Warning: get_class() expects parameter 1 to be object, null given in /home/stevenbp/public_html/wp-content/plugins/real-media-library/inc/comp/WPML.class.php on line 32

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/stevenbp/public_html/wp-content/plugins/real-media-library/inc/comp/WPML.class.php:32) in /home/stevenbp/public_html/wp-content/plugins/sg-cachepress/core/Supercacher/Supercacher_Helper.php on line 77
Ask A Photographer: Do I Need Engagement Photos?

Ask A Photographer
Do I Need Engagement Photos?

Jan 7, 2019

So, you just got engaged and the road to total marital bliss lies ahead. As the likes on your #justengaged selfie come pouring in, you may start to wonder: do I need engagement photos? If you want to relive one of the happiest times of your life again and again, then the answer, of course, is yes. But there are so many other reasons why you should invest in an engagement photo shoot beyond the sentimental. Hiring a wedding photographer is a big decision, so you’re going to want to get as much of a feel for their work and their work style as you can before the big day. Engagement photo shoots are the perfect way to do that and more. Plus, they’re a great opportunity to show your creative side (and after more than eight years helping couples create their dream shoots, I’ve seen some pretty unique creative sides). Below, a few compelling points to help you answer the question of “Do I need engagement photos?”

Practice for the big day

Are you the kind of person constantly shying away from having your photo taken? Do you hate obviously posed photographs? If the thought of engagement photos makes you think of a painfully staged picture, let me take a minute to tell you that it will be just the opposite.

My philosophy with photography is that it is a partnership between you and your photographer. You are about to have this person spend a lot of time with you on one of the most exciting days of your life, so you better make sure that you feel comfy. Ya dig?

An engagement photo shoot lets you and your fiance to get comfortable in front of the camera before you tie the knot. It allows you to spend a few hours with your photographer in a familiar setting with just you and your significant other (no crowds of wedding attendees watching from the sidelines). After a few minutes in front of the camera and with a little coaching from your photographer, you’ll feel completely at ease. The results will be natural, true-to-you photos you’ll cherish forever.

Yes, I know you want the photographs to be amazing and they will, but for that to happen you must feel comfortable with your photographer first. If not, then I believe the flow is blocked. To ensure you feel like yourself in your wedding photos, schedule an engagement session and get to know your photographer’s unique groove.

Capture Your Life As It Is Now

Aside from being a great rehearsal opportunity for your wedding day photos, an engagement session allows you to preserve a piece of your life as it is right now. The where and how of the way you and your partner lived when you first decided to make this big life step together.

I often suggest thinking about having your engagement photos taken where you live. Why, you might ask? Well, because one day my guess is that you will move from that pad and being able to be transported back to that meaningful home in the form of photographs will be special. Of course, you don’t need to have you engagement photos taken at home. The location of your first date, a special restaurant, or local park also make for beautiful backdrops.

Get To Know Your Photographer

As a wedding photographer and a a former groom now happily in love my wife for over 10 years, I found our engagement session very helpful. It allowed us to learn more about  our photographer without running through interview-type questions. We watched our photographer do his thing and the way he interacted with us was, and this was key: calm, cool, funny, attentive and, most of all, kind.

Doing an engagement photo shoot gives you plenty of time to get to know each other and for you to see the way your photographer works behind the camera. Your wedding photographer is the only vendor who will be at your side throughout your entire wedding day, and I know you wouldnʼt want that person to be a complete stranger. You will feel more relaxed and trusting on your wedding day if you have worked with your photographer beforehand.

Show Off What Makes You Unique

An engagement photo shoot lets you and your partner express what makes your love story unique in a way that just isn’t possible on you wedding day. Think about it. Your wedding most likely limits you to one or two locations, one outfit (a formal one at that), and your more classically posed shots. In your engagement photos, you can wear a black gown a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s, strike a pose like Madonna, or use your favorite bookstore as your backdrop. The possibilities are endless. And, if you’re in the San Francisco and Bay Area, there are plenty of places to make your backdrop. I plan on posting my complete list of the best places for an engagement photo shoot in the Bay Area soon, so keep an eye out!

So, Do You Need Engagement Photos?

The answer to the question of whether or not you need engagement photos is, of course, totally up to you. However, after spending years working with couples before, during, and after their wedding day, I’ve witnessed the benefits of this unique photo shoot through the eyes of many different people. Doing an engagement shoot will allow you more time to feel comfortable in front of the camera and with your photographer, a chance to preserve a glimpse of your life pre-wedding, and the opportunity to show off your wild side! At a lower cost than your wedding photos, it’s the perfect way to add even more special memories to this amazing time in your life.

Ready to schedule your engagement shoot? Need advice on how to pick your location? Just want to chat? Drop me a message in the comments, on social, or email me at: hello@stevenbphotography.com. And don’t forget to check out some of my recent San Francisco and Bay area engagement shoots for inspiration.


Steven Branstetter Photography
San Francisco, California

(415) 244-7577



©2018 steven branstetter photography