Behind EFC | What The Engagement Session Is For
Engagement season is no joke! In years past, I did not truly understand or experience the intensity of engagement season. In fact, I feel like currently I’m in a weird disbelief.
Honestly, I think it’s just so weird that in my area we can predict inquiries to come in from December – March. It may never happen again, but I’m just going to relish in this phase of my life and business. Due to all this rush of coffee dates and seeing all these beautiful unique rings, I wanted to share a little of my heart and how it’s changed.
In the past, I saw an engagement session as simply photos for a client to send out on a save the date, have as their profile picture, and save photos of them in casual clothes in a park. It was just assumed. I hadn’t quite grasped what an opportunity that time was to invest in my couples. This year my mindset has changed completely. As I grew in learning how to pose people, I also learned that it gets old. The same poses, the same angles… “I am 18 and already burning out.” NOT a good sign. I started following photographers that inspired me as well as I truly aspired to become. I just kept seeing in their photos emotion. Like, REAL. Raw, different to each couple. It’s like the photographers capture the true essence of who they are and their story. One of my best friends, Emily Gluntz of Fernweh Photography, and I pounced on the opportunity to attend a workshop with Love Is A Big Deal. Man, everything changed! I know I haven’t even come close to applying all I learned that evening from them, but of the small bit I’ve been able to make a part of my art, it has changed me drastically.
The engagement session. Delivering the photos is so important; however, now, I believe it is about that one hour you get with them. The first time they are in front of your camera, maybe the first time they have met you. Everything changes. We were friends, but now there is this barrier of metal and glass that intimidates so many. I hate being in front of the camera myself. So, having these tools, I’ve learned to make it less awkward and, dare I say it – FUN, the sessions have become my favorite time! My dream is that couples walk away still laughing over a story they got to tell me and in a weird shock that, not only was that hour not painful, it was great.
So, I wanted to shout out to my fellow photographers, let your engagement sessions be more than the a la carte option. Encourage, include, or even gift that session to them! Allow yourself that time to engage with your couples. Start getting to know each other, learn what makes them laugh, and what prompts emotion. I think this season, more than ever, I have seen how much more engaged and excited I feel about a wedding upon booking, knowing I get a chance to ease their nerves about one more thing. Wedding planning and booking is stressful. We, as photographers, get to not only affirm them with our words, but with how wonderful we make them feel during their engagement session! Take advantage of this time you can have with them. Get to know them. Make them realize you are here to do your job, and be there 100% for them. You are joining their team. You are NOT just a vendor. You are their storyteller. Do it right.
I guess I just really wanted to share, because this time I’ve been spending with couples just a few short weeks after meeting or booking them has been so special. I am learning SO much. I don’t think this time last year I could gush about each of my couples. That these two met in highschool and had their first kiss after prom on her doorstep (so adorably American dream iconic); that this couple is planning to go on the mission field and are so excited about being married and engaging with other couples; that this other couple is passionate about food and will def be having a taco bar at the wedding; and ohmyword so much more! Don’t burn out, immerse yourself 100% during those sessions!