Are engagement photos worth it? When you’re adding up the costs of everything on your wedding budget, you may be wondering, should I take engagement photos? Are engagement pictures really necessary?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of getting engagement photos taken. We’ll tell you if engagement photos are required, what happens if you don’t do them, and explain what engagement photos are used for. Let’s get started!
Should I take engagement photos?
To answer this big question, let’s discuss the pros and cons of getting photos taken for your engagement.
As a rule of thumb, engagement photos are not required. What happens if you don’t take them? Nothing! ;) You can still get married. Ha! They’re nice to have, but a couple doesn’t need to get engagement photos taken in order to get married or anything like that.
When and Where
An engagement photo session typically occurs within the first month of getting engaged and is taken around town where you live: local coffee shops, a favorite concert venue, a park, a beach, or other outdoor setting is an ideal setting for engagement photos to take place.
You can hire a wedding photographer to take engagement photos for you: it’s a nice way to get to know them before the wedding day if you’re considering booking them for the big day.
Now that you know what engagement pictures are, let’s talk about whether they’re right for you. Here are the pros and cons of photos taken for engagements.
Pros of Taking Engagement Photos
Why do couples take engagement pictures? We discussed this topic with Jan Michele Photography years back and her advice is still so helpful today! We’re recapping an interview we had with Jan so you can get expert advice on the benefits of engagement photos from a professional wedding photographer.
Here are three reasons why Jan says every couple should do an engagement shoot.
1. It’s training for the wedding day.
“There’s no better way for a photographer to get to know a client than to work with them. After the shoot, I know a lot about the dynamics of the relationship and how I can best capture their personalities while making them look amazing. The couple becomes comfortable in front of the camera and after seeing the images, realizes that they do look great. It builds their trust in me, which makes the wedding day much more fun for us all, and leads to better pictures.”
2. Every couple needs good pictures capturing their dating days.
“An engagement shoot is a stress-free shoot that captures the everyday relationship. These pictures are not restrained by wedding clothes or the wedding day schedule. It’s a relaxed shoot, showing the essence of who this couple is and their love for each other.”
3. It’s fun!
“As the photographer, it’s fun to have time to be creative with the couple and to get to know them. For the couple, it gives them time and permission to enjoy each other and feel like models. Even the most reluctant of clients always admits the shoot was fun in the end! And the couples always enjoy showing off the images to friends and family too!”
We think that’s great advice!
Cons of Taking Engagement Photos
With every pros list, you also need a cons list. Here are some cons of getting engagement pictures taken.
If your budget is tight, you may not simply have enough money left over to pay for engagement pictures. There is some good news though: engagement pictures typically aren’t that expensive, and sometimes wedding photographers have packages that include engagement photo sessions so they can work with you ahead of the wedding and get a feel for your personal style.
Scared of Taking Pictures
Some people simply don’t like picture-taking, and that’s one reason why they don’t want to do engagement photos at all. But keep in mind that your wedding day will be heavily photographed, so there is no time better than now to get comfortable in front of the camera. An engagement photo session can alleviate some of those nerves and get you feeling better in front of the camera so it’s not so awkward on the big day.
What should you wear in engagement photos?
If you’re getting them taken, you may be wondering what to wear in engagement photos. You should dress nicely, but be yourself! This can be casual or dressy; keep in mind the season and dress warm (or cool) for the temperature outdoors. And try to tie in some aspects of the season to make the photos memorable: go to an apple orchard in the fall, head to a beach for seaside engagement pictures in the summertime, or go to a favorite cozy spot in the wintertime.
When to take them
As a rule of thumb, a couple should get engagement photos taken within the first few weeks of getting engaged. This way, you can properly capture the excitement in the early stages (before you start stressing out about wedding stuff just yet, ha!) And in addition, this makes good sense to have photos ready to send with save the date cards when it’s time to print and mail them.
What to do with your engagement pictures
Once you take your engagement pictures, and get them back edited by your photographer, put them to good use!
If you don’t use them, you’ll think they weren’t a worthwhile investment… and they don’t deserve to sit on a digital flash drive to never see the light of day!
Instead, use your engagement photos as pictures on save-the-date cards, on your free wedding website, on social media announcements, and even on your wedding invitations with photos, if you go that design route.
These are all terrific ways to use your engagement pictures. In addition, you’ll have nice photos of the two of you together, which will make great additions to these wedding gifts for parents, like this artful example below. You can also create art for your home together.
Are engagement photos worth it?
In conclusion, I think engagement pictures are definitely worth it. In hindsight, most couples wish they took them if they didn’t. Some couples, however, may not put them to use and feel like it was an added expense — but no doubt, they likely feel it was a fun and exciting experience nonetheless. If you’re on the fence about getting engagement photos taken, I encourage you to go for it. There’s likely a reason why you’re considering it, and there’s no time like the present!
If, however, you know taking them isn’t your thing, that’s OK, too. It’s not for everyone! You get to decide the things you do — or don’t do — for your wedding, so make your decision and then feel confident about it.
I hope this post helped you decide the answer to are engagement photos necessary: it depends on the couple, really! The decision is up to you. Tell us what you’re planning to do. Are you taking engagement photos or skipping them? Tell us in the comment box below!
Thanks for this post, Jan! Getting to know a couple prior to the wedding day is so important for creating amazing images.