The Real Reason We Recommend Taking Engagement Photos

If you're on the fence about having an engagement session, read this.
by The Knot
Couple engagement pics
Jonnieface Photography

Maybe you're camera shy or feel like engagement photos are an unnecessary waste of time. But the truth is, we always recommend having an engagement session with a professional photographer once you make it official—in fact, we think it's immeasurably important. Here's why. 

This is your biggest opportunity to become comfortable in front of the camera.

Odds are, neither you nor your partner are professional models for a living. (But if you are, you'll be just fine.) That's why it's important to get a "test run" before your wedding day where the photos will likely feel more significant. Not everyone feels natural posing in front of a professional photographer—especially when it comes to taking candid or romantic shots with your partner—and an engagement session should feel, in part, like practice. By having an engagement session, you'll learn how to relax, feel at ease and even look less tense and awkward in your real wedding photos. That's pretty important. 

You'll get to know your photographer. 

Going off of that, establishing a relationship with your photographer before your wedding will make a difference in the outcome of your wedding photos. Spend about an hour or two getting to know your pro, listening to them, having fun with them, and then get photographed. They'll take note of how you interact with each other, your individual personalities and even your quirks. These details will help them capture moments on the wedding day that are unique to just the two of you. Also, we recommend taking engagement pics sooner rather than later so you're not stressing to get them done when you're in full-on wedding planning mode. 

It'll give you a chance to "reconnect."

Have your engagement photos taken at a location that has some significance to the two of you. It could be where you got engaged or had your first date, or it could just be somewhere you like to spend time to enjoy a shared interest. Some locations to consider: hometowns, the college where you met, a favorite restaurant or bar, a museum, the zoo, a movie theater or even your own home. Pick a meaningful spot and your images will feel more special—and you'll also likely feel more at ease in an environment you're familiar with.

You'll get to see professional photos of yourselves before the wedding. 

The advantage of seeing professional pics before saying "I do" is you can let your photographer know ahead of time if there are shots or angles you don't care for, and you can point out shots you do like too. Remember, communication is key. Tip: Have your hair and makeup trial done on the same day as your engagement session. This way, you get to see how it looks in photos and can let your stylists know if there's anything you'd like to change. Once you see your engagement images and get excited about them, you'll have more confidence in yourselves and in your photographer. When the time comes to tie the knot, you'll look forward to having your pictures taken, instead of dreading the thought of having a camera pointed at you all day.

You'll have gorgeous photos to use prewedding. 

Once you have your engagement images, there are endless things you can do with them. They can be given as gifts to family (your parents and grandparents would especially love a copy), you can make yourselves a small album or you can order a portrait (or other keepsake) to hang in your home. Perhaps think of sending an engagement picture to your hometown newspaper to announce your marriage (an old-fashioned tradition that might be important to your parents). The shots can also be used in your wedding program, wedding website or save-the-dates. Pro tip: If you do choose to self-publish your engagement images, get permission from your photographer. (The image rights belong to the photographer, and you might even have to compensate them for the usage.)  Depending on how you intend to use the photos, most photographers will let you publish as long as you just ask them and give them credit. 

Find your dream photographer here.

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