I feel that they are really necessary to capturing that time in your life. Your wedding pictures capture that special day but what about the moments that led up to it. What about the special things that you had while dating. You want to remember that to. And it also can add a lot of personality to your wedding when you display those engagement pictures there. I hung our wedding pictures from strings from trees, since we had an outside reception. It let us display our personality to our guests.
I don't think it's crucial to the success of the wedding to have engagement photos, but I really enjoyed taking our engagement pictures. I also really appreciated the opportunity to get to know our photographer and work with him ahead of time. Also they made for a really great guest book.
As a photographer I believe that an engagement session is extremely important. For me, it's not just about the photos. It's about getting to know the bride and groom before the wedding day. There is no better way to get up close and personal with the couple. It’s important that you are comfortable with my style and me and that we know each other on a personal level so your wedding photos truly reflect your personalities and your relationship. An engagement session gives you practice in front of the camera, which can be nerve wracking and not something we want on your wedding day. It also allows me to find the most flattering ways to pose/unpose you. When a couple hires me to photograph their wedding, an engagement session is automatically part of the package they choose regardless. I couldn't possibly show up at a wedding not knowing anything about the couple and try to capture their love for each other.
We include engagement photos in all of our wedding packages. Many of our couples want a photo mat that guests can sign at the wedding. The engagement photo works perfectly for this.
A one to two hour shoot really does give your photographer insight into what you are like and what you will want from your wedding photos. It is the ultimate ice breaker.
These shoots are meant to be fun. Take advantage of the opportunity and build a rapport with your photographer. You will likely have a great time and will be more relaxed during the actual wedding day.
I love me an engagement shoot. And not just for the functionality of it! YES, it provides an invaluable opportunity for you and your photographer to get familiar with each other. YES, is produces photographs that lend themselves perfectly to wedding announcements, invitations, wedding websites, guestbooks, table decorations, etc. And all of those things are obviously incredibly important. But even beyond that, it's an opportunity to document the two of you as you prepare to embark on the long voyage of marriage. You may have been "together" for years, but never before have you stood this close to the brink of marriage, of taking your relationship to that next, ultimate level. The period of engagement is an opportunity for you to continually celebrate your love for each other and share the anticipation of your wedding and your married life. Hold this time dear. Capture it. Save it forever. Book an engagement shoot!
Engagement photos are great for a few reasons
1. Gives them a chance to show a casual side
2. Gives them a chance to send cool save-the-dates or have a sign-in book at the reception
3. It allows them to relax and have a casual session. In weddings every minute is precious, sometimes it's hard to bring out the best in someone with little time. The engagement sessions gives them something to have, more relaxed, and more their style.
As a Wedding Photographer I think that you cannot go wrong with engagement photos, and they are definitely not a waste of time... that is like asking if family portraits are a waste of time...
For one, they are photos to remember the times before you get married, but they also make for great uses towards your wedding too such as save the date notices, or even on your invitations, you can incorporate the photos into some sort of centerpiece for your reception, you could use the photos, along with other photos in a slideshow to setup in an area of your reception, there are so many uses for the photos.
Its up to you, and you don't have to get them, but they are always a nice touch and it never hurts to have plenty of photos of you two as a couple... especially if you can get a good deal on them. Many wedding photographers will give you a free engagement photo session if you also book them for your wedding, and you can also find many cheap photographers for engagement photos on craigslist... you may even get some free photos done if you find a photography student.
Definitely not a waste of time though in my opinion... especially if you get a good photographer and a good deal.
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I was thinking about this the other day... enagement photos (if they fit in the budget) and then the wedding photos are typically the "last time" a couple would take the time and money to allocate to a picture of "just them". Sure, the portraits in the "dress" and the "tux" are amazing, but some of the photos that I've seen lately of a couple in normal gear beaming with anticipation and love are "priceless" photos that shouldn't be passed up.
As everyone knows, as soon as the kids come, all that money is then allocated to taking pictures of the child and or the "family shot". You want to "cry laughing". Here some examples of those photos. Awkward Family Photos.COM