can photograph you at a location that holds sentimental value to you. Times are a lot more flexible during an engagement session, and we can explore the landscape, or try out fun things.
5. It’s even practical
The great images of you two will be edited and available to you to use for your wedding websites, announcements, invitation inserts, customized stamps, Facebook postings, your wedding day slideshow and best of all, your wedding day decor. One or several framed images of you two can elegantly be on display at the sign in table, gift table, or reception decor.
Boston Hearts Weddings is a relatively new site that can be a great resource for the Boston area brides. And yesterday, I read a blog there, sharing similar perspectives as I do towards engagement sessions, or e-sessions as they call it. Check them out for some inspirations!
For large images, check this past post: