Why Not to Have an Engagement Session
Disclaimer before reading: I love Pinterest and use this tool in my business and personal life to create beautiful storyboards, plan for new launches, and even help clients choose what to wear for their sessions. I also want to let you know that every photographer is different and has a unique approach to their work that is their own, opinions expressed here are mine alone and may or may not be shared by others in the industry!
So here it goes...I believe that through the years, Pinterest has begun to shape and define engagement sessions into something laughable, "Pinterest-fail" worthy, and just not true to life. Every other client that comes to me says they don't want or need an engagement session and as I explore this statement further, I usually discover that this is deeply rooted in the thousands of cliche images they've seen on Pinterest and then recreated by every engaged couple they are friends with on Facebook.
With that in mind, let me say this, unless to celebrate an engagement right after it happens, no couple should have an "engagement session" before their wedding day.
Instead, couples should have a session that focuses on the WHY they love each other, HOW they came to meet and fall in love, and WHAT IT MEANS for them to spend meaningful time together.
A season of engagement should be celebrated and explored and it is worth remembering, just not in the ways that we have been doing so since the launch of Pinterest in 2010. I think these sessions before the wedding should be a time to explore questions and discover things about each other maybe you haven't talked about before or maybe you have but it has been so long that you can't remember what the answer was or maybe the answer has grown over the years. This time together should be spent talking about questions like: when was the last time you cried together; what is your favorite thing about your partner; when you are old and grey, what do you hope to remember about each other in this season?
This should not be a time where we focus on the resulting images that we want, inspired by other images we have seen, but it should be a time where we focus on something with more depth. We should honor this season with more than that, as an engaged couple, you deserve more than that! My greatest hope is that through the questions and activities that I do during this session, you remember those moments and what you talked about when you look back on the images and even if you don't remember exactly what was said, you can still feel them.
So am I going to start calling my engagement sessions by another name to try to get rid of the stigma attached to it? At this time, no, but I will try my best to help couples better understand what I believe the purpose of this season to be and how I choose to document it.
I choose to go against the engagement session grain and create a new path for couples to follow, one that is fun, emotive, and that stays true to the extraordinary love that couples share with one another. So, I just ask that you consider not having an engagement session, but instead, having an experience together and be open to it looking different than something you've seen before.
If you don't believe my words, just take a look at Kelsie & Austin's session at Ponce City Market here and you will better understand why.
If you want to chat more about scheduling a consultation to create something special for capturing your own season of engagement, click here! I'd love to hear more about your story and what brought you two together.