Blog, Engagement, tp+d news

January 3, 2018

Engagement sessions: Do you REALLY have to do one?

Engagement Session at the Lighthouse Petoskey, MI

It’s engagement season (yes, there really is an engagement season)! Hooray! If you’re one of the lucky ones to get asked to spend the rest of forever with your beau recently, congratulations! You’re heading into such an exciting part of your journey together. Now the question remains….”Do we REALLY need engagement pics?”

The short answer is “no”. You don’t HAVE to get your engagement photos done, and honestly, most professionals will gladly work with you without ever having taken your photo before.

But the REAL question is “SHOULD we get engagement photos done?” And my honest answer is “YES!!!”

Let’s be real. Wedding photography will most likely be one of the largest investments you will make for your wedding aside from the venue and food. But it is also one of the only things you will have LEFT after the wedding. And I’m not just saying that as a wedding photographer, I was a bride once too. And unfortunately, due to issues with the photographer we hired, we never got a single image back and I don’t have any photos from my wedding that aren’t from cell phones (insert the shock and horror). So I personally KNOW the importance of getting the right photographer for your wedding and making sure they’re a professional. What does that have to do with engagement sessions? I’ll tell you!

When you’re choosing the photographer you want to work with on your wedding day, yes you absolutely should LOVE their work, but you also should like THEM. Photographers and videographers are the ONLY vendors you will spend your ENTIRE day with. Let that sink in.

We are the ones that are there as you’re getting your hair and makeup done. We’re there as you put on that beautiful dream dress of yours and yes, we will shed a tear when your dad comes into the room to see you for the first time. We’re the ones wishing you well before you walk down the aisle, we stand there to celebrate your union with you. We capture you with all of your family, whisk you and your bridal party off for portraits together, come back and capture your toasts and embarrassing stories told. That first dance where you two can’t stop staring at each other as you realize you’re officially together forever. The dance with your dad as you both choke back the tears (we just let ours flow)…and we capture the party and fun after with all your friends and family. We’re THERE. And sometimes quite literally IN your face. So if you don’t enjoy having us around, that can really put a damper on your day! We’ve heard horror stories of couples who liked the photographers work ok but found out they’re too serious and intense and no fun to be around. One groom said the photographer cussed him out during portraits! EEK! People all have different personalities and you want to be sure yours jive with your vendors.

The other MAJOR reason we encourage engagement sessions and include them in all of our collections is that most people haven’t had their photos taken by a professional photographer before. And if they have, maybe it was their senior pictures 10 years ago. It can be pretty intimidating if you’re not used to it, and so many people get nervous and wonder “What the heck do I do with my hands!?” Do you really want the first time you have to kiss in front of a camera to be on your wedding day? We take all that pressure off and eliminate so much of the nerves with an engagement session.

Consider the engagement session as a trial run for you and your photographer for your big day. Not only will you get the experience of working with this person in advance, you’ll get to see how you gel and work together, you get to see their work of you BEFORE the wedding. While we love to capture the candids and the moments between two people, some people just completely freeze up and get nervous. So no matter what your experience is in front of the camera, our job is to make you feel comfortable, get a gauge on your chemistry together and basically practice with you for your wedding day. We will practice some of the essential poses we may do on a wedding day so when the big day comes I can say, “Hey! Remember when you picked her up by creating a seat with your hands and scooping under her butt? Do that again.”


I ESPECIALLY recommend engagement sessions if you are already aware that you can be awkward in front of the camera or your fianceé HATES getting their picture taken. Don’t let me figure that out the day of the wedding! Haha! Let’s work through that and make them comfortable at the engagement session.

Not to mention I really love engagement sessions because I have become fast friends with my couple so when I show up on the wedding day, we know each other, we can joke and laugh and really be apart of the day. Sure we have lots of weddings where we don’t get to do an engagement session and we have to quickly establish a relationship on the day of, but from my experience, it’s always so much more pleasurable for everyone if we already have worked together. There’s a comfort there on both sides that really makes the day go smoothly.

So yes I know, you may save a couple bucks by skipping it (although they’re already in our collections because we WANT to do them with you), but when you’re investing in wedding photography, don’t you want to give yourself the best experience? I think so. 😉

And if you’re worried about the distance, you live out of state etc… oh don’t worry! We travel for engagement sessions and especially love going to places that are meaningful to you! Just check out some of our favorite engagement pics below. You’ll see why we think it’s worth it.


Engagement sessions really can be whatever you make them! Whether you just want a simple session of just the two of you somewhere beautiful, or you want to do something a little fancy and modern, or super silly and playful! We encourage our couples to take advantage of this time we spend together and let us help you create something that isn’t just practice pics or random pics you’ll never look at again. If we’re going to do it, let’s make it special for YOU. Let’s go to where you first met, or a favorite vacation spot, somewhere you guys love spending time together or maybe doing one of your favorite activities together! Maybe you just want a chill session at home making dinner. The options are limitless and honestly can be SO much fun. So let’s not skip out on the engagement session. Let’s make it one of wedding planning experiences you’ll never forget. 🙂


Contact us today to schedule your session or to see if we have your wedding date available!