I looooooove engagement sessions. From an artistic standpoint, they give me such latitude to create gorgeous images. Lovey dovey couples are such fun to shoot and are always up for a new challenge. It’s simply one of my favorite parts of this job!
From a utilitarian point of view, they are a great opportunity for couples to get comfortable in front of the camera and learn a couple base poses in preparation for the wedding day. Plus, since the pace of an engagement shoot is inherently more relaxed than a wedding day, the engagement session allows me to get to know my CW couples more intimately! It’s so important to me that I can establish a relationship with my brides and grooms because I’m going to be along side them on such an important day!
However, some Brides get a little anxious about how their grooms will react to the whole “picture thing.” It’s not the most natural thing to climb a mountain with some third wheel and smooch while said third wheel snaps pictures that will be shared on social media. So it’s not crazy-talk when a groom confides he is less than excited about the experience.
But I have good news. You and your groom are more photogenic than you think! The highlight of this job is that I get to capture the beauty of people that they don’t see in the mirror and memorialize a loving gaze. I get to catch moments that normally slip away. But with a snap of my shutter, I get to say, “Not this one. This moment stays.” When receiving their galleries, CW couples are consistently surprised by their own beauty. And this isn’t make-up teams and models beauty. It’s real-life, true love, big laughs beauty. The most common response I get from grooms is, “that wasn’t as bad as I thought! We actually had fun!” And EVERY TIME, that makes me beam. Because this time, your engagement, should be fun and joyful! And your images should be authentic representations of this season on your lives!
As you prepare for your engagement shoot, here are a few thing you can do to make your groom more comfortable.
Typically, we humans are more comfortable when we know what to expect. So it can really ease nerves to sit down with your fiancé and show him one or two of your favorite engagement sessions on this website. Spend time together scrolling through a few blog posts. This will allow him to gauge his expectations and also see you being excited. Husbands want to give their wives gifts and by seeing you excited, hopefully he will find that his open heart and participation will be a loving gift to his future wife.
I also recommend that you allow for plenty of time to get to your shoot location. It’s so much harder to get into the swing of an engagement session when you show up late and have been arguing in the car! Running behind definitely puts people in a bad mood!
Last but not least, remember to be patient and supportive. It can start out with choosing outfits together and thanking him for being open to this experience. Let him know that you hear this love language. You can play out this support with a reassuring arm rub and smile during the shoot.
In the end, I think you will be surprised how much you both will enjoy our session together! Hopefully you will feel like you’ve gone on a fun date and build the excitement for your wedding!
Focusing on relationships, real moments, and story-telling, Claire Watson specializes in photography that captures true beauty and feels genuine and authentic. Claire Watson is a West Virginia Wedding Photographer based in Martinsburg, WV. She joyfully serves clients in West Virginia, Northern Virginia, and Maryland.