Capturing special moments with an indie spirit, focusing on genuine emotions and lively, unique expressions.


Why Should You Do a Wedding Engagement Shoot?

November 17, 2023

So, you just got engaged and you are looking for a wedding photographer and keep seeing “engagement sessions” under their services. Are they important and should you do a wedding engagement shoot? 

While they may not seem like that big of a deal, having an engagement session is a great idea and can have a lot of benefits when it comes to the final photos you get from your wedding. 

As a wedding photographer, I can tell you that I love it when my couples book engagement sessions and I promise you will get so much more out of it than just a few photos. So, when it comes to should you do a wedding engagement shoot, let’s take a look at why you should and a few of the benefits.  

Why You Should Do a Wedding Engagement Shoot

So before we jump into anything else, to answer the most basic question: yes. You should absolutely do a wedding engagement session. A lot of photographers will have an engagement session built into their wedding package and there is a good reason for that.
Here are just a few of the major benefits you get from an engagement shoot. 

It helps you get more comfortable 

First and foremost, an engagement session helps you get more comfortable in a few different ways. Comfort is going to be key and plays a big role in the overall look of your photos. 

First, these photos are going to help you get comfortable in front of the camera. For most people, their engagement session may be the first time they have ever gotten professional pictures taken. 

Honestly, it can be a bit intimidating sometimes (not that it necessarily is or needs to be). We all have to take some time to get comfortable with things before we feel great about them and taking pictures is no different. 

Taking engagement photos gives you the chance to work out those nerves and get comfortable in front of the lens before your big day. I mean, wouldn’t you much rather have a few awkward engagement photos than an entire gallery of awkward wedding photos? 

Second, engagement sessions also allow you to get more comfortable with your photographer. Your photographer is going to be one of the vendors that you spend the most time with and has the biggest presence on your wedding day. 

This person is going to be a part of the smallest and most intimate moments of this special day, so you want to make sure that you are totally comfortable with them. 

Engagement sessions allow you to work out those initial nerves and really get to know and get comfortable with your photographer. Is your photographer going to be super high energy and keep your spirits up? Or are they going to be a bit more reserved and almost blend in so you don’t even notice them at your wedding?
These are all important things to understand and be comfortable with before your big day! 

You can learn poses to use during your wedding 

Poses are hard sometimes, especially if you are posing for the first time. Oftentimes, we feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable and just can’t figure out where to put that hand. 

Engagement sessions help you work through all of this without the pressure of a schedule that you will run into on your wedding day. I mean you can’t exactly delay walking down the aisle because you can’t find the right pose, right? 

Engagement sessions allow you to try things out and feel out what you are comfortable with. The poses that you thought you’d like may be ones that are super odd for you and the ones you weren’t sure about turn out to be your favorite. 

This flexibility and freedom to try out anything and everything is going to make taking portraits on your wedding day that much easier, plus you will already be comfortable with them so they will look gorgeous! 

You will get images you can use for wedding materials 

I know this one is a bit obvious, but you will also get images that you can use for all of the materials for your wedding. The best way to use these photos is going to be for your save the dates. 

While you can use other photos that you have of the two of you, professional engagement photos are going to make your save the dates look amazing, and show off where you are in your relationship right now (not a picture that is three years old because it’s the only one you like). 

Plus, you can use it for other things like the guest book, seat or table numbers, your wedding website, or anything else you need for your wedding. You can even add them to an album with your wedding photos to chronicle the entire journey! 

It is a chance to celebrate you and your partner 

Finally, it is a chance to celebrate you and your partner and the commitment you are making together. Your engagement, your wedding, these are all opportunities to celebrate you and you should absolutely take them! 

Getting engagement photos isn’t a waste or selfish or unnecessary. They are an amazing way to remember this incredible time in your life and freeze this moment in time to remember forever! 

Tips for Wedding Engagement Photos

Make sure you wear something that you are comfortable in

Comfort is key! If you are not comfortable in the clothes that you are wearing, it is going to show up in the photos. And, when I say comfort, I don’t just mean the clothes themselves. 

You may love that thick sweater, but if you try to wear it in the middle of summer, you are most likely going to be miserable. Make sure when you are picking out your outfits, you can comfortably move around in all directions and it is weather appropriate. 

If it is going to be a bit warmer, opt for clothes that are lighter and more airy. If it is going to be colder, make sure you bring some layers (being cold in photos is just as bad as being hot). 

Use the internet as inspiration ONLY

The internet can be a great place to find inspiration for outfits and poses but be sure to use this as inspiration only. Just because someone else looks good in that pose, doesn’t mean it is going to be something comfortable for you. 

Take what you find online and use it to curate your own unique look and feel for your engagement session. If you do find poses that you want to try out, show them to your photographer and ask them their thoughts. 

They may be able to help direct you and help you figure out what you are actually comfortable with doing! 

Have fun with it 

Enjoy this time. This is supposed to be fun and at the end of the day, these photos are for you over anyone else. Make sure that above everything else, you are just having an amazing time hanging out with your partner. 

If you are worried about being in front of the camera for the first time, try doing something during your engagement session. This can mean having a picnic, walking along the beach, grabbing a drink, or anything else you enjoy. 

Not only will this help you relax a little bit, but, it also captures you in your element doing the things that you love with the person you love! 

Pick a spot that is meaningful to you and your partner 

Finally, try to pick a spot that is meaningful to you and your partner. This can be as simple as the living room of your first apartment together, where you went on your first date, your favorite spot to hang out on Friday nights, or where you are going to say “I do”. 

Whatever it is, picking a spot that has meaning to you and your partner is going to make your engagement pictures that much more special for you. 

Plus, if you can take them at the venue you are getting married at, it can help you get more acquainted with the property and scope out some spots you want to take portraits in during your wedding. 

Final Thoughts on Should You Do a Wedding Engagement Shoot

So, should you do a wedding engagement shoot? Absolutely! It is only going to make your wedding photos turn out that much better and give you more memories to look back on years from now with your kids. 

Now that you’re convinced you can do an engagement session, all you need is the perfect photographer to capture it (and your wedding!). If you are still looking for that person, I’d love to chat. You can click here to learn more about my wedding photography packages or you can head over here to get in touch with me!

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Photographer, amateur snowboarder, dive bar connoisseur,  inspired by music, good movies, and you.

I'm a Charlottesville wedding photographer and I specialize in capturing wedding days with a documentary approach. Love is pretty rad, and your photos should be, too.