diamond engagement ring in spring cherry blossoms salem oregon photography

As the title might [maybe] suggest, this post is all about why engagement sessions are awesome.

Ah, romance. It’s in the air and the butterflies just won’t leave your tummy when you’re in that post-proposal high. You’re excited each time you get to tell someone new and you’ve started the next 6-18 months of wedding planning. You know that the anticipation of a lifetime together will reach its peak in the weeks that lead up to your wedding day, which might beg the question: Is an engagement session really necessary? It’s just one more thing to plan, after all, and the wedding photography will capture the true beginning of your lives together, right?

From a legal sense, yes, your lives begin together when you say, “I do.” but it’s my guess that your lives had already been inseparable. There’s a special moment in all life-long partnerships when you just know. You KNOW that this is the person you’re going to spend your life with, the person you want to grow old with. For some it’s the first time you exchange “I love you.”, for others it’s a fight where you realize what you don’t want to lose, or perhaps it’s taking that leap of faith to ask for that commitment with a ring [or a ring tattoo].

first date recreation at bar 101 in corvallis oregon engaged couple cuddling on a waterfront benchI believe that having an engagement session is important for several reasons. First, it’s a time-stamp. Especially if you’re going to have a longer [18-24 months] engagement it is important to mark the occasion and capture who you are together in THAT moment. Did you get engaged over the winter holidays, but are planning a summer destination wedding? I bet you’ll look pretty different bundled up in the snow compared to walking on a sandy beach. An engagement session adds another dimension to your visual story. Most of us have lots of selfies and quick iphone pics with our main squeeze, while fewer have “portraits”. I can say from personal experience, on both sides of the camera, that having someone else focused on YOU – on creating special memories for YOU – can give you something truly wonderful to look back on… as well as look forward to at your wedding.

fall colors engagement session in corvallis oregon


Engagement sessions also give both of you a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera with your photographer, and figure out how you work best together BEFORE the main event. I cannot stress this aspect enough. Wedding days can be ummm… stressful. If you’ve planned it right and delegated to people you can trust, then hopefully it won’t be, but it’s a big day in your lives so expect a little anxiety. Wondering if your photographer will do an amazing job should be the last worry on your mind. Spending some time with them for an engagement session will help give you, and your family, that confidence to let them do what they do best. It’s also an opportunity for your photographer to learn about how you interact together and your little quirks. Are you awkward cuddlers? Maybe you blink…a lot? Do you need extra time to warm up? Are you better at candid or posed portraits? Are you a total rock star at following directions? These are all thing that will come out in your engagement session and give your photographer more information to work with when planning how they want to tackle your day.

Lastly engagement sessions give you the opportunity to showcase your personality as a couple, while creating some fun, memorable imagery for wall portraits, your wedding guestbook, save the date cards, holiday cards, etc. I like to think of engagement sessions as a date for three. We should do all the fun things that you like to do together! Ride bikes, go for coffee, walk the waterfront, recreate your first date, …there are so many ways to make your session into a romantic full day date [that just happens to have a photographer following you].

cute couple trying to stay warm in woven blanket under yellow aspen trees

romantic black and white double exposure of newly wed couple

So let’s get planning! I can tell you’re just as excited about engagement sessions as I am thanks to this pretty awesome blog post. Feel free to look through my Dream Engagements + Weddings to see more couples in love. Contact me today for details + booking information.

…oh and don’t forget to say hello at Marry Me! Jan 24th + 25th and Luxe Bridal Event Feb 22nd 🙂