In the midst of all of your wedding planning, do you really have time to take engagement pictures? More than that, is there really a reason to have professional engagement photos taken?  Here are some reasons why having an engagement session with a professional wedding photographer should be a resounding “yes”, and some tips to making the most of your engagement session.

A good engagement session is a predictor of wedding photography to come

This is the perfect time for you to figure out if you really want to hire a particular photographer for your wedding. A consultation, a quote and a gallery are not necessarily the best predictors of whether a photographer has the style or personality you’re looking for. Wedding photography is likely the most money you will ever spend on photography in your life, so it’s wise to make sure you’ll get a good return on your investment.  Think of your initial consultation like the photographer’s audition, and a engagement session as a callback to make sure you really want to hire them.  An engagement session gives you an idea of how the photographer’s personality meshes with yours, how they’ll conduct a photo session, as well as give you a chance to get comfortable with your photographer.  Everybody’s pictures get better when they’re more comfortable with the person behind the camera – and this level of comfort will transfer to your wedding day.

Engagement session in Pittsburgh

Wedding engagement photography sessions give you a chance to unwind with your photographer.

So sure, having an engagement session will help you know you made the right choice of photographer and make you more comfortable with your photographer for the big day.  But what can you do with the pictures taken during your engagement session?  Traditionally, engagement pictures are taken for newspaper announcements and for a nice picture to frame and place on the mantelpiece.  However, there are other options.  You can use your engagement pictures as the basis for a save-the-date announcement, put together a guestbook featuring your engagement pictures along with other photos of you and your spouse-to-be, or even use them on a website for your wedding.

Tips to make the most of your pre-wedding photography

  1. Select a location that fits with your personality as a couple. It can be a park you frequent, a cafe or bar that you visit, a university campus, or even your own backyard.
  2. Within close walking distance. This will help diversify your photos and provide inspiration for a wide variety of poses and different types of shots.
  3. If you decide on an outside location, try to schedule your session during the “golden” hours – an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. These times of days provide a soft, warm light that is ideal for photos, especially romantic ones.
  4. Wear something you’re comfortable in, and coordinate with your partner. Typically solids are preferred over prints – but make sure you look like yourself.
  5. Have fun! Smile, kiss, hug, walk – pay more attention to your partner than to your photographer.

Contributed by Jill Duarte

Featured photo by Craig Photography of Pittsburgh