“Need” is a strong word. Food and water and shelter are needs. Doing an engagement shoot is more like adding the heated leather seat option to your new Mercedes purchase.
So no, you don’t need an engagement shoot. But there are a variety of reasons couples like to do a portrait session before their wedding day.
Let’s dive in…
It’s a good way to get to know your photographer.
Wedding photography is extremely personal. Your photographer is the only vendor who’s going to be by your side all day long, from getting ready in your hotel room to the grand exit at the end of your reception. Doing an engagement shoot ahead of time is a great way to get to know your photographer so that you’ll be more relaxed around him or her when the big day finally arrives.
It teaches you to be comfortable in front of the camera.
Posing for professional photographs can be tough. Especially when it’s your wedding day and emotions are running high and everybody’s watching. But practice makes perfect! Engagement sessions are low-pressure shoots with no time crunch. You can pick a nice, relaxed location, wear something that you feel comfortable in and get used to the feeling of being in the spotlight. Think of it as a rehearsal for the wedding. A dry run.
“We just don’t have any good pictures of us together.”
We hear this all the time from our couples. Selfie sticks are clever and all, but not everyone wants to look like a complete tool on the hiking trail. Sure, you can always hand your phone over to a stranger to take the picture, but how’s that going to turn out? Engagement photos to the rescue!
This segues nicely into the next item…
It spruces up your “save the dates.”
Since you don’t have any good pictures of yourselves together, what are you going to put on your pre-invitation invitations? A cool design and some clever text will suffice for some, but if you’re using a photo, you’ll want it to be a good one. If I found a save the date in my mailbox sporting a photo taken with a selfie stick, I’d send that sucker back marked “decline with regret.”
It’s a great contrast to your wedding photos.
There are two types of weddings in Colorado: mountain and urban. This is a manifestation of what makes the Centennial State such a wonderful place to live. We have a beautiful metropolitan city right next to the majestic Rocky Mountain wilderness. It’s the best of both worlds. But when planning your wedding, you generally have to choose one or the other. So when we book a wedding downtown at the Grand Hyatt, we encourage the bride and groom to do their engagement shoot in the mountains, and vice versa. This way, you get as much variety as possible.
So, do you need an engagement shoot? Of course not. But for the reasons above – and a few others – many couples like to have this included in their wedding photo package. You just have a take a moment to sit down with your fiancé and determine whether or not it’s right for you.