Engagement Photos - Why!?!?!

BWAHAHAHA!! Yes!!.. I'm baaaaaack with another list!! And YES!! Joe is still out of town.. *cue the duct tape peeling when he gets home* 

This time it's about Engagement Sessions...  I've had people look at me funny when I have engagement sessions included in ALL my wedding packages.  A typical response I get is 

"I don't think we want to do them, even if they're free. What do people even use them for? What's the reason to do them?"

Ready?? Theres only 9 on this list!! .. Although I think it's pretty informative and important. 

1 - Practicing - 

So here's something weird about free engagement shoots: they're really not about the photos that are produced or what you do with them. They're about practicing. I know I include them because the my clients aren't "models" they aren't used to being photographed. They aren't used to being in front of a camera and to be honest all three of us need to have a certain comfort level! I mean let's be realistic, I am going to be sharing with YOU GUYS a really intimate and SPECIAL DAY that you are sharing with you FAMILY and LOVED ones.. I'm a complete stranger.. I need to become someone you know FAST!! We need to have a certain comfort level that doesn't just come over night or the DAY of your wedding easily. I mean Joe and I are pretty likable but let's be realistic, it takes time for ANYONE to warm up to a complete stranger!! Besides, it gives Joe and me some insight to your personalities  styles, and quirks.

2 - I'm shy or my fiancé/fiancée is shy!!

EVEN MORE of a reason to have an ENGAGEMENT SESSION!!! You have NO idea how much I HATE .. absolutely HATE being in front of a camera!! I feel like an awkward turtle stuck on his back anytime someone starts taking photos of me.  And I've been a model before, I know HOW to move in front of a camera! I still don't like it. I still fake smile, Joe has to catch me off guard and get me giggling and then snap photos. This is why Joe and I settled on our tag line for JNT being "A genuine smile is something always to treasure!!"  Because there is nothing more special than a genuine smile, nothing more honest!! We just love that pure emotion of happiness!! We look at the engagement session a way for you to get comfortable with us so you can know you can relax and realize we gigglesnort just like other people do and we won't judge. 

3 - What am going to do with them? 

You can do ALL kinds of things with them!! If we do them early enough, you can use them for Save the Date cards, or your Invitations, holiday cards, (yep we can custom make those for you too), Facebook profile photos, or put them up around your house so you don't have just wedding photos! GIVE them to the PARENTS as thank you Wedding presents think about it... a lot of times they just forked out a lot of money!!! 

4 - Find a photographer you love and trust, and be honest and open with them

I can't say this enough in my blogs!! MEET with photographers until YOU find the one that YOU are comfortable with and YOU like their style of photography!! You are going to be spending time a lot of intimate happy moments with them and you need to know and TRUST that they will be there to capture those times you need them to be there. 

5 - Don't think of the session as a photo shoot

Think of it as a date that happens to have a photographer. I've met couples at a coffee shop and just basically went for a walk around a beautiful location. I took photos, sometimes I was close... sometimes I was a little further away.. occasionally I would give pointers. There's another one that we are going on a fly fishing day trip.. YES, A FLY FISHING TRIP.. for an engagement shoot. I WILL do what makes YOU guys COMFORTABLE.. and yeah sometimes it might be a little extra if we have to be out of town or it takes an extended time but the important thing to have it done that fits YOU and your comfort levels!! 

6 - If you have some shots that are really important to you, let your photographer know

Once you're a client of mine, I will share some pinterest boards I have hidden and I will start having you share some with me. I will want you to share photos with me so I can get to know what your style is and get a feel of what you like. If you have some that you definitely would like to try and recreate, then by all means please let me know!!!  A good photographer will appreciate a little guidance from you. After all, she works for you, not the other way around.

7 - Bring any props that you might want to use - 

A Guitar? Violin? Banjo? Hunting Bows? Fishing poles, books, your pool cues, and a photo frame of your wedding date.Whatever!! 

8 - Go somewhere that makes you COMFORTABLE!!

Are you comfortable in a library or a book store?  Are you comfortable in a stream fishing? Are you comfortable out in the country? GO THERE!!!! If you're comfortable inside your own home, shoots at home are great too!

9 - WEAR Comfortable clothes and clothes that MATCH YOU and your personality!!!!!

If you look at yourself in the mirror, and don't see yourself, CHANGE!!  Change into a favorite top that makes you feel like a million bucks in, and bring your favorite little dress.  If your groom is most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt then let that be ONE of his looks then let him put an unbuttoned dress shirt over it!!! Remember BE YOURSELVES!!! THAT is the KEY! Yes, you can dress up if you want to, if you both agree to do it but don't do it if you are going to be uncomfortable and constantly fiddling with everything! It will come through in the photos! 

With that being said, even if you literally NEVER look at the engagement photos, the huge value of a trial run for both you and the photographer makes them completely worth your time. While I'd never suggest anyone feel like they need to pay extra for an engagement session, smart photographers include them in a wedding package — and smart couples take them up on the offer. I definitely would suggest you add a few into your wedding album. 

Love, Light, and Blessings to you and yours!


JNT Humes Photography


As Seen in The Knot Magazine