Monday, March 24, 2008

The Engagement Session

Clients sometimes ask if they can skip doing the complimentary engagement session so they can save some money on their wedding photography bill. I always politely say no, for a couple of key reasons. I find this shoot to be immensely valuable in building trust between myself and my clients, allowing us to get to know each other much better ahead of wedding day. In addition to learning more about each other, what makes us all laugh, common interests, I get to offer a few tips on posing and my shooting style. They learn that I don't expect nor want them to look at the camera every time and say 'cheese!' They'll see I want them to just be themselves and to get comfortable being in front of the lens. Hopefully they grow to ignore my camera and just be themselves, so at the wedding there isn't a period of uncomfortability that creates tension. I want everyone to be relaxed and having fun.

Katie and Rich and I got to spend about 4 hours shooting this Saturday afternoon in the foothills above Boulder. We jumped off giant rocks and explored a cave. On top of the tall boulders I sarcastically asked Katie if she had a fear of heights, but I think her day job as a commercial airline pilot gave her an immunity to such worries. We then took off for the top of the mountain and a view of the Continental Divide, finishing up on Pearl Street Mall as evening came and a spring storm dumped 4 inches of snow on us. One guy came up to us and asked me for my business card, saying 'you must be pretty serious at what you do if you are out here in this weather shooting!'

My wife rarely asks me anymore why I am gone so long doing my engagement shoots--she knows I will just tell her that it is important to me to get to know my clients better and will make wedding day that much more valuable. Bottom line--I had a great time hanging out with Katie and Rich!