Why Engagement Sessions Are Important | Palm Beach Wedding Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

I get a lot of couples that don’t really understand why engagement sessions are important or if it’s something they really need to do. I want to use this space to go over some simple reasons as to why engagement sessions are a wonderful addition to your wedding collection.

Getting comfortable in front of the camera: This one is probably the most talked about in our industry. I can’t tell you the number of times I’m on the phone with a potential couple and I hear, “We’re going to need a lot of help posing because we are really awkward in front of the camera”. If this is the case (which it is for most of us, including myself) then you should absolutely consider an engagement session. This is such a wonderful opportunity to get in front of your photographer’s camera and get comfortable.

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Professional photos in a less formal setting: Most people only hire photographers for huge milestones in their lives (which to me, should be every year of your child growing, anniversaries, etc. but that’s a different topic). That means that outside of their wedding, they probably don’t have photographs of themselves in a gorgeous setting with more casual clothes on. Most of us feel more comfortable in certain outfits and a wedding dress or suit doesn’t usually fit into that category. You can have so much fun with these and even have two totally different looks, like the couple bellow:

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Use them for save-the-dates and wedding website: This one is pretty self-explanatory. A lot of couples are having destination weddings and need to send save-the-dates and want a personal touch. The same goes for wedding websites. It’s a great way for your guests to connect to you and get excited for the wedding.

Great way to do your hair and makeup trial: A lot of people end up doing a hair and makeup trial before the wedding. It’s usually an added expense, so why not schedule your photos on the same day. You will end up getting the photographs back before the wedding and will be able to see if you like the way it looks in photos.

Get to know your photographer and establish a relationship: This one is SO important. I’m with my couples on the wedding day more than their own families, friends, and even future spouse. Doing an engagement session will help you establish a relationship with your photographer, and their camera, long before your wedding comes around. Which means, by the time of the actual wedding day, you’ll ease into the portraits and the nerves will be gone.

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You can have photographs in a setting that is separate from your wedding: This is a really cool one. I would say 90% of my engagement sessions take place in a different place, even different state, than their wedding take place. You might be having an indoor wedding because you have to get married during rain or snow season, but might also be outdoor junkies. This is a way to make your engagement session whatever you want and to pick a location that’s special to you. This couple was getting married at The Ritz in Amelia Island, but they also had a special connection with Rosemary Beach. So, we did the engagement session at Rosemary Beach and it was truly special.

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You can incorporate your animals: I have SO many couples who wish their animals could be at their wedding, but logistically it just doesn’t work out. Personally, my dogs are my world and I would love for them to be a part of any session I do. This is a great way to incorporate your animals that can’t make it to the wedding so that you have professional photographs with the entire family.

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This is a special time in your lives: You were dating before and will soon be married. There is such a short span that you have a fiancè. Why not capture this unique and special time that you’ll never have again?

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You can make this session whatever you dream of: This is probably my favorite point about engagement sessions. They can be WHATEVER you want them to be! I love when couples decide to do a boudoir session instead of the “traditional” photos. It’s so intimate and special. This is a time before marriage and babies (unless you already have kids and that just means we can do a fun family session before the wedding!). When it’s just the two of you. These sessions are so special.


I’m definitely a firm believer in engagement sessions, but I’m also an advocate for thinking outside of the box. Engagement sessions should be fun and represent the two of you and what you love doing together. take your photographer hiking with you in the mountains. Maybe go surfing together. Do a boudoir session! Just have fun and get comfortable with your photographer and the camera.