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 🙂

Russ & Wanda – Maternity |Travelers Rest, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photographer

I had met Russ before our session together, but briefly.  He was a groomsman in Ben & Karina’s wedding and are good friends of this lovely couple 🙂  I was suppose to do their 1st year anniversary photos this coming October, but since they were moving, they offered their session to Wanda & Russ for some maternity photos, to which I was happy to do.  And while I don’t do it very often, I like to occasionally photograph a gorgeous baby bump.  And this one was definitely a beauty 🙂

I met Wanda & Russ out at a friend’s home out in Traveler’s Rest, SC.  I’m always sketchy about meeting people in places I’ve never been, but I was sent photos before hand and saw other photos, so I felt pretty confident.  There were so many little gems and nice areas that made their maternity shoot together perfect.  I felt like even though we were getting eat up by bugs and it being a tad hot, that it went great and officially took some of my favorite maternity photos to date.

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Again, I had such a wonderful time shooting with Wanda & Russ and think their precious baby boy is SO adorable.  He just turned one month old a few days ago!  These are some of my favorite maternity photos to date and am so happy that Ben & Karina graciously gifted this session to them.  ❤

 

Jenn 2018

Blake & Hannah – Anniversary | Milliken Park – Spartanburg, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photography

Oh, hey there.  I walked outside today go to pick up my daughter from the school bus stop and thought to myself, why is it so hot?  IT IS SEPTEMBER.  It should immediately drop to 75 degrees once we get into this month, lol.  But alas, it’s still 90 degrees and the humidity is too dang high.  Thanks South Carolina!  But what does this have to do with Blake & Hannah’s anniversary session?  Well, when we shot these, back in May, BUDDY, it was HOT.  But so was this session, some would say, it was LIT (forgive me for being lame, lol) 😀

I shot Blake & Hannah’s adorable outdoor wedding back in May of 2016.  You can see that post HERE.  You can also view their engagement photos HERE as well 🙂 They were adorable then, and nothing has changed.  They may have grown a little as a couple, but my interaction with them was exactly the same and even more fun than any time before.  I was running a model call for couples to fill out my summer a little bit and Hannah volunteered her and Blake.  Immediate excitement on my part, haha.  We just treated it as an anniversary session and went with it.  Not only was it great getting to see them again, but it was just a great time shooting with them again.  We laughed a ton, witnessed a duck murder (more on that below) unfortunately,  and overall had a great time.

I could easily just share all of their photos from this session because I loved all of them so much!  But I tried to keep it chill and only share a handful with you guys.  So here are my faves 🙂

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^^^Okay, so…..we were being all peaceful, just shooting away.  I had Blake & Hannah sitting on this rock by the pond.  Meanwhile, some ducks start swimming by.  A few white ducks and then some random black duck.  All of a sudden this black duck darts after one of the white ducks and literally held it under water until it died 😥  A straight up duck murder!  It was awful!  Blake tried throwing sticks and rocks at the duck so maybe it would let go and leave the other duck alone, but it didn’t work.  RIP white ducky

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I will forever encourage each couple of mine to take time for yourselves and celebrate your anniversary by getting photos made.  I know once you get married you may not have as much time for things like that and sometimes it’s just nice to set this time aside and enjoy yourselves.  Just have someone photograph you while doing it 😉

Thank you Blake & Hannah as always for being such wonderful models and clients for this shoot!  I welcome you both forever and always to come and model for me 🙂

 

Jenn 2018

 

Spring Kids Session 2018 | Campbell’s Covered Bridge – Landrum, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photography

It’s always a pleasure working with my dear friend April.  She was coming up to NC to visit with her in laws and said that she wanted to get together for some pictures of her son, Dalton, and her niece and nephew.  I brought up Campbell’s Covered Bridge as an option as it was right smack dab in the middle of us, and it was perfect.  I don’t think I’ve met a more photogenic little group of children, of course, they are still kids, but we got some great smiles out of them which made for some priceless photos 🙂

Here are just a few of my faves 🙂

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At the end, April pulled me aside and went behind the bridge and got a few of just Dalton, but he wasn’t in the mood anymore, so we got these priceless faces, haha.  It was, as always, fantastic getting to see April and Dalton, plus meeting her MIL (mother-in-law) and adorable niece and nephew was a blast as well.  We gotta get YOUR family some time or another, girl! 😉

Thank you for meeting up with me for some great photos, and even better memories 🙂

 

Jenn 2018

Blake & Alyssa – Engaged | Furman University – Greenville, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photographer

I met Blake & Alyssa in the fall of 2017 to discuss their upcoming May wedding.  We immediately hit it off in that Starbucks.  Like, “Heck yes, this couple is amazing and I can’t wait to shoot their wedding!” kind of feeling.  We shot their engagements shortly after our initial meeting and the day went perfectly!  No direction was really needed for these two as they are naturals in front of the camera, but when you have a couple who love each other THIS much, it’s easy peasy (lemon squeezey).

Every now and then when Alyssa would kiss Blake on the cheek, he always made this face where he would just look straight up (I caught it MULTIPLE times during our shoot, lol).  They were constantly making each other laugh and when we had to get serious, they were seriously the best.  I was able to try something new with them and they were absolute rock stars during my trials, haha.

Just simply going back and looking through these photos for this feature helped me remember how much I love working with them and how amazing their wedding will be next month.  If they show their love this easily for an engagement shoot, their wedding is going to be so chock-full-o-love that tears may be shed.  Fair warning, guys 😉

Here are a, not so, few of my favorites from Blake & Alyssa’s engagement photos 🙂

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Blake & Alyssa are to be married on May 12th, 2018 at the beautiful Barn & Stables at Forevermore Farms in Moore and I am very excited to be a part of their big day 🙂

 

Jenn 2018