Last week I posted both Aeri & Andy’s engagement photos and their wedding photos. The obvious thing to think here is that I’m behind on blogging again… naturally… but that actually isn’t the case for once!! Aeri and Andy live in Arizona, and as close as Arizona is to Nevada, we were never able to schedule a time that we would both be in the same city. So, our last resort was to take their engagement photos the Thursday before their Saturday wedding. Yes, it would have been easy for us to just throw in the towel on the engagement photos in order to just focus on the wedding, but taking engagement photos is so incredibly important, so that I made sure to get Aeri and Andy in front of my camera before the wedding took place.
Here are my top 3 reasons why I try everything in my power to get an engagement session under our belts before a couple goes into their wedding day…
1. Every Photographer is Different
This is probably my most important soap box moment. Every photographer is different. Every photographer will talk to you differently, move you differently, pose you differently, etc… Therefore, it is so important that you set up an engagement session with your wedding photographer in order to make sure that you are on the same page prior to the wedding. Sometimes my couples have already had a round of engagement photos taken if they don’t live in Las Vegas, so they think that this is a step they can skip. But the last thing that you want to have happen on your wedding day is to feel like you’re wasting precious minutes on getting to know how your photographer moves/talks/shoots during your couples’ portraits. The couples’ portion of my wedding days are so so so short because it is my job to land “the shot” in a short period of time in order to get the bride and groom back to the party. So, I’d never want to put my couples at a disadvantage by not having a practice round first.
I am notorious for asking ridiculous things of my couples during shoots. This is because I prefer for my photographs to feel genuine, not staged. I work scenarios into my ‘posing’ way more than a ‘put your hand here, turn this way, now look at me and smile’ approach. So, if my couples don’t expect these types of crazy requests… then they will think that I am batshitcray on their wedding day. I can’t stress the ‘batshitcray-ness’ enough here… because… at a wedding just recently… my bride actually barked during the couples portraits. Yes, barked… like a canine. This is totally a sidebar story to tell, but in a joking way, I asked the groom to lead the bride by her front arm, as though he was walking a dog… because this was the first thing that came to my mind… and before I knew it, my ridiculous request turned into the bride actually barking… and it was hysterical… and the photo is epic. Said bride will remain nameless in order to protect her ego. But for reals, had they not already done their engagement session months prior, she would have probably bitch slapped me and fired me on the spot.
2. Engagement Photos are a Trial Run for the Wedding
I think that I have mentioned this before, but… kill two birds with one stone. Schedule your hair and makeup trial to piggy back with your engagement session. This way the money that you spend on your trial doesn’t go to waste since you’ll utilize being all gorgeous for your shoot… and while you’re at it… hit up that soon-to-be spouse of yours for a fance dinner rezzy after your shoot. Professional hair and makeup is not to be wasted. Let me say that one more time for emphasis… professional hair and makeup is not to be wasted!!
3. Practice Makes Perfect
For both of us! Since we have followed rule #1 of this blog… and we have already gotten to know how each other moves in front of, and behind, the camera… now we can make any tweaks that might need to be corrected before the wedding. I get to hear which body parts are of concern for the couple (and this isn’t just for brides!!)… what angles work best for each person… who is shy/outgoing… how much affection the couple is comfortable showing… how they look at each other, walk with each other, laugh with each other… and most importantly… how far I can push them to get the photos that I want to create. Some of my couples are daredevils and want me to have them climb on top of wild horses’ backs… okay, that’s an exaggeration… but some couples are cool with laying down, sitting in areas that might not be so… um… sanitary… hike a bit of the desert for a photo… and on the flip side, some of my couples just want to chill in front of my camera and get some beautiful portraits snapped. All of these things are useful to me on the wedding day… and thus, a service to my couples as they get to feel comfortable with me, and have some pretty photos to grace their walls… and include with their save-the-dates!!