Unlike what you may think, we begin planning our client's engagement sessions during the initial consultation with perspective clients. Before any pricing has been discussed, or contract signed or any decision has been made, my partner and I are thinking about their Engagement Session. This may seem backwards or pre-mature but in our minds, it is the perfect time to start formulating ideas for how to create a personal Engagement Session for our clients that is completely unique to them. In fact, one of the very first questions we ever ask our perspective clients, is how we start to formulate our initial thoughts and ideas for their Engagement Session. We start every consultation or meeting with the same question: “Where/how did you meet, tell us about your love story!”
The number one reason for this is because it's why we do what we do. We genuinely love genuine love. It is amazing. We love that no two couple's love is the same. Every engaged couple has a different love story that is unique to them and it is our job to share their love story and those emotions in the photographs we capture for them. That is our passion and one of our absolute favorite parts about this job; that initial meeting where we get to know our couples, hear their love story and share in their joy. We get paid for this!?! Wow.
With that being the first reason, there is also another reason that we ask this question. A couple's wedding day is completely up to them. They plan it from start to finish, we just show up and capture it. The Engagement Session, more often than not, is an after thought for most couples. It is so easy to get caught up in all of the preparations for the wedding day that couples pretty much just leave it up to us to plan the engagement session and are trusting that we will be able to capture their love for one another in a way that is representative of them and genuinely unique to them. As our couples begin to dive into the details of how they met and their love story begins to unfold, we listen for key words and phrases such as: “We met at…” or “We were _____ when we met” or “Then, we went to _____ on our first date” or “We were walking around _______ when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!” We always try to incorporate a part of our couple's love stories into their engagement session which normally helps us decide on location. Whether it is where they met, had their first date, or where he proposed, it is so fun to be able to capture picture of our couples in a location that is sweet and sentimental to them.
Once we have all of the fun details of their love story we have a better idea of where to photograph their engagement session. In most cases, we start out at the location that means something to the couple whether it is at the coffee shop where they first met, the cozy dinner spot where they had their first date or the romantic view he asked her to marry him in front of. We then find a beautiful location nearby that we can drive to for a second location so that our couples have a few different options as far as scenery and backdrop for the photos. Here is an engagement session we photographed recently where the couple's love story was exceptionally sentimental and just so happened to have multiple amazing locations throughout their love story that were perfect for photographing! This particular couple met long before high school through mutual friends so instead of taking their engagement photos at a place where they met or where they had their first date, the locations we chose for their engagement session were representative of the different seasons of their relationship leading up to their engagement.
We began photographing at the university where they both attended college and graduated from. Of course we had to include their precious pup Dixie!
We braved the busy campus traffic to get some photos of them walking the streets downtown where they had spent countless hours together over the course of their relationship.
We then went around the corner to grab some romantic photos at one of the quaint bars downtown on campus where they had spent many date nights.
It just so happened that he worked on campus and his office building was a few buildings down. He didn't have the keys to his office on him but we couldn't leave without getting some sexy shots of them in the elevator which went up to his office right as the doors were closing.
When you have a ride like this, how can you not get a few steamy photos on the hood!?!
As the sun set, we snuck up to the top of a mountain to capture this incredible view with the city where most of their love story took place as a back drop.
Finally, we ended the session around the same time of night and in the exact same spot that he asked her to marry him in.
Granted, this particular couple's love story took place around some of the most picturesque places we have ever photographed, which made it fun! Most couple's are not going to have as many sentimental locations to photograph in. However, most couples will have at least one location that is sentimental to them that would make for a great start to their Engagement Session.
So, before your next Engagement Session, ask your clients their love story, listen carefully, and take notes. In the story they are likely going to reveal places that are sentimental to them. Start the session where they met or where they had their first date and move on from their. Planning an Engagement Session is fun, awesome for the client, builds a relationship between you and your future Bride and Groom, and leaves little doubt in their minds that they chose the perfect photographer for their Wedding!
Starting her career as an early education teacher, Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, Quianna Marie, only dreamed about going full-time until she took the plunge three years ago. Through leading her San Jose Tuesdays Together chapter, countless styled shoots, and several workshops and conferences, not to mention her 12 years in the industry, Quianna has learned a […]
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