At the end of every year Peggy and I discuss the previous years weddings. What worked? What didn't work? Where do we need to improve? Where are we doing well? These are the types of questions we ask when evaluating the experience we had going into the next year. Of course we ask similar questions throughout the year but we tend to keep major changes to how we do things to a minimum as much as possible and leave the big things to the following year. During that process last year we noticed a significant trend. When we photographed an engagement session for a couple, their wedding day photos and overall experience, were just better. We knew them better, they knew us better. And the relationship we were able to develop with the these couples was richer, deeper and more fulfilling for us. Because of that we decided to offer a complimentary engagement session to the brides and grooms we were going to meet at the upcoming bridal shows we'd planned to attend in 2015 upon booking us for their wedding.
You might be wondering, why does the relationship you have with your photographer matter? I mean, we're professionals right? Shouldn't your wedding photos be great no matter what? You'd be right to ask those questions too, they make perfect sense to me! What you should consider though, is that with any art form/creative process, emotion matters. The emotion of the artist/creative matters. 99.9% of the weddings I've photographed have, to some degree, been emotional. But not all of them were, to the same degree, as emotional for me. Why? Because of the relationship I had with the couple. I know what your're thinking...."You're telling me that you are a professional photographer but some level of closeness to the people you're photographing helps you take better pictures?" My answer...yup! Think about it. Any stranger can walk up to you on the street and take your picture. But wouldn't that picture tell abetter story if the person behind the camera knew your story? I'm not talking about the, "how you met" story, Everyone you meet asks you that. I'm talking about the stories that get told when you and your fiancé are just being yourselves with one another. The inside jokes, the little "ism's" that we love about our significant others. Your "ness" as I and Owen Wilson like to call it. And in many cases the unspoken story of the way you are together tells a much more significant story than any spoken word. How you look at one another. How you shyly look away when you notice he sees you. And one of the most telling looks, when you're telling each other with your eyes how much you're in love. How much you trust him. And how important this moment is to the two of you.
By the time your wedding date arrives there is a part of me that feels like it's a part of your story. We may not become lifelong friends or even see each other after we meet to review your album design. But on that day the more we know about who you and your fiancé are, at least to one another, the more we can connect that emotion to your images and convey those feelings to whomever will be looking at you wedding photographs for years to come. To me, an engagement session is the best, and my favorite way, to get to know the couples and create beautiful images from them on their wedding day.