Why you need an engagement session

Stef and Zac’s romantic and heartfelt golden hour couple session at Walter Point

Ten reasons why you need an engagement session

Booking an engagement or pre-wedding session with your wedding photographer can be a game changer for your wedding day. Here are ten reasons why you need an engagement or pre-wedding photo session:

1. Get to Know Your Photographer:

An engagement session allows you to establish a rapport with your photographer before the big day. This means on the day of your wedding, your photographer won't just be a stranger with a camera pointed at you, but someone who you know and trust.

2. Build a Relationship:

On a similar note, building a relationship with your photographer is essential if you want some authentic and natural-looking images. When you're at ease around your photographer, you can kiss goodbye any feelings of awkwardness and discomfort. You will find yourself relaxed and having fun with your partner, and comfortable to just be who you are as individuals, and as a couple.

3. Practice for the Big Day:

An engagement session can be a great practice run for the wedding day. You can communicate any ideas you may have with your photographer and collaborate to create images that are a true representation of who you are. You can experiment with poses, lighting, and locations. It's also a great opportunity to find out what works best for you and what you're comfortable with.

4. Personalized Save-the-Dates, Invitations, and Guest Book:

The photos from your engagement session can be used for personalised save-the-dates, invitations, and any other kinds of wedding stationery. They could also be used to create a personalized guest book or as part of the wedding table décor for example. These elements can add a personal touch to your wedding.

5. Capture a Different Season or Location:

If you are having a destination wedding, an engagement session in your hometown can help you capture the essence of the season or location in which you got engaged in. For example, if you're having a June wedding in Paris, but you live in Perth and love the beach, you can plan for your engagement session during the Australian summer at your favorite beach.

6. Create Memories:

Engagement photos provide a lasting memory and a snapshot of the time leading up to your wedding. This is the perfect occasion to document this new season of life and the relationship you're finding yourself in. Photos not only capture memories, but feelings you experienced at that specific moment in time. So, years later, you can look back at these photos and remember the excitement and anticipation you felt during this special stage of your life.

7. Wear a Special Outfit and Trial Your Hair & Makeup:

Although you're unlikely to wear your wedding outfits for your engagement session, if you have a hair and makeup artist booked for your wedding day, an engagement session is the perfect occasion for your trial. This way you get to see what it feels like to wear your hair a certain way or have your makeup done differently than you normally do. It's also a great excuse to wear an outfit that you love but didn't quite make the cut for the big day (think a white mini dress or a more casual suit).

8. There's No Pressure:

An engagement or pre-wedding session should be very relaxed. Contrary to a wedding day which can be more structured and sometimes left with very little time allocated for photos, an engagement session is completely stress-free!

A romantic sunset engagement session with Leonie and Shayan.

Engagement and pre-wedding sessions explained

Couple sessions are available as one of my multiple wedding 'add-ons'. This means they are not included in any of the packages, but I highly encourage my couples to select it as an extra.

A couple session can be used as an engagement or pre-wedding session (before the wedding). However, if you book me as your photographer last minute and having an engagement session just isn't feasible due to a lack of time, there is always the possibility to 'save' your engagement session for later.

You are free to decide when you'd like to use this session, but I highly suggest celebrating your first anniversary by heading to your favorite place (or even back to the location we did your bridal photos) for a fun shoot. Have a little picnic, bring some drinks or your favorite board game, and let's do this!

Louisa and Ethan, frolicking in the fields at their Trigg engagement session.

Engagement session ideas

There's arguably no better way to celebrate this new season of your relationship than by documenting it with photographs.

When I first started my wedding photography business a few years ago, I used to get hired for my signature 'sunset at beach' type engagement sessions. And also there is nothing wrong with those sessions (who doesn't love the beach at sunset? Not me!), there are so many other options to make your engagement session true to who you are, and most important of all, enjoyable!

As previously mentioned, the whole point of this type of session is to document the season of your relationship you currently find yourself in. So have a think: What does a typical weekend or day off look like for you? What is your favorite way to spend quality time together? What is your happy place?

Here are a few ideas that you might want to consider for your engagement session:

  • Go for a walk around your neighborhood with your fur baby;
  • Chilling at home on a lazy Sunday morning (think coffee in bed, cuddles on the couch, etc.);
  • Head out to your favorite bar for a drink and a stroll around the city;
  • Going for a swim or a surf at your local beach;
  • Revisit the place where you got engaged and make new memories;
  • Or anything that your heart desires!

I want to document your relationship, not someone else's. Nothing is off-limit — you make the call and I'll make it happen.

Julie and Kerry visited Perth from Sydney a few months after getting engaged. To commemorate the occasion, they invited me into their Como the Treasury hotel room to document
Allegra and Killian, revisiting the very spot where Killian proposed to Allegra just a couple of weeks before.

Trust me, by choosing to have your sessions prior to your wedding day, you are doing your future selves a big favor. An engagement or pre-wedding session with your photographer can enhance your overall wedding experience by creating a connection between you and your partner, and your wedding photographer. This session will be the perfect opportunity for you to get used to being in front of the camera and will help take some of the edges off on your big day This way, you'll feel more relaxed and comfortable around me and will be familiar with the way I work.

More often than not, when I ask my couples the following question as part of their pre-wedding questionnaire, this is their answer:

If you walked away from your session with only one dream photo, what would it be?
"We really love all the photos from our engagement shoot so anything of that style!"

I don't want to only be your wedding photographer, I want to capture other big (or not-so-big) life moments for the two of you to remember and relive through photographs for the years to come.

Need some inspiration for your engagement, pre-wedding or anniversary session? Browse couple galleries here.

Liked this article? You might want to read this one for some tips to nail said couple shoot and have the best time while you're at it.

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