As a newly engaged couple, it is easy start to feel overwhelmed with all of the details you have to coordinate. The phrase “engagement photo session” will likely surface during your wedding prep, and it’s easy to dismiss the idea outright. You have a photographer for your wedding day, so what’s the point of taking photos beforehand?
Since you asked, I’m happy to set the record straight.
When most people think of an engagement photo session, they’re imagining something fairly quick (maybe 1-2 hours) which takes place nearby where they live. They might go to a pretty park 0r special lookout in the city, or maybe a favorite coffee shop or bar. Afterwards, a set of lovely photos to use for save-the-dates appears, and everyone goes on their merry way. Superficially, that is a pretty accurate description! To me though, there is so much more to your engagement session. This is the beginning of our time together, a chance to lay the foundation that will give you confidence to be yourself on your wedding day.
Most people are apprehensive about being in front of the camera, it’s just a fact of life. I find that the only want to overcome that is to help build a sort of “I’ve been here before” feeling. Want to make sure you feel like a champion in front of the lens on your wedding day? The best way to do it is to build trust and familiarity with your photographer beforehand. Don’t let me make this sound one-sided, either: when we shoot your engagement session, we as a group are all building a rapport, a kind of intuition that helps me immeasurably, too. As your photographer, I will be with you all throughout your wedding day. From silly laughs to the quiet, intimate moments and everything in between, I rely on the rapport that we have to help understand what you’re feeling and anticipate when those moments are about to arrive. Your engagement session is a first big step in developing that chemistry.
So yes, you do end the day with a fantastic set of photos, but so much more transpires. There is no substitute for the time spent shooting photos together before your wedding! I want to do my best to understand what makes you two ‘tick,’ so I can capture that on your big day. The time we spend in an engagement session is great for that, but if you’re like me, the things that really make me ‘tick’ are outdoor adventures. I feel most alive when I’m skiing, hiking, or backpacking, but none of that would fit well within the 1-2 hour engagement session.
Let me introduce you to my Adventure Session. This is like an engagement session, but it can last 4-8 hours, include driving to and exploring an area special to you as a couple, and it should definitely include the activities that you love! Skiing or snowboarding, hiking, climbing, kayaking, and more, I’m here to document who you are as a couple. If that’s not your speed but you still love the idea of the extra time, maybe we spend a day hopping around to your favorite breweries in the city, taking a ride on a ferry and touring the islands, or flipping pancakes in the comfort of your own home! More than anything, this session exists to give us the time to do whatever speaks to you. Check out a few of my suggestions below on just what you can do during an adventure session.
Adventure Session Ideas
Take a Hike
With the mountains being so accessible and trails abound, we are sure to find the most beautiful backdrop for your adventure session. I recommend hikes 2-8 miles (round trip) in length for best results. Be sure to bring a change of clothes and shoes that you can hike in and clothes for the session. Whether you go dressy or casual for the other outfits is completely up to you!
Ride a Boat
We live in Seattle where it’s possible to explore new places with just a quick ride across the water. I once had a couple book an adventure session with me up in the San Juan Islands where we went hiking, hung out in the harbor, and drank wine on their family property’s porch together. It was pretty epic and resulted in some amazing images of them spending time in a place that was really special to them.
Explore a New Area
Want to go somewhere you’ve never been? Maybe an adventure session is the perfect time to try it! Travel together with your own personal photographer documenting every minute of it.
Your Favorite Sport
Skiing or snowboarding, climbing, running, fishing, kayaking, etc. Let’s document who you are and what you like to do as a couple! I’m in the mountains as much as I can be and pretty much never turn down an opportunity to get there.
Do you have any ideas for an adventure session? I’d love to hear them!