Is an Engagement Session Really Necessary?


Why your engagement session is one of the best investements in preparation for your wedding day.


As wedding photographers, we are often asked if engagement sessions are really necessary. Are they really worth the extra investment? While we can't speak for every wedding photographer, we can assure you that we aren't just trying to sell you something you don't need and the extra time and investment is 100% worth it.


1. Engagement sessions are a chance to take a break from the craziness of wedding planning and connect with each other. 

One of the things we consistently hear from our couples is just how beneficial it was to get away and spend time focused on just being together, laughing with each other, and not thinking about planning, budgets, vendors, guest lists, or the family drama that tends to come with planning a wedding. We have a rule that we always give our grooms- you aren't allowed to take her hands off of her! Be close, snuggle, play, dance, laugh. Get lost in each other and leave the wedding craziness behind for a day.


2. Engagement sessions are the perfect opportunity to get portraits somewhere breathtaking.

While we're all about shooting mountain-top weddings and bride's who don't worry about getting their wedding dress a little dirty- not every bride shares that same feeling. Maybe you've dreamed of portraits on a mountain top, or down in a canyon, or splashing in water outside of your wedding day. Engagement sessions are all about adventure! Pack a bag for the day (hiking boots, a swim suit, a comfy cable-knit sweater- whatever the scenery and weather warrant) and head somewhere beautiful with us. 


3. Engagement sessions help you and your other connect with your photographer.

One of the biggest reasons we encourage engagement sessions is so that our couples get to know us and we get to know you. Most, if not all, couples show up not knowing what to expect and feel a little nervous or uncomfortable having us photograph them. We want you to know us and have a really clear picture (haha, no pun intended) of what portraits will look like on your wedding day. We also want to know YOU! What does the chemistry between the two of you look like? Are you guys generally more quiet and reserved or will you be giggly and want to move around a lot? There will be enough craziness that you'll (naturally) worry about on your wedding day. We want you to know that photography is not one of those things. 


4. You aren't on a time constraint.

In a perfect world, our couples give us an hour of portrait time on their wedding day (although it's likely closer to 30 mins). Engagement sessions are two full hours of wandering around, playing, dancing, laughing, being quiet forehead to forehead, etc. More time means more location options and more photos. 


5. This stage of your relationship happens once.

There is a huge shift as two separate people create one life together. The engagement period can be a blur but documenting this (relatively short) phase of your lives is an opportunity for the two of you to celebrate your beginning.  

The Shepards are a husband & wife wedding photography team documenting raw, honest love stories in Phoenix, Arizona and across the United States.
They love to take photos of couples that capture who they are and how they love each other.
They love adventure and aren't afraid to take risks to get beautiful photos.