3 Great Reasons Why You Should Do an Engagement Session

a couple embrace during an engagement session in beautiful light in front of a wood fence with ivy

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Engagement Session Tips, Engagements

Why You Should Do an Engagement Session

I mean really, why should you do an engagement session?

A lot of couples ask themselves this question. Many opt not to do an engagement session, either for budgetary reasons, or because they’re not really comfortable in front of the camera and don’t care for photos of themselves anyway.

a couple embrace during an engagement session in beautiful light in front of a wood fence with ivy

Reason #1 why you should do an engagement session: because the only photos you have together are selfies

Well, odds are, the only photos you have together are selfies. Or photos of the two of you looking at the camera and smiling. You probably don’t have photos that document who you are together. Photos that capture your relationship. 

Snapshots are fun, but they’re not usually frame-worthy. They don’t tell the world, THIS IS US. THIS IS WHO WE ARE. You want something more than just a generic smiling at the camera photo. You need photos that tell your story. (And I’ll get to more about that in a bit.) Selfies don’t tell the full story. 

One of my favorite ways for couples to use the photos from their engagement session is to print them in an album with lots of white space around the photos, and use it as a guest book. Guests can write well-wishes and leave notes for you on the pages. It’s a wonderful thing to have, and easy to store since it’s in book form.

Reason #2: Engagement sessions are so much more relaxed than wedding days.

During your engagement session, it will just be the two of you. You’re not on a time limit, there are no worries and no stress. The relaxed atmosphere of your engagement session gives us a chance to get to know each other better. I get to learn more about you as a couple and how you interact with each other. You get to know more about me and my shooting style. My shooting style is how I direct you and get you to interact with each other. You’ll know exactly what to expect on your wedding day.

When you’ve already done a photo session with me once, then having a bit of portrait time with me on your wedding day will be nothing. (I have a few tips to help make your wedding day portraits enjoyable. I also have some helpful tips to make your engagement session stress-free!)

You also have an opportunity to take photos in a location that might not be an option on your wedding day, due to time constraints and proximity. The world is your oyster! If you’ve always had your heart set on dreamy Joshua Tree desert photos, but that’s just not an option for your wedding, we can totally make that happen for your engagement session.

Maybe you want to include your pets since you can’t do that on your wedding day. It’s possible for your engagement session! I love in-home lifestyle engagement sessions. We can also do part of the engagement session in your home, and the other part at a separate location. If you have dogs, you can have a friend or family member bring your dogs to a park for some photos, then they can take them back home.

This is your opportunity for a custom portrait session of just the two of you. It’s a very rare (and special) occasion, so make sure you are intentional with your plans for your session.

a couple embrace in golden hour California light

Reason #3: To document this time in your life.

This time you have now when it’s just the two of you, you’re going to want to remember it. To show future generations what you looked like when you were so young and in love. No one is ever going to look at those photos and think you’re fat, or that your nose looks ugly. They’re going to see two people they love. Your engagement photos, like your wedding photos, will become an important part of your history.

And you know what else?

One day, you’ll treasure your engagement photos as much as you treasure your wedding photos.

Let me explain.

I was married once before, long before Mike and I ever met. It feels like a lifetime ago now. His name was Andy. When Andy and I got engaged, I tried to talk him into getting engagement photos done, but he vehemently said no. He hated photos of himself. In fact, we both did. Honestly, I avoided getting my picture taken at all costs, so I didn’t argue with him about it.

I should have.

One day short of our second wedding anniversary, Andy’s colon ruptured. He spent 5 months in the ICU before he died. While putting together photos for his funeral, I realized there were only a handful of pictures of us together, aside from our awkward wedding photos. (He was so nervous in front of the camera on our wedding day, that he had a fake Chandler-esque smile in many of the shots. The rest of o. Seven years together, and all I have to remember it by is a few pictures together.

Living with regret

I regret not pushing him to have engagement photos taken, and I regret not taking every chance I had to have my picture taken with him. There aren’t pictures from when we first started dating. There isn’t a photo of us in front of our house the day we closed.

We took a road trip to Florida so I could see the ocean for the first time. It was so pitch black dark when we finally got to the hotel that I couldn’t see anything. We stayed up all night together until the sun rose because he could see my face when I finally saw the ocean (and I was too excited to sleep). There is no proof we were ever there together. And the day we climbed to the top of the lighthouse? Someone offered to take our picture together and I declined. There isn’t a photo of us when we got engaged. We took no photos together on our “honeymoon” to Arkansas. When we took our last trip to the Hermann wineries, just a month before he got sick? There’s not a single shot of us together.

As I sat there that evening, looking through photos, trying to find just a few pictures, any pictures, of us together, none of it mattered anymore. It didn’t matter to me if I looked fat, my hair was a mess, my nose looked gigantic, or I didn’t have makeup on. In the end, none of those things mattered.

Photographs are how we show the world who we are.

And THAT is why you should do an engagement session. Because you should be photographed. You should document your lives together. You should leave your mark on the world. This is who we were; this is what we did; this is how we loved.

If you found this helpful, check out my post on Wedding Day Timeline Planning Tips

Jaimie Nicole Krause is a documentary wedding photographer specializing in adventure elopements and intimate gatherings. You can find her on Instagram @jaimienicolekrause or contact her at hello@jaimienicolekrause.com

  1. Holy Cow! What an awesome post. I apologize for your loss but I’m thankful that you shared it! You have impacted me, the one who is always taking the pictures and rarely being in them because I’m overweight. I appreciate you writing this.

  2. […] I guess it’s technically not an engagement session since Sarah and Joe are already married… but since they were having a big ole party for their vow renewal, they decided they definitely needed to take advantage of the engagement session that I include in each of my wedding collections and use it as a dress rehearsal for their big day. […]

  3. […] If you enjoyed this post on Blackburn Park Engagement Photos, you can check out my post on 5 Great Tips for a Stress-Free Engagement Session or this post about 3 Reasons Why You Should Do an Engagement Session […]

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