Just Got Engaged? Here’s Where to Start.

Jul

21

As one of the first milestones in your wedding planning process, engagement photos kick off a season of celebration. Not to mention, the portrait session launches your most intimate wedding-vendor relationship.

Consider Your Engagement Timeline

To choose when to take portraits, assess their function. It’s best to schedule portraits six to eight months before your wedding day, or one to two months after your engagement — especially if you hope to use portraits on a wedding website or announcement.

Most photographers deliver portraits two to four weeks after the session date. If sending announcements, ensure you book your session with enough time to receive portraits, choose an announcement design, order materials and mail them to guests.

Think Long Term

Since most wedding photographers offer packages with engagement sessions built in, a little forward thinking can go a long way toward your wedding budget. If you have a wedding photographer in mind, it’s worth comparing the cost of an a la carte engagement session to a cross-functional wedding photography package.

Taylor Square Tip: We offer several wedding packages with engagement sessions. Inquire here.

If you’re not ready to explore wedding photography yet — say, you have a long engagement ahead — consider booking the session a la carte. You’ll be able to enjoy engagement portraits without hastily committing to a wedding photographer.

Perhaps you prefer the sentiment of a friend or family member documenting your engagement. This incorporates creative friends or family members into your wedding process without hiring them to work day-of. In this case, a bundled wedding photography package may not be a good fit for you.

Let Location Guide You

Whether you hope to take portraits that highlight Atlanta’s skyline or the Mississippi Delta, don’t be afraid to share your vision with your photographer. They’ll be happy to offer suggestions, too.

Taylor Square Tip: Choose a location that looks cohesive with your wedding theme, especially if you plan to display images at your wedding reception. For example, an engagement in a botanical garden would compliment a lush, floral-heavy wedding.

Survey Photography Styles 

As with any craft, method and form mark the resulting product. That is to say, while some prefer the work of Jackson Pollock, you might prefer an Andy Warhol. So, what makes an image?

Editorial Vs. Photojournalism

In sum, editorial photography is conceptual. Whether or not the images accompany a published piece of writing, these imply a narrative or concept. They tend to be posed, fashion-heavy and elaborate.

Less conceptual than editorial photography, photojournalism also uses imagery to tell a story. It is more candid in nature, relying on a subject’s authentic response to prompts, or interactions with their environment.

Some photographers lean more toward editorial photography or photojournalism, which is worth noting during your search for a photographer. Most, however, employ both methods. 

Film Vs. Digital

The original medium, film photography offers unparalleled deliverables when it comes to color and perceivable texture. The photographer must be decisive, since rolls of film are limited to 12-36 images. And unlike digital photography, where the photographer can review negatives immediately, film must be developed first. It’s a tricky art to master, though, so we caution brides to book with a photographer experienced in the craft. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind, premium product.

Most modern portrait photographers shoot digitally. Digital photographs are instantly reviewable and cost-effective to reproduce. As a bonus, many digital photographers edit in the style of film for a look that is timeless and elevated — with less associated risk or cost. For the best of both worlds, consider a photographer who shoots with a hybrid approach, or one who shoots part of your session with a film camera, and the other, digitally. 

Get to Know Your Photographer

Engagement sessions are wonderful if not for anything but for meeting your photographer. By spending time with them before your wedding day, you learn their directional style and disposition.

Taylor Square Tip: If you can’t meet your photographer before your wedding day, most offer complimentary consultations and would be glad to chat with you before you commit to booking.

Once you work with an engagement photographer, take note of what you enjoyed (or didn’t) about your session. If you loved working with them and are pleased with the final product, they may be an excellent candidate for your wedding photographer. 

Once All is Said and Done

Give Feedback

After you receive your photos, be sure to give your photographer feedback. You can leave an online review, tag them on portraits you post or simply send a thank-you email. 

Order Products

Some photographers will offer printed products at an additional cost, such as canvases, framed prints or custom-designed albums. Ensure you inquire about these, if you’re interested.

Taylor Square Tip: Our studio loves turning an engagement session into a custom-designed signing book for weddings!

Frame a Few 

Couples often display a few framed photos from their engagement session at welcome tables, cake tables or a bar. They’re a great way to make even more use of your portraits.

Ready to book? We’d love to work with you. Click here.


Written by Lindsay Pace. Lindsay is a published photographer and feature writer who loves working with her community. Questions about this piece? Email lindsay@taylorsquarephotography.com.

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About the artistS

Taylor Square Photography is a fine art wedding studio serving the Southeastern United States and beyond. We are passionate about creating thought-provoking photographs for wonderful people.

Together, as a team of 4, Ann-Marie encourages her team to capture what means most to their clients, while honoring their day as they designed it.

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