Get To Know Your Photographer Better – The Importance of the Engagement Session | South Carolina Wedding Photography

So…you just got engaged. Congratulations! You’ve just said “Yes” to the love of your life and have finally settled down to start planning the big day. So many big decisions have to be made, like choosing the perfect date to get married on, and all of the vendors that will help make your day even better. It can be very frustrating or stressful, but once you pick out the best people to join you for the biggest day of your lives, things start to fall into place.

Once you’ve found the photographer of your dreams (wink, wink), maybe you’ve already had some engagement photos done. Maybe it was a family or friend that has an interest in photography, or a professional that you just wanted to work with before you found your current wedding day photographer. And that’s okay! But you noticed that the package or collection you chose includes an engagement session. Now, some photographers are flexible if you choose not to use the engagement session or may want to substitute it for a bridal session or some print credit. We all understand. BUT! I am here to tell you to USE. THAT. ENGAGEMENT. SESSION. And here are the reasons why.

JennMarie Photography - South Carolina Wedding & Portrait Photographer | Couples

I include engagement sessions into ALL of my wedding collections. Why? Many reasons. First, I want to know you better. To me, it’s important to form a bond between myself and my couples. You love my work? Awesome! You want to be friends? YES, let’s! You don’t want a stranger documenting your wedding day, you want someone you can trust that will capture everything around your perfectly. Think about it though, your wedding photographer will be spending the entire day with you. So, getting that engagement session with your wedding photographer gets rid of those “I’m kind of nervous in front of the camera” jitters. And you don’t want those on your wedding day…promise.

You’ll also get a good idea of how I am behind the camera. To me, it’s really important that you are comfortable working with me.

Doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer is crucial. The engagement session not only helps break that barrier, but we also get to know you better. What makes you laugh, what prompts work best for you as a couple, are you a “Blinky Bill” (sorry to anyone named Bill, lol) and to easy any anxieties you may have during our session. I also get to deliver images that are unique to your relationship and personalities.

I hear it a lot, “We are really awkward in front of the camera”, “My fiance really hates taking pictures”, or “I don’t know what to do”. Y’ALL, this is where I come in. I have some tricks up my sleeve that make you feel not so posed and give your photos natural emotion and movement, so you’re not just standing there all stiff like mannequins, haha.

Most importantly, take it easy! Think of this as a break from wedding planning. I know that’s easier said than done, but during your engagement session, you don’t need to think about anything other than being with the one that you love and just having fun. Other reasons to have engagements done? Save the Dates, cute new outfit, possibly do makeup/hair trial runs, make it into a date night later, and “Y’ALL, we’re getting married!” pictures ­čÖé

Inspiration in This Big Sea

An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.

There are times when you start feeling discouraged or like you’ll never achieve your dreams. ┬áI tend to feel this way often, not even gonna lie. ┬áIt’s hard to constantly be uppity about your work and to be confident that you’re doing the best you can when there are so many people out there putting you down or when there are so many talented people in this world. ┬áIt’s not easy, I’ll tell you that.

I entered the Shoot & Share annual contest (more information HERE) for the first time this year and to feel discouraged about MY work is an understatement.  Going through so many photos (they had over 250,000 photos submitted this year!) and seeing so much talent and what these people can create just baffles me.  Like, how can I, a tiny fish out in this big sea, live up to what ALL of these other majestic creatures are coming up with?

But also? ┬áIt’s inspiriting as all get out. ┬áSeriously, as I went through and voted for other photographer’s photos and favorited so many of them, it gradually hit me what exactly I was favoring and the style of each and every single photo. ┬áI realized what it is that I do like, and what I don’t. ┬áI felt myself craving for more wedding ring shots, drawing more towards photos with negative space, and dramatic black & white lifestyle and wedding photos. ┬áI figured out what tones and emotion that I’m drawn to and how similar my likes are with what I deliver.

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2015 was an extremely slow year in my business, but I was also pregnant for almost the entire year, so that’s why, haha. ┬áI wasn’t in the mood or inspired to be as productive or in the creative process like I usually am. ┬áI was either down with morning sickness or tired and large. ┬áNothing inspiring about that, folks, lol. ┬á┬áEven if this contest discouraged me in the beginning, it’s EXACTLY what I need to kick my butt back into gear for 2016.

I’m making it a goal to regularly blog at least twice a week, and hopefully more, for this year. ┬áI’m pushing myself to book more weddings and just MORE shoots in general to push this creative drive that has suddenly come to light. ┬áI’ve never been more thankful for a contest, that I’m not even sure if I placed high or moderately well in, to get me back on my feet in my business and show me what I truly love doing and that I NEED to be back out there showing the world what I’ve got.

Ain’t nobody gonna bring me down ­čÖé

handwritten Jenn 2016