We live in a time of changing traditions, and brides are rightly scrutinizing every part of their wedding. Budgets are never unlimited, and the wise brides cut on trivial fluff, and spend more on the things that really matter to them. If you can cut $500 somewhere…. ANYWHERE…. that isn’t mission critical, and spend it on something that really matters, then that’s a win-win.

So in this engagement season, lets look at Engagement photos. Seems suspect.
“Getting your photographs taken twice? Ha! Mr Photographer… I’m onto your scam!”
I hear you say. But I’d like to lay out a case that Engagement photos have a HUGE impact on your wedding memories. And don’t just take it from me. Talk to your wedding planner to see if Engagement Photos are right for you. (What’s a wedding Planner? kinda like your doctor, but instead fixes wedding stress symptoms)

Photos for invitations / Setting the Mood of the Wedding
Engagement sessions are definitely about getting some great photos of the couple. While this is the weakest case to justify spending your hard earned coin, it still adds some weight to the case. Having some professional photos makes sending nice looking, and personalized invites EASY.

Getting Comfortable in front of the Camera
During any photoshoot, I’m getting a couple doing things they have never done before (kiss with someone watching? eep!) and while I can make anyone look comfortable, happy and natural in front of a camera…¬†Practice makes perfect!

I teach all my couples tricks, how to stand, and I give lots of direction so no one is feeling like they don’t know what they should be doing. On your wedding day, you don’t want to be learning these things cold, you want to just be enjoying the experience!

If you want a surefire way to get the LEAST out of your photo investment, I would suggest skipping the Engagement photos.

Building Confidence in you, and your Photographer

It’s not unusual to doubt. There is a lot of uncertainties in this life.
Some people doubt they will look good in their photos. (you will!)
Some doubt that they are going to enjoy the process (you will!)
An engagement session is an opportunity to dispel all of that. Photo sessions are a lot of fun, and the best part to me is seeing the difference between how people react when they first meet me for an engagement shoot, and how they react on camera the day of their wedding.
They look better than they ever have, they are dressed to the nine’s, and they have CONFIDENCE that they are going to enjoy the experience, and like the outcome of the photos…. because they went through it already!

Prove all Things
Have you ever went to see a movie that EVERY review said was amazing and a must see…. and then you were completely underwhelmed with it? Or even turned right off?
The same can happen with your photographer. While they might be uber professional, they might be very good with people, but for some reason or another… you just don’t click.
If you find out at an engagement session… no problem. If you find out at your wedding… well, make the best of it, it will be over soon!

This almost never happens, but the average Wedding costs $20 000, and spends about 10-30% of their budget on the photos. Can you handle that risk?

It’s not just for you
Up until now, it’s all been about you. (let’s be honest, you are pretty cool!) But there is another party in this equation…. The Photographer.
When you hire a professional, whether it’s a home builder, a doctor, or a photographer, they have a certain process that allows them to do their job properly. Business Owners carefully make these processes because they prevent errors, and allow them to fix small issues before they become big ones.
If you start putting restrictions on them, then you are increasing the chances of things going wrong.

How important are engagement sessions to you? Do you disagree? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!

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