Engagement Photography: Why should you have an engagement session before the big day?
Let’s talk about engagement photos! Everyone wants them but many hesitate to pull the trigger. We’re here to give you some of the inside details about why engagement photography sessions are so awesome and what you’re missing out on if you decide to forego an engagement session in lieu of thinking you’ll get all the couples photos you want on your wedding day.
Do things you wouldn’t usually do! One of the reasons we love engagement photography sessions is because it allows us to work with our couples doing things they wouldn’t usually do on their wedding day! This is fun because as a couple it allows you to completely be yourselves and shine! One of our favorite and most unique sessions we had this past year was with Brad & Kelsey! Brad being a pro mountain biker and his fiancé Kelsey and avid mountain biker, they wanted to incorporate their love of riding as much as they did their love for each other! Not to mention they brought their super cute fur baby Coddy! These two things allowed them to be themselves and at home during their session. Though many wedding venues allow you to bring your pets on your wedding day, (hey it is Asheville!) not all will accommodate this, especially if it’s a mainly indoor venue. Also, it may be a little difficult to mountain bike in a beautiful wedding dress with a long veil! Thankfully we had the opportunity to work with Brad & Kelsey and help bring to light what makes their relationship fun and unique. Ultimately its what’s important to you!
Going places you wouldn’t normally go (during your wedding day)! One of our most fun sessions this year was with a couple we are blessed to call friends, Josselyn & Michael! For their session they chose a location that included a 2 mile hike that was so worth it! Our destination was Dupont State Forrest. It is about 45 minutes outside of Asheville and it is one of the most popular spots for landscape photographers. Of course with the amazing backdrops, views, and in Josselyn and Michael’s case, waterfalls, it’s an amazing place for engagement photos as well so we could not wait to go! Though many small elopements take place in a beautiful place like this, for those couples who plan to have a big wedding full of family and friends, that is also somewhat accessible to the masses, spots like this are not always realistic, which is why it’s a great option to have an engagement session at your picture perfect spot before the wedding day! Below are a few of our favorites from Josselyn and Michael’s engagement session!
Having complete control of timing! Many times when you schedule a wedding, you are at the mercy of what venues are available. You may have found your perfect wedding venue in Asheville only to find out they are booked up for a year which means you would have to wait another year to get married (it happens) or the venue you’ve chosen may be available this year but they may only have openings for later in the year and you were hoping to have pictures of you two surrounded by the beautiful fall foliage. Now you’ve coordinated the timeline of your day and everything is set in stone with all your vendors, but you find out a week before the big day that it is supposed to rain all day during your wedding day. In most cases you can’t just re-schedule your wedding day. Having an engagement session allows you to get those special couples photos you may have wanted before the big day so that way, heaven forbid it does rain, you will have already gotten some pretty amazing photos of just you two! In the case of Emily and James, we were able to take control of this complete control of timing and shoot their engagement on a day when the color was popping from the fall weather, get them right when the sun was coming down, and schedule it at a time that this popular spot was not super crowded like the typical Saturday or Sunday at Craggy Gardens.
Lastly, having an engagement session allows you an opportunity to further connect with your wedding photographer. Building this relationship is crucial to being comfortable on camera, but even more so than that, it allows your wedding photographer to further get to know you as a couple which can help give insight as to what tendencies you have on camera, what are the little things that make you two unique and special, and what to look out for on your wedding day. Developing this relationship is something Jenny and I have been blessed to do with many couples so much so that we have gained many great friends on this journey of ours. One of the things we love about connecting with couples during their engagement session is it allows them to be more of themselves on their wedding day as they don’t just have a professional wedding photographer showing up to document the day, they have an extra friend coming to make sure they have a wonderful experience they will never forget.
For all these reasons and more, we highly encourage all of the amazing couples out there to strongly consider engagement photos before your big day!
-Joe & Jenny