3 reasons for engagement photos.

March 14, 2018

A lot of couples can go into their wedding photography planning thinking, I don’t really need engagement photos. Or they just wonder what the point of an engagement shoot is. Here are a few quick, but really important reasons you should definitely take advantage of an engagement session with your photographer.

Be more comfortable and confident with your photographer on your wedding day.

If possible, I suggest doing engagement photos with the photographer who is also shooting your wedding, why? The biggest reason to do an engagement session, to me, is to get to know your photographer and vice versa. Get to know their personality, how they shoot and just bond a little before they show up on your wedding day. As a photographer I get just as much value from our session. I get to see how you interact as a couple and how much guidance you need or want. I get to see what makes you laugh and makes you more comfortable. Also, I just get to bond with you both, so that when I show up on your wedding day it’s not the first time we are interacting. I don’t want to be the only stranger in the room. All of these things make it easier for us to just jump right in to the good stuff on your big day. It’s also the reason all of my wedding packages include a complimentary engagement session, they help me just as much as they help you!

Surprise, you ARE photogenic and not that awkward in front of the camera.

Everyone I shoot with starts off saying how awkward they are in front of the camera. Unless you’re an actual model, being engaged is probably the first time you’re having professional photos taken since… senior photos?! So, along the same lines as above, an engagement shoot can instill a lot more trust and confidence in your photographer, and yourselves, on your wedding day. Now that you’ve seen the images you can breathe a little because, surprise, you ARE photogenic and not that awkward. You can also give feedback to your photographer as to which photos were your favorite from the session. This is the best way to squash those nerves early. So come time for your wedding portraits you aren’t worried that your photographer doesn’t know what angles you like best or that you’re going to look silly when you laugh. My engagement sessions are usually around 2 hours long. We have lots of time to shoot a bunch of variety, in a relaxed way. Consider it a warm up for your wedding day, when you usually have a much shorter timeline for portraits. As a team we’ll already know what works for you as a couple and we’ll be able to make the most of that part of your day!

Cannon beach engagement photos

Celebrate and reconnect during the sometimes stressful wedding planning process.

Lastly, just consider your engagement session as a giant date. One in which you get to really celebrate this time in your life. Take a break from the pressure and stress of wedding planning and focus on how excited you are to be marrying your best friend. Find a place that is meaningful to you and your fiancĂ©e or that you’ve always wanted to go together. When the location itself makes you light up, the rest comes naturally. Unplug from life and just spend a few hours loving on one another. Totally embrace the PDA and maybe even popping some champagne or throwing back a couple beers. Enjoy the rare chance where your only priority for two hours is to connect with one another. I promise it’ll be good for your relationship!

A lot of photographers offer discounts on engagement shoots when booked with a wedding. And some, myself included, even offer them complimentary with the package. So really, there is no good reason not to do it right?

Right. Glad we talked.


  1. Dijana

    March 14th, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    I agree with everything you wrote! Engagement photos are such a good way to learn and relax and just enjoy your time before all the wedding stress, especially here in beautiful pnw

  2. Malina

    March 14th, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    These are great tips and reasons to have an engagement session! It’s such a special time and deserves to be captured.

  3. Donny

    March 14th, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Ya…engagement sessions are my favorite! So laid back and a great way to get to know each other!

  4. Katy Weaver

    March 14th, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    All of this is SO TRUE! There are so many good reasons why couples should do an engagement session! Also your work is so lovely!

  5. Briana Morrison

    March 14th, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Yes! Some great advice here. Engagement sessions really are the best idea and so much fun.

  6. Federico Serrano

    March 15th, 2018 at 6:19 am

    These are great engagement session tips, thank you! Love the portland photos too!

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 PHOTOS copyright Kate ames 2018 + DESIGN BY CHRISTINA LAING 

Kate Ames is a wedding and elopement photographer based in Portland, Oregon and traveling often for destination weddings. Specializing in modern and romantic portraits and working with adventurous and creative couples.