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 🙂

Blake & Alyssa – Married | Forevermore Farm Home of the Original Barn & Stables – Moore, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photography

I met Blake & Alyssa in early Fall 2017.  Just our back and forth emails talking about their wedding made me giddy as I felt like we were a wonderful fit for each other.  We met up over coffee discussed all of the details of their big day.  This gorgeous venue, bridal party, their vision on how they wanted things to look and feel.  Blake & Alyssa just felt like long lost friends to me, even in that initial meeting.  We scheduled their engagement session that day and off we went on this wondrous journey.  You can view their fall engagement photos HERE.

Then we get to the wedding day.  It was a gorgeous, sunny (but dang was it hot!) May afternoon.  There was a slight breeze every now and then that I think we ALL enjoyed whenever it grazed through.  Forevermore Farms is a gorgeous venue with not one, but TWO options for your wedding.  They have the Barn and the Stables.  Blake & Alyssa chose the Stables.  Alyssa and her bridal party got ready in this little area outside of the stables, away from Blake’s vision.  His area was in the stables right off of the dance floor.  I arrived just as Alyssa was gathering things together for their reception.  Everyone was all dolled up with hair and makeup all ready, just needed to get dressed.  Everyone finishes up and we move onto the first look with Alyssa’s dad, and move onto the ceremony and the rest of the day is history.

So, finally to show off these gorgeous wedding images in the JMP blog.  I tried to keep it simple, but that was impossible.  This is a fair warning, this post is photo heavy, haha.  But without any time to waste, here are what I feel shows off the love and fun filled day celebrating the marriage of Blake & Alyssa 🙂

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OH!  Before I forget!  This was a total surprise to almost everyone at the wedding (I’m not sure if anyone else besides the three of us knew about it), but Alyssa and her dad planned a shake up to your usual father-daughter dance.  They started it off with Journey’s “Lights” and somewhere in the middle you hear this scratch and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” starts playing.  Y’ALL they coordinated this dance together and it was perfect!  So glad that I was there to capture this greatness.

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These people were having the time of their lives and to be honest, I felt like getting out there myself, haha!  When I left, they were still partying it up!  I’m so thankful that Blake & Alyssa chose me to document this wonderful time in their lives and I get to share it again and again!  I wish you both the absolute best in your lives and marriage together 🙂

 

Jenn 2018

Ben & Karina – Spring Couple Session | Furman University – Greenville, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photography

Couples & Engagements;  One of my favorite things to photograph, aside from weddings, of course.  But my favorite is when I get to photograph my past wedding clients outside of their big day.  I worked with Ben & Karina last year for their gorgeous October barn wedding (you can see that post here) and was needing a couple for a model call as I wanted to photograph Furman University’s beautiful Spring trees and needed the perfect couple.  Ben & Karina were indeed that perfect couple.

They volunteered right away and I knew it was going to be perfect.  We only worked together on their wedding (they already had engagement photos done when they booked me for their wedding) but we get along so very well and they are just wonderful together.  It was a match made in heaven, obviously.  We were going to be doing an anniversary session this October for them as they had a little time left over from their wedding that wasn’t used.  But they told me that Ben was offered a job and they were going to be moving very soon after 😦 So, this shoot was perfect for them to have even if it weren’t on their anniversary.

It was incredibly hard picking out a handful from their session as I could’ve easily posted them all.  I adore how expressive they are about their love and it shows so much through these photos.  So without further ado, this beautiful spring and love-filled session and as few photos that I could manage to share 😛

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It’s always a joy working with Ben & Karina and this was no exception.  Since our session together, they’ve since moved (very recently, actually) to another state and have moved into their new home 🙂  I wish you both the absolute best of luck in your new adventure together!

 

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

Jessica – Bridals | Taylors Mill – Taylors, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photographer

Since we’ve celebrated Bryson & Jessica’s big day, (You can view their wedding blog HERE and their engagements HERE) I can finally share Jessica’s bridal portraits.  Granted, I could’ve shared them five months ago, but I digress, haha.  We wanted to do Jessica’s bridals at Furman University, but the weather wasn’t kind to us that day and ended up POURING the rain the entire time.  I made arrangements to have Taylors Mill ready for us just in case it did rain, so thank goodness for that!  Not only was it raining, but it was SO hot and humid.  But Jess did amazing!  Taylors Mill is a perfect location for bridals and I’m glad that we were able to do hers there 🙂

Jessica’s dress was a classic white dress with a lace topper on the torso and sleeves.  It was a perfect length to just twirl around in and enough to say she had a train.  It was beautiful!  Without further ado, here are my favorites from Jess’s gorgeous bridal portrait session 🙂

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I love shooting bridal photos and it was a pleasure getting to shoot Jessica’s!  We did end up cutting our time short because, lord have mercy, it was so hot, lol.  Even so, we got some amazing photos and I can’t wait to work with you and Bryson again in the near future! 😉

 

Jenn 2018