The Lens Perspective | The Engagement Session Effect

Well hello there! It’s Monday afternoon, the sun is shining (here in Iowa at least) and Rachel is vacationing in the beautiful state of Colorado! That means you get to hear more from me this week! :)  As photographers and newlyweds ourselves, we have photographed many lovely faces, seen a lot of weddings and experienced the ups and downs of wedding planning and the wedding day.  From these experiences, we have learned a lot and want to share that with you!  So I bring to you our first installment of The Lens Perspective…a series dedicated to sharing our perspective as photographers and brides to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable experience both in front of the lens, as well as behind the scenes when planning a wedding. (Also- huge props to Rachel for snapping this awesome closeup this past weekend during an engagement session!) :)

the lens perspective graphic valerie

One question that I have heard over and over from prospective couples and clients is “Why do I need an engagement session?”  The reasoning behind this question stems from a number of circumstances including:

“A family member or friend is going to take them to save money.”

.“We don’t need engagement photos.”

.“We don’t really enjoy being photographed and would rather not have an engagement session.”

These are all understandable reasons to shy away from the engagement session, but if you’re planning to have a wedding photographer who will take portraits of you on your wedding day, I highly recommend that you also have them take engagement portraits for you.

Adam & Kjirsten_071

Adam & Kjirsten_272

Your wedding day is one that will hold hundreds of special moments and emotions unique to that day.  The last emotion you want to feel on the day of is stress or nerves related to having your portrait taken.  You want that time to be sweet and natural, which is often difficult to achieve if you’ve never experienced the feeling of being in front of your photographer’s lens.

Kyle & Johanna_0469

Kyle & Johanna Wedding_095

Since I’m a photographer, of course this opinion can be seen as a bias, so I wanted to share with you all what a recent bride-to-be experienced as a result of her engagement session.  :)

“I have to be honest, I am uncomfortable in front of cameras, especially for something as intimate as engagement pictures. Initially, I was not looking forward to the photos because that meant one more encounter with the camera. Now I am so thankful for that extra encounter! Leading up to our engagement photo session, I felt nervous, insecure of my posing abilities :), and awkward. Dane and I listened to some “pump up” music on the way to the park hoping to calm my feelings.
As soon as we arrived to the park, Valerie instantly started asking questions. It was great! She knew exactly what to ask and instantly gave me confidence. She reminded us to be ourselves and have fun. With that, we got to work. The entire time Dane and I were just laughing and enjoying ourselves. Valerie laughed along with us and we felt like we were hanging out with a friend. Next thing I knew, it was two hours later and I spent those two hours having fun! I was in shock. On the ride home I told Dane about five times that I was in awe of how much fun we had.
The three of us were able to work together AND have a great time. I grew to be comfortable in front of the camera (as long as Valerie holds it), and I now feel excited for wedding pictures. I would not have described my feeling for wedding photos this way had it not been for the engagement photos. I cannot wait to see the results. The sneak peeks already prove of Valerie’s talent. Thank you for such a great time!”
Now, let me tell you, Dane and Maddie were an absolute blast to shoot!  Their nerves turned to laughter and the time flew by as we explored the park where Dane proposed.  Here are a few peeks into their images – the full post is coming soon! :)
Dane & Maddie_0113
Dane & Maddie_0056 Dane & Maddie_0043 Dane & Maddie_0510 Dane & Maddie_0434
See what I mean? They did a great job! :) I hope this has been helpful for those of you who are on the fence about having your photographer do engagement images for you.  Please, if you have any questions or more thoughts on the topic, leave a comment, I’d be happy to chat more about it! :)

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