Engagement Photos: I Do or I Don’t?

Every happily engaged couple looks forward to having some beautiful photos to remember this special time in their lives. But the question of whether to take engagement photos or not, is often a hotly contested topic.

I can relate. I wasn’t sure if we really needed them. I mean, the thought of them seemed fun, but what would be do with them? And was this really just an exercise in narcissism? Eek! Thankfully I had a wise planner (oh hey Kimberly!), and fabulous photographers who talked me through the bigger picture and why taking engagement photos was a really good idea. In short, I saw the light.

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photo by The Mamones

There are a million and one reasons why you should strongly consider taking engagement photos. Consider this:

  • Get Comfortable: If you aren’t accustom to being in front of the camera, it takes some time to get comfortable. And even if you are, is your fiancé? Not to mention the two of you together. Use this as an opportunity to get comfortable and relax while being photographed together. You’ll spend a lot of time showing a lot of PDA, and all in front of a camera.
  • Get to Know Your Photographer: Every photographer directs a shoot differently. You don’t want your first time working with your photographer to be the biggest day of your life! Get to know their directional style before you walk down the aisle. And did I mention lots of PDA, in front of said photographer?!
  • Let Your Photographer Get to Know You: Not only is every photographer different, so is every couple! Your wedding day photos will benefit greatly by allowing your photographer time to get to know how you move and respond to direction. By having this time, they will be able to better capture those special candid photos throughout your ceremony and reception because they will have a better understanding of your mannerisms and expressions.
  • Professional, Non-Wedding Photos of You as a Couple: You will, no doubt, want to share your wedding photos with anyone who shows even the slightest interest. But believe it or not, you will also want some great pictures of the two of you that aren’t just in your white dress and tux. Your engagement photos are an opportunity to really capture who you are as a couple, your personality and what makes the two of you unique. These are photos you will treasure long past the big day.

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photo by The Mamones

But don’t just take my word for it! I’ve asked the fabulous Don Mamone of The Mamones, a husband and wife photography duo, to share some thoughts on why engagement photos really are important, from the photographer’s perspective.

Q. Do you think engagement photos are a “must” or a nice “add-on”?

A. We HIGHLY recommend at least one pre-wedding photography session. If the couple is only going to invest in one pre-wedding session, we hope it is an engagement session so that we get the opportunity to photograph both the bride and the groom before the wedding.

Q. How does an engagement session benefit the couple?

A.  An engagement session benefits the couple in a good number of ways. Before the engagement session, we have likely spent a good deal of time with the couple in our studio; however, this session is our first opportunity to spend time together as photographers and subjects.  They experience how we provide direction while photographing them together.  Being professionally photographed is not a regular occurrence for most couples so a certain amount of nervousness is fairly common and understandable.

Q.  How do you suggest a couple should approach their engagement photos?

A.  When a couple works closely with their photographers to arrange all the details, their engagement session is a wonderful opportunity to tell their story. Ideally, these images will highlight their individual personalities and style as well as capture their love as a couple.  The location, their wardrobe and accessories and any props they want to incorporate should be quintessentially “them” so that the session is comfortable and natural in appearance and feeling.

Q. Any other advice for couples as they decide on engagement photos?

A. In today’s digital age, we like to provide guidance and mange expectations with regard to Pinterest.  We believe this is a wonderful new way for couples to share visually what they previously had to try to communicate verbally (not always easy to do).  With that said, we also want to ensure that the couple uses Pinterest as a method of inspiration and not replication.  Their photos should always remain unique to them and true to the photographer’s style.

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photo by The Mamones

Thanks Don for that great insight! I love his comment on using Pinterest as inspiration but not replication. I can say, for us, having engagement photos ended up being a great way to prepare us for what we would actually look like in our wedding photos! It also allowed us time to get comfortable with our photographers and, looking back, we could see how their direction positively impacted the end result. So when I felt really ridiculous doing something they were saying, I could see the payoff in following that direction. The photos where I clearly didn’t, clearly weren’t as good.

For more information on engagement photos, visit The Mamone’s website for tips and inspiration!

Are you on the fence about engagement photos? Have you taken them already? Tell us about your engagement photo experience!

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