I’d like to talk about what an engagement session is, and what you should expect when someone offers that to you. Let’s start from the beginning. You’re engaged, and now you’re planning your Hudson Valley wedding. Among many other important services, you’re looking for a competent Hudson Valley wedding photographer who will do a good job capturing the most important day of your life. So you ask around, and you do some research. You read several bridal publications on what questions you must ask; many suggest to ask for for an engagement session.
I imagine that you already know the difference between photos taken at your engagement proposal, and the photos taken at a staged engagement session. So, for conversation sake, I’ll be talking about planned engagement photography sessions.
You hear it all the time from photographers, “engagement session” offered with your wedding photography. But did you ever ask them, what is an engagement session? Of course not. You would assume that the professional providing the service, knows more than you do, and that he would do the best he or she can do. However, I’m sorry to say that in most cases they know less than you do.
Some studios casually use the term "engagement session" as a promotional gimmick. They want to impress you, without making any important commitments. Yet, you must expect something special if you’re going to invest your time and effort. For instance, they don’t take into account that your relationship with your fiance is uniquely beautiful, and that you’ve taken many “pretty” photos before. So you don’t need photographs that look like what your best friend would take with a cell phone. You want more and deserve better. Beware, just because they say they are professional, it does not guarantee that they can deliver you something unique and beautiful.
The engagement session, is actually a pre-wedding photography session. However, in most cases it's not even a session, but just a few photographs on a street corner or at a studio. Before you get disappointed, ask the photographer exactly what he/she means when he mentions engagement photography. Ask them to show you an entire session, not just the best shots. If you like what you see, then do it. If you’re not impressed, don’t waste your time.
If a photographer fails the engagement session test, it does not mean that he or she is a bad wedding photographer. However, it should raise some questions whether the studio has the same vision and sensibility as you do.
We at Maximilian B. Nucci Photography, have developed a unique approach to engagement photography. We call it “the love story” session. It is focused on more than just your usual kodak moment. We take your interaction, personalities, and affection into consideration; and we make a romantic homage to your affection for one another. See to believe, but we’ll talk more about it in a specific post.
Hopefully, you’ll be on the lookout and you’ll start comparing apples to apples when deciding on your wedding photographer. Don’t ever feel pressured that you must take the deal of the century just because it sounds good. Probe as much as you have too, and demand to see as much as you can. There are many excellent photographers out there, who are doing a very good and honest job, and they have nothing to hide. Lastly, before hiring someone, when looking at their work ask yourself a very important question that is mostly overlooked: “how does their work make me feel?”