This is the second part in my series all about why having an Engagement Session with your photographer before your Wedding Day is so important (see Part One here). If the first value point didn’t already convince you (fingers crossed that it did!), I think the idea of getting more portraits of you and your sweetheart on your wedding day should definitely sway you!
So we’ve already talked about how when you practice doing something that’s new to you that you eventually become more comfortable doing that task, right? The more time you have working with your photographer the more comfortable you will look and feel IN YOUR IMAGES. And what else happens when you have experience in doing something? You move faster. The faster you can move in a set amount of time the more things you are able to complete (i.e. more portraits). Duh, right? And wedding days are on suuuuuper tight schedules (I hope that’s enough u’s there to make you understand how fixed and key wedding timelines are).
If one part of the day falls behind schedule, then the faster you have to move to get things done to make up for that time. The ceremony time is already set and your Save the Date cards have been stuck to everyone’s refrigerator for the past 6 months reminding them what time to be there. The last thing you want to have to worry about is falling so far behind schedule that your guests sit around waiting for the music to start… which then pushes back dinner. And if you’re guests are anything like me, well, being “hangry” is a real concern.
Depending on if you have elected to have a First Look or not (and oh I hope you have because they’re SO SWEET and I have so many reasons to love them!), you only have a few time slots in your timeline to have portraits of you and your fiancé together on your wedding day. For couples that choose not to have a First Look, they literally have ONE SHOT to have portraits taken together. That time is after the ceremony ends before the reception starts. This is because the couple is apart the whole beginning part of the day. That block of time is usually around 30 minutes long and has to include walking to and from the portrait location as well as giving your photographer a few minutes to set up for your grand entrance into the reception space. So, in reality, we’re talking closer to 20-25 minutes.
20-25 minutes. That’s the only time that you two have to get those beautiful portraits you’ve been dreaming of. I mean, it’s your wedding day. You’re THE BRIDE & GROOM! A wedding day wouldn’t be a wedding day without the two of you. Having portraits together should definitely be at the top of your priority list! So you and your photographer have to make every second of that 20-25 minute window count. You have to work quickly and efficiently. And you in no way want to feel stressed out during your portrait time. This is when you should be relaxed (you’re finally alone for once!) and just soaking up all the love and joy you two have for each other.
The only way to work fast and not freak out is to have confidence in yourselves and your photographer; you have to know that the three of you are a well-oiled posing machine! All the hard groundwork is laid during your engagement session together. You will know what their core poses are, understand the verbal cues your photographer gives you, and be able to flow easily from one pose into another.
How long would it take to learn the posing basics that your photographer uses if you didn’t have an Engagement Session? About 20 minutes. But you’re like, “Wait, that’s almost all of our portrait time though!!!” EXACTLY!!! Without that time together before your wedding, you’ll have to try and squeeze in all that knowledge before you even start to feel comfortable in front of the camera. And then if you don’t feel comfortable then you won’t look comfortable, etc. etc. etc. There is no “easy way out” for not having an engagement session, plain and simple.
If you and your wedding photographer have already had an Engagement Session together then you…
Whew, that was A LOT of information! If you STILL aren’t convinced (and I hope you’re joking), stay tuned for the last part in this series coming up. And again, if you need missed Part One, you can find it here!
Special shout out to the couple featured in this blog post: Erin & DJ. They were the VERY FIRST couple that placed their trust in me to capture their wedding day. You can find their wedding day story here 🙂
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
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