Starling Studio
Wedding Photographer in Columbus, Ohio


Why an Engagement Session is a Must Before Your Wedding


Once you find your perfect wedding photographer and secure your date, the next thing on your list should be scheduling an engagement photo session.

I will occasionally have new clients who are hesitant to take engagement photos for various reasons or who have already had some taken while away on a trip. I am here to tell you that engagement photos with your wedding photographer are a must no matter what!

Over the past 8 years of photographing weddings in Columbus, I have learned the importance of these sessions and how they truly impact the flow of your wedding day. This is why all of my packages include complimentary engagement photos.  

5 Reasons Why Engagement Photos Matter


1. You Will Get to Know Your Photographer Better

Not only will you walk away from an engagement session with beautiful photos of you and your fiancé, but it’s an opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer on an entirely new level that cannot be reached by just meeting at a coffee shop.

This is a time to connect with your photographer so she can get to know you and your fiancé as a couple. Seeing how you interact together and learning more about your relationship will allow your photographer to capture you in the most authentic and genuine way.

Are you more silly and playful together or perhaps more romantic and tender? These are all helpful things to know while capturing your story.

Once your wedding day arrives it will feel more like you have a friend spending the day with you celebrating and taking your photos rather than just a hired photographer! 

2. You Will Become A Posing Pro

By the end of your engagement session, you will have learned all the ins and outs of posing and be entirely comfortable in front of the camera.

Once your wedding day rolls around, you will be a complete pro and require much less direction from your photographer—meaning you will be able to take more photos in less time!

It’s amazing the difference I can see in my couples after they’ve done engagement photos. When we start their wedding day portraits there is a sense of confidence and ease that only results after a practice run session.  They are able to move seamlessly from one pose to the next and truly enjoy the entire process.  


3. Engagement Photos Are Perfect for Wedding Planning Details

As your planning process is underway, you might be surprised to find out how helpful it is to have professional photos of you and your fiancé!

These photos are wonderful to incorporate in your Save the Dates. Maybe your parents want to make an official announcement in your hometown newspaper— it may seem old-school, but I think it’s pretty adorable! Once you start building a wedding website filled with helpful information for your guests such as links to your registry, wedding day details, hotel reservations, etc. it’s nice to have beautiful images to sprinkle throughout to add some extra visual interest. Also, let’s be honest— engagement photos are the perfect gift for parents and grandparents. I know my Mommom LOVES receiving photos of all her grandkids, so even if you aren’t sold on having photos for yourself then do it for your Grandma! :)

At the end of the day it is just really nice to have professional photos of you and your fiancé that are not in your wedding day attire.


4. Trial Run for your Makeup

Most brides chose to do a trial run for their wedding makeup, so I always recommend scheduling that appointment on the same day as the engagement session. Having your makeup professionally done has such a big impact on your final photos. You will not only look and feel glamorous, but it will give you even more confidence during your session. When you’re feeling your best it will certainly come through on camera!

When you hire a makeup artist they will know how to do your makeup so it looks perfect for photos. (Don’t be alarmed if you think it’s “too much” because ultimately you want your makeup to be heavier than an every day look to assure you don’t look washed out in pictures.)

If you are getting your makeup done why not go ahead and get your hair done too! I love recommending the Columbus Blow Out Bar as a fun spot to stop before your session! They are true pros that can work hair magic! 

How often do you get to have professional photos taken? If you are like most people then the answer is probably not very often, so why not make the most of it? Taking a few simple steps like having your hair and makeup professionally done is a fun way to treat yourself and make sure you love your final photos! 

Pro Tip: Plan a night out for after your session! After getting all glammed up why not continue the celebration and make reservations for a fancy dinner out! Chances are you will be hungry— after all, modeling can be hard work! :)

5. Celebrate your Engagement

There is so much excitement when you first get engaged— it’s this amazing time in your life when you have made a huge commitment to spend forever with the person of your dreams. It’s the beginning of your love story as a married couple— why wouldn’t you want to capture that moment in time to have forever? After all, that’s what photos are all about. Preserving a time and emotion in your life that you can look back on years later and share with future generations. It’s a time worth celebrating!

Pro tip: Choose a spot that is meaningful or significant to you and your fiancé! Maybe it’s at the spot you first met, your favorite place to spend time, or your hometown. 

What Starling Studio brides say about their engagement photos

I asked a few of my past brides to share what their engagement session was like for them, and as I read their responses, I just couldn’t help but share! Nobody says it better than these real life brides. 


“Looking back, I can’t imagine how much more nervous I would have been on our wedding day had we not done the engagement session.”

“To be honest, I didn’t really realize how helpful the engagement session was until the day of the wedding! We had never had professional photos taken prior to the engagement session and didn’t really know what to expect. I think it helped Adam and I to get comfortable in front of the lens! Looking back, I can’t imagine how much more nervous I would have been on our wedding day had we not done the engagement session. Pictures are the one thing we will always have to relive our wedding day and we love how they turned out!” —Sarah

“It took so much stress and unknowns out of the wedding day because I already knew the picture part was going to be fun, not work!”

“I loved our engagement pictures!  The whole experience of taking pictures professionally together for the first time was a learning experience that we needed (Mason doesn't close his eyes when we kiss?!) AND it was a lot of fun.  Looking back it is something we were both really happy we did because it gave us a chance to get to know you!  By the end of the engagement session we both felt totally comfortable with you and we were excited for you to be at our wedding!  I also felt like it was such a good time for you to get to know us better and capture our personalities even through wedding day nerves.  I definitely wasn't sold that an engagement session was necessary before but it took so much stress and unknowns out of the wedding day because I already knew the picture part was going to be fun, not work!  I also really like having pictures of us around our place where we aren't in full wedding gear, it's nice to have professional pictures of us from more than one day of our lives.” —Kristi

"On your wedding day, you'll take so many photos, so comfort is key!"

"The thing I loved about an engagement session is that it gets you comfortable with both the photographer and in front of the camera. On your wedding day, you'll take so many photos, so comfort is key! And it is so important to develop that relationship with your photographer. The engagement session  helps them figure it what you and your future spouse are comfortable with for the wedding day! Tessa is great at providing that experience. " —Heather


Now that I have you convinced that an engagement session is a must, you might be wondering what you should plan to wear to your session! No worries, I have you covered. My next bridal guide post will talk all about the Do’s and Don’ts of styling your wardrobe for photos—stay tuned. 

Tessa Berg