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

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

This was my first time working with Nina.  We wanted to badly to do hers and Hershell’s engagement photos, but he’s in the military and wasn’t going to be in the states at the time that we would need him to be.  But it’s okay, it made the wedding day so much better and it didn’t take me long to get to know him 🙂  You can view their gorgeous wedding day photos and blog HERE.

Nina and I were on the same page with what she wanted.  She originally wanted to shoot at Furman University because it has a lot to offer in terms of areas to shoot at and it’s just a gorgeous campus.  But Nina spoke to me about wanting something with a rustic and vintage feel and I found Taylors Mill.  Now, I’ve seen photos taken here, but have never inquired about shooting there until I saw that you could request a time frame and that there are big open spaces to shoot in.  It was perfect!

I think we shot in June, so OBVIOUSLY we battled the heat and humidity.  South Carolina and it’s LOVELY humidity, lol.  Even so, Nina and her wonderful mama worked it out for two full hours and I’m so glad that we did.  This is probably one of my absolute favorite bridal sessions to date and I’m SO SO SO happy to be sharing these, FINALLY.  I’m gonna just stop talking and let y’all just look at these, Nina is such a natural beauty!

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Thank you Nina for having me photograph your bridal portraits and your wedding!  You are such a true gem and it was a pleasure working with you 🙂

 

Jenn

Ben & Karina – Married | The Dutch Barn – Greer, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photographer

Meeting Ben & Karina was fun.  It decided to rain on us outside of the Starbucks that we met at, haha.  We discussed many details of their big day (venue, style, what they were looking for, etc.) and spoke of how they met.  I think they told me that they met a music festival.  Karina, don’t kill me if I’m wrong, lol.  It HAS been a year since we talked about it, haha.  Just working with them on their wedding day was enough to tell me that they are more than perfect for each other.  I never got the chance to work with them prior to the big day, and that’s totally okay.  We got along so well and were able to communicate better than most couples that I’ve worked with.

The wedding day came and I somehow managed to show up matching the bridesmaids dresses without even realizing it, haha!  Made me blend right in 😉  I arrived to the girls getting their hair and makeup done…Karina was getting her hair started (makeup was already done by the amazing Alores Norris of House of Flawless.  Ladies were gathering together in a room in Ben & Karina’s ADORABLE home, dresses were hung in front of the closet just waiting to be worn.  Or photographed…..whichever you prefer, haha.  Ben was getting ready somewhere else so I was gonna see him when we arrived at The Dutch Barn for the ceremony 🙂

Their day was beautiful and perfect.  We ALMOST got rained out!  It was trying to rain on us the whole time as their ceremony was outdoors and while we were getting all formal photos.  Thankfully we just had a sprinkling of rain and the day went amazing!  I’m so thankful I was chosen to photograph their wedding and am happy to be sharing these with you!  Here are just a few of my favorites from Ben & Karina’s wedding 🙂

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Just another note….their wedding cake, WAS AMAZING.  It was so simplistic, one layer was peanut butter cake with peanut butter icing and the other was chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  Before I left, Karina was so nice and cut me a slice to take home.  Y’ALL!  I got home completely exhausted but 100% wanted to devour that cake, lol.

Ben & Karina, thank you so much for including me on the most special of days.  It was truly a joy getting to know you both and photographing your wedding.  You are such a wonderfully beautiful couple and I wish you the absolute best in your marriage and lives together 🙂

 

Jenn 2018

Steve & Tricia – Married | The Duncan Estate – Spartanburg, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photographer

I met Steve and Tricia at a Starbucks for a quick meeting before their date night.  I’m pretty sure they were going to watch Wonder Woman and wanted to meet up with me for their wedding in September.  They are such a laid back and fun couple and it was so easy talking to them.  Steve was telling me how he proposed to Tricia and just listening to the way he talked about her just warmed my heart.  Like…this woman was the love of his life and he was so ecstatic to FINALLY be marrying this woman.

Steve & Tricia were married on September 16th, 2017 at The Duncan Estate in Spartanburg, SC.  Having an outdoor wedding is always so iffy because you never know about the weather, but it was SUCH a beautiful day.  Tricia started her day with getting her hair and makeup done before getting to Duncan Estate and shared mimosas with her daughter and Steve’s daughter.  MAYYYYBE a little more champagne than orange juice, but ehhh, who cares, right? 😉  I spoke to Steve downstairs while he was getting dressed and all he could ask was, “How does she look?  She looks better than me, doesn’t she?”.  He was just looking out and watching the people show up and sit down waiting for the wedding to start.  He was SO excited and ready to marry Tricia.  Tricia was feeling just the same.  She got her dress on and watched their guests show up from upstairs.

Watching Steve and Tricia marry one another, like any couple, made my heart smile.  His eyes just lit up the moment he saw her coming down the aisle and that light never left for the rest of the evening.  These photos don’t tell the whole story of Steve & Tricia, but we know that I can’t post them all, lol.  Here are my favorites and the best way I can show you their big day 🙂

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Steve & Tricia’s wedding day was SO much fun, surprises, and love that I’m so happy that they chose me to be their wedding photographer.  You guys are so beautiful together and I wish you the absolute best in your marriage and lives together.  It was a pleasure getting to know you both!

 

Jenn 2018