I Believe In... Engagement Sessions // Here’s Why

“Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you get when you see food coming at a restaurant.”


Let me paint a bit of a picture for you. (Well, let me draw you some stick figures because I cannot paint to save my life.) Your now fiancée just asked you those four faithful words; slipped a beautiful ring on your finger; you said "Yes;" took a picture for Instagram; texted all of your family and friends; and now you're sitting here looking at each other thinking, "Holy crap... what do we do next?!" Your recently married bestie may tell you, "Well you just HAVE to have engagement photos done!" and your other recently married friend may say, "Ugh, engagement sessions are so dumb, don't waste your money!" If you're here you may be on the fence about engagement sessions.

So let's talk about them.

Engagement sessions that is. First off, I will tell you, they’re seriously one of my favorite parts of the wedding photography process. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I looooooove the wedding day. I really do. But there’s something magical about engagement sessions. There’s something so exciting about getting clients in front of my lens for the first time. Nurturing their experience in front of the camera and having tons of fun. 

Sometimes people are skeptical if they need an engagement session. (They were listening to friend #2.) And I always tell people, it’s so important to have an engagement session and to do it WITH the photographer that’s photographing your wedding day if you can help it. (So listen to friend #1!) In my opinion these sessions are super important. I love this chance I get with my clients to photograph them without all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. No timelines to adhere to. No bridesmaids fighting for attention. No mom’s worrying about family photos. No coordinators fussing about staying on schedule. Just me. My clients. My lens. And the sunset. In a location of their choosing.

And if you were listening to Friend #2 in the two scenarios, you don't have to worry about the money situation because I’m so passionate about engagement sessions that I include them in all of my wedding packages. Cause these things are the real deal yo. So without further adieu I’d like to share with you.



1. You Should Be Celebrating!

This is a big and important step in your lives and it should be celebrated as such! Pop bottles! Throw confetti! Have a parade! Shout from the rooftops! How many times do you have a new outfit, delicious meal, or achievement that you document with a selfie or a photo you post to social media? Why wouldn’t you treat your engagement with the same excitement?! 

Plus, once you take your engagement photos you can use those photos for your Save the Dates, your wedding website, a custom guest book, and even your wedding reception. Not to mention photos to fill those walls of the dwelling you share together!




2. They’re Extra Personal. 

While your wedding day is personal, engagement sessions are extra personal. Gone are the days of old school 80’s portraits. (We love you 80’s, we really do, but you need to stay where you are… in the past.) 

Are you both really into Harry Potter? Grab your wands and scarves and lets do this! Did you meet at a specific bar? Grab a pint and tell me all about it! Is your dog a super important part of your life? Grab the leash & some treats and lets go! Whatever you’re into, whatever makes your relationship tick; engagement sessions give you a chance to show off the things you love and the personal parts of your relationship that just aren’t feasible on your wedding day. Plus, it’s a great time to get photos of the two of you in your normal clothing, not a big white dress and a suit.

With all of this personalization I also encourage my clients to choose their own location. I'm always here to help but I want the locations to be something that speaks to my clients. Because of this I've photographed engagement sessions all over the place including the beach in California, restaurants, the library, family farms, a former ski lodge, and even a comic book shop! It's up to you! The only limit is your imagination!




3. Less Watchful Eyes! 

During your wedding day likely someone besides myself will be around during your portrait time. Whether it’s your wedding party, your family, or even just my second photographer there will almost always be someone else around as you're being photographed… just chilling… and watching. During your engagement session it's just us. Yes, sometimes there are people passing by on the street but it's much quieter than all of the hooping and hollering from your wedding party waiting to get back on the shuttle bus! For. Sure.





4. You Get A Chance For The Best Light.

Call it sunset hour, magic hour, or the golden hour. Whatever you decide to call it, the last two hours before the sun disappears below the horizon provides the best light for taking photos. While we live in Indiana and the weather changes about as quickly as the wind blows sometimes we get some pretty spectacular light. I always give my clients the opportunity for sunset photos on their wedding day (because sunset is kind of my jam) but a lot of times it doesn't happen because the timing of a wedding is so hectic. I schedule them all around sunset time so we will at least have the CHANCE for some magical light. That being said, Indiana weather is cray. So if we have an overcast day, mild sunset, no sunset at all I can’t control it but I always try to set us up for success by scheduling around that time. So as long as there is a sunset, we're catching that light! 

Also, because of this that means I only schedule one engagement session per day. Some photographers may schedule a lot of engagement sessions or other sessions in one day but I don’t like to do that. That means all of my attention, creative juices, and energies are focused on you and only you. Talk about personal service!





5. It’s A Chance For Us To Get To Know Each Other

During and engagement session we get spend about two solid hours together just laughing, working, and having a great time. Most of the time my couples have never had their photos taken professionally. But the engagement session gives time to be more comfortable with me, my shooting style, and being photographed prior to the wedding day. Trust me, you’d much rather leave those nerves somewhere else on your big day and just feel relaxed. This time together goes both ways because by the time I'm finished with your engagement session I really have a sense of who you are as a couple. This way, on the wedding day, I’m ready to GO. While I can't remember everything, there are a lot of times I'll remember the little things we learned about how you photograph from your engagement session. Bride doesn't like her left side? Oh yeah! I remember that! Groom is self-concious about his neck? Check and got it! You need a little warming up before the natural smiles start happening?! Perfect, I'll save my favorite photos for after that and tell my fantastic jokes in the mean time. Bada-bing, bada-boom your 30 minutes of wedding day portraits go smooth like BUTTA! 





So I imagine now you’re like, “Okay, we’ve GOTTA have engagement photos now!” And I definitely agree. Because engagement sessions are flippin’ awesome. And you, your partner, and the love you share deserves to be part of something AWESOME! Feel free to check out a few of my most recent engagement sessions by clicking the photos below. 


If you are getting married and like what you’ve seen & heard so far, drop us a line & let’s chat about your big day!

Book your wedding photography before February 14th, 2017 and receive $500 off of your package!


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Guest - Victoria on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 10:34

Wonderful article Jackie!!!


Wonderful article Jackie!!! XOXO VCB