September 2, 2020

5 Reasons Why You Need Engagement Photos

I very strongly believe in taking advantage of engagement sessions. I am convinced that booking an engagement session with your wedding photographer is one of the most vital ways to ensure that your wedding images are successful. That’s why I’ve made them complimentary in my wedding collections, as I couldn’t possibly recommend them any more! Here are my favorite reasons why you need engagement photos!

5 Reasons Why You Need Engagement Photos even if you think you won't use the photos. 
I find it very important to clarify that you should have the same photographer for your engagement session and your wedding. Having your friend or another photographer do your engagement photos will not best prepare you to work with a totally different wedding photographer. Stick with the same photographer and you’ll feel so much more comfortable on your wedding day!


1. They Increase Confidence and Comfort in Front of the Camera

Engagement sessions increase your confidence and comfort level in front of the camera and allow you to become accustomed to having your photos taken in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s like a trial for your wedding portraits!

UC Riverside Engagement session. Bride in long blush lavender dress and groom in navy suit. Film photographer Cavin Elizabeth Photography. 

2. It’s the Experience that Matters Most, Not the Photos

Truly, the photos from the engagement session are secondary. It’s the experience of photography and getting to know each other that’s the primary reason for the session. Even if you “don’t need any photos,” disregard that fact and see the engagement session as the perfect opportunity to better connect with your photographer. At the end of the session, you’ll feel so much more comfortable with them.

Pre wedding photos at Balboa Park with bride in black dress and groom in dark grey suit, film photographer Cavin Elizabeth in San Diego 

3. Removes Uncertainty from the Wedding Portraits

Ultimately, an engagement session allows the couple to see why I might tell them to do something unexpected and this leads to wedding day comfort and trust in me. It also gives them an opportunity to learn the common “poses” I might use, thus limiting the “we have no idea what’s happening” factor during the wedding day portraits.

Bride in pink strapless Marchesa Notte gown holding bouquet in a cactus garden. Groom in blue suit and pink tie to match his wife. Balboa Park San Diego Anniversary Photos by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

4. They Teach Your Photographer How to Best Capture You

It also allows me to learn more about your personalities and how you two interact so that I can photograph you in a way that’s best representative of your relationship on your wedding day. I figure out how the two of you interact, how to make you laugh or smile, and how to make you comfortable as quickly as possible. Without this session, I would have to figure this out on the wedding day. While I can to that if I have to, having learned all of that before the wedding day will allow me to better photograph you!

Bride in long pink ruffle dress and groom in blue suit snuggling on a rooftop. La Quinta Resort Photos on Film by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

5. They are the Rehearsal to Your Wedding Photos

Think of the engagement session as the rehearsal for your wedding. You wouldn’t get married without one! Having an engagement session will prepare you for your wedding day portraits, essentially ensuring their success.

Bride in golden yellow dress with groom smiling at the camera in front of a large pink bougainvillea bush in Coronado Centennial Park by Cavin Elizabeth Photography - San Diego film photographer


[…] Anniversary sessions truly do mark significant milestones in couples’ lives. I find them to be special and definitely a little different from engagement sessions. The love is more mature, the comfort together is stronger, and the relaxation in front of the camera is more apparent. You’ll have a similar effect on your wedding day after having taken engagement photos, which is why you should never skip them! […]

[…] is easy to get overwhelmed and tempted to skip an engagement session shoot, but here are a few reasons to always take advantage of an engagement session. It is so valuable for […]