Engagement photo shoots – Why are they so important?
So, the time has come to start thinking about wedding photographers. This can become complicated, and convoluted quite quickly if you do not know what you are looking for (for tips on what to look for in a wedding photographer read here). Speak to any past bride or groom and they will probably tell you that their wedding photographer was either the best, or the worst. Why is this? Why is there no middle ground? It’s simple, because a wedding photographer is by your side for 10-12 hours, all day, even invading your personal space for the ‘money shots’. At the end of the day, you either picked the right photographer, in which case they were the best ever, or you picked wrong, and they were the worst. You don’t want to be the latter, trust me. In weddings there are no do-overs. So how can a seemingly simple engagement photo shoot help you avoid that? Keep reading to find out.
1. This is your opportunity to do a risk free test run!
Would you buy a car without taking a test drive? No! Would you buy a house without walking around in it? No! What about buying a $2,000 outfit without trying it on? I don’t think so! Well why should wedding photography be any different? Okay, a house and a car are a little more costly, but for a minute let’s forget the nominal dollar value of wedding photos, and think about the sentimental value.
Why is this even important?
Let’s use your current car as an example. Are you thinking about it? It’s probably quite nice, and you probably spent on average, more than $20,000 on it. Do you think, in 50 years time that you will be telling your grandkids about this car? Will you be sitting down in retirement, and looking at photos of this car? If you lost this car, would it shatter your life (keeping in mind you probably have insurance that would replace it)? If you are like most people I know, the answer to all those questions is a resounding ‘no’. Your car is a vessel that takes you from point A to point B. Yes they are important to us, but they are so easily replaceable, and will be replaced multiple times throughout our lives.
We have established now, that whilst things like cars hold nominal value, on average they really do not hold a lot of sentimental value. So what is the point of all this I hear you say? Simple. Ask yourself the above questions, but replace ‘car’ with ‘wedding photography’. Let’s give it a spin shall we? Do you think, in 50 years time that you will be telling your grandkids about your wedding? Will you be sitting down in retirement, and looking at photos of your wedding day with your partner? If you lost all of your wedding photos, would you be shattered (keeping in mind there is no way of replacing these)? For almost 100% of you, I would presume the answer to all 3 questions is a resounding ‘yes’. Photos are a method of passing on our journey and our story to our family. They remind us of the best times in our lives. Wedding photos are priceless. Many people, when asked what they would grab first if their home went up in flames (presuming all living members are safe), suggested they would go for their wedding album, or family albums. Photos have a very important place in our lives.
How does an engagement photo shoot help?
Finally, how does an engagement photo shoot have anything to do with this? Easy. Try me before you buy me (or whoever you use). During your engagement photo shoot you will get a chance to work with your photographer, see how they behave, what their personality is like. Do you like them? Are they a compatible match for the two of you? Would you like to have them around for 12 hours on your big day? These really are important questions. Your level of connection with a photographer will directly impact the quality of your images. The more comfortable and at ease you feel, the more natural and relaxed you will look in your images.
After all of it, if you are not the right match, is it not better to find out now, rather than on your wedding day? Exactly! With my services for example, if you do a shoot with me, and don’t love it, or don’t love the photos at all, I will refund you your money. It is totally risk free. This, in my opinion, is the best way for you to ‘try before you buy’, and will help to ensure that you select the right photographer, for your big day!
2. You need some time out from wedding planning!
So now that we have the bulky section out of the way, let’s talk about how an engagement photo shoot can help bring stress down during the wedding planning process. I am sure by now you have realised it can be quite stressful. There is a lot to do! So why not take a few hours out of your weekend, stop planning, and just enjoy life with your partner? During an engagement photo shoot, you won’t be on your phone, you won’t be on your email, it will just be the two of you! This is an opportunity to spend some time together and just be. During my shoots, we laugh, we cry, and generally we have a great time. Often the locations I choose are really breathtaking, which really helps my couples to enjoy the experience (check out my 5 most stunning locations for engagement photo shoots). This time, whilst it might seem quite small, is often enough to recharge the batteries. It gives you a chance to remember why you are marrying this person, and why you love them so much.
If you are feeling up for it, I am always happy to meet for a coffee beforehand, or a beer afterwards. Part of this experience is about the connection created as well as taking some time out for you both! No need to rush back to planning, sit, chat, enjoy life together.
3. Worried about how you look in photos?
My number one mentioned concern from couples (particularly brides) is that they are concerned with how they look in photos. I usually get told they have never looked good in photos. When I ask to see them, I am usually shown a slew of iPhone photos, and photos taken by friends and family. I am going to presume that on your wedding day though, you want someone to take photos with a professional camera, not a phone, and you will probably want to hire a professional, not have an uncle or aunty do this for you right? An engagement photo shoot can completely alleviate all your concerns about how you will look in your wedding photos. You’ve probably never had a professional couples photo shoot. I would say 95% of my clients do their first ever photo shoot with me, so this is totally normal.
I guarantee, on the day, you will enjoy the shoot, but will still be sceptical about how the photos will turn out. Same as I guarantee that when you get your images back, you will be stunned. Working with a professional photographer, who is the right match for you is a sure fire way to get beautiful images. This will help to alleviate stress a long way out from your wedding, which will carry over into your wedding day. You know you are going to look amazing, you know your wedding photography is on point. Why? Because you did an engagement photo shoot and you saw the outcome. You don’t have to stress anymore, just enjoy your wedding day!
4. It’s going to be fun!
One thing we do not do enough of as adults is have fun. We get swept up and consumed by responsibility and ambitions that we stop enjoying ourselves. Everyone knows the wedding day will be fun, and that is an understatement. But why can’t their be fun along the way? Why can’t you have fun while planning the wedding? What sounds better; sitting on Google, searching random photographers and sending 100 emails, or going to Luna Park, or exploring in a National Park with your fiancé? I personally would rather be out and about, enjoying life. Not only do we now know that by doing the latter, we are more likely to find the right photographer for us, but surely it is more fun.
One day you will look back on not only the wedding, but all the planning that went into it. Do you want to remember laughter, fun, tears of joy? Or do you want to remember endless nights sending emails blindly, following up with vendors and scouring Google for the right vendors? Use your engagement photo shoot to your advantage! I am always down for some fun, you just tell me what you have in mind and I will work out a way of making it happen for you!
5. An engagement photo shoot captures an important time in your life.
Just as the wedding photography captures an important day in your life, an engagement photo shoot captures an important time in your life. You have just chosen to take a big step towards having your own family and all the amazing things that come with it. You will want to remember this feeling, and the love you had for one another for decades to come. Having a gallery of images to reflect upon is going to help you remember the fun journey you both took, which hopefully culminated in the perfect wedding day for you both!
For all of the abovementioned reasons, I really do hope that I have convinced you that having an engagement photo shoot is not something that should be considered as a luxury option, but rather as an essential element of planning a wedding. If you would like to get in touch with me about booking a $0 risk FREE engagement photo shoot (session fee normally $200), quote the code ‘JWP200off’ and tell me your ideas. I can’t wait to work with you on this!