CONNECT WITH DANIELLE
I’m a wife and momma on the daily and bouquets of flowers from Trader Joes are my love language. I’m passionate about joyful marriages, encouraging words and chasing your dreams. The only thing I love more than photographing weddings is education and encouraging creative entrepreneurs! I nerd out about marketing, personality types, and making digital images look like film! I run off joy, grace and a lot of coffee! If you only remember one thing from me, I want it to be this: you are so loved! Learn More
April 24, 2018
Engagements are such an exciting time and I remember ours vividly. Wedding planning will be in full force no matter what… it’s just the way it goes! You will be securing your venue, photographer, and all those other important pieces to bring your special day to life. And HOPEFULLY, you are also thinking about a very important piece of the puzzle… engagement pictures!
Before we dive in, I’m asked by all my couples, “When should we schedule our session?” I cover this in detail in my custom Bridal Magazine for my brides and it is a great question. I typically recommend scheduling your session six months before your wedding date. It’s not worth stressing over any later than that because you will have so many other details on your mind. This will give you plenty of time to not only enjoy and share your gorgeous photos, but have plenty of time to get them printed for Save the Dates, albums and prints for the big day!
Your engagement session is truly the BEST opportunity to spend some quality time with your photographer before the big day. Wedding days are so busy and even when we strive to make them as stress free as possible… it just happens with all the moving parts of the day. Having a solid relationship with your photographer from the engagement session will only bring you comfort on the day of your wedding. I also cannot emphasize the importance of these pictures so that you have tons of beautiful photographs to use for things like Save the Date cards, a wedding website, etc. Basically all my couples who opt for an engagement session are way more relaxed and comfortable with me on their big day because they know the drill. Which leads me into number two…
However long your engagement session may be, it truly is the KEY to avoiding stiff and awkward poses on your big day. Long gone are the days of traditional poses… if you work with me I make you move, dance, laugh and have fun. Those are my favorite kinds of moments to capture. No matter what, the beginning of ANY photo session is going to be a little awkward, there’s really no avoiding that (if you know how by all means please let me know haha!) BUT once you get rolling with me on a session, you will be pros by the end and feeling totally confident. It’s my goal with every session to make personalities come ALIVE in front of my camera. I can’t even tell you how many brides have texted me (even families) saying that their fiance or Husband was NOT excited for pictures but she wanted to tell me that he had fun! Winning! If your groom isn’t thrilled about the whole idea of an engagement session, not a problem. Get him excited for something special AFTER pictures… which leads me to my next point…
I couldn’t think of a better way to end your engagement session experience other than a fun date night together. You are already dressed up and feeling good so why not turn it into an opportunity to spend some quality time together. I always encourage my couples to have a nice date after their session instead of going straight home. Even though we are married now and not planning a wedding, the idea is the same… date nights are so important. Wedding planning can be stressful and busy. Make sure you are making enough time for each other along the way! After a date night with my man I always feel so much better and connected.
There’s no better time than your engagement session to give your hair and makeup a trial run for the big day. Especially makeup! You will have the opportunity from your engagement session to see how it looks with your photographer’s style. Perhaps it needs a little more of a pop or it did NOT reflect you or your personality… that is really good knowledge to have before makeup is done on the day of your wedding.
Most brides typically schedule a trial before the wedding and combining that trial with your session is the perfect chance to see how you are going to look on camera. They will then have a better understanding of what adjustments, if any, need to be made. If you are anything like me, I feel overwhelmed with makeup on my face because I rarely wear any on my usual day-to-day. However, when I’ve seen images of myself with a full face done, I have been happy with how it looked on camera!
Here’s the deal… it is my hope that anyone hiring a photographer would LOVE their style before booking but that doesn’t always happen (insert sad face). Scheduling an engagement session is a great way to have a test drive with your chosen wedding photographer and to see a final product. While I’ve never had this happen to me personally, I have heard of it happening and while it might be an awkward conversation and difficult, it could also be the best case scenario to ensure you actually LOVE your final wedding gallery and are not stuck with wedding images you don’t love. I would HATE for this to happen to anyone and you’d most likely be out of a retainer/deposit but having the engagement session is one sure fire way to make sure you LOVE what your photographer does! By all means though, before you EVER book your wedding photographer make sure you do your due diligence as the client by previewing more of what you just see on Instagram or Facebook. I always show potential brides full wedding galleries so they will know what to expect from a full wedding day experience with me as their photographer.
I truly believe in the value of an engagement session. Many photographers (like myself) offer engagement sessions as “complimentary” for these reasons and more! It’s a vital part of the process so I encourage you to consider it if you are on the fence. Trust me, I wish I would have known more about them when I was engaged because, it was not even on my radar as something important.