WHAT’S THE POINT OF ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY?
For most people, the purpose of wedding photography is pretty self-explanatory. It’s clear to most couples why they should hire a photographer to document their wedding day. But I get a lot of questions about engagement photography. So I thought I’d take a minute and discuss with you why I think engagement photography is important.
The main difference between wedding photography and engagement photography is really very simple from my perspective. When I’m shooting a wedding, I’m documenting what you are doing. I’m making photos of you, your family, and your guests, enjoying the events of a very important day. I’m creating a visual documentation of everything that happens to help you preserve your memories of the day. And that’s incredibly important.
But when I make engagement photos, it’s just the three of us hanging out for a couple of hours. We get a chance to joke around, and I ask you questions about who you are. We pick a location that is somewhere you feel comfortable. Maybe you spend a lot of time at a certain park, or in this eclectic part of downtown. And the location reflects something about who you are, and you feel comfortable there. And after about 30 minutes, you stop feeling so awkward in front of the camera, and in front of this stranger, and you relax a little. And after about an hour, you start suggesting things to do and try. And you guys are giggling and having a good time.
At this point, something really cool has happened. There’s a reason that 75% of the photos in any engagement photography session come from the last half of the session. Because by the end of the session, you are relaxed and happy and feeling like yourself, which means that we’re making portraits, not just snapshots. And we’re making portraits of you guys just as you are right now… happy, in love, and beautiful. So beautiful.
Wedding photos are important, but wedding photography is really about making photos of what you’re doing. Engagement photography is about making portraits of who you are right now. And I think that’s something you really want to remember too.