Even after many years of photographing engagement sessions, I always struggle to find a good answer when a couple asks, “What is an engagement session?”. I usually just ramble on about how it is a chance for them to take some great photographs as a couple and to start to tell the story of them becoming one, while avoiding the “Glamour Shots” chin resting on hand posing shenanigans. I just have never been able to come up with a streamlined description process of what truly is…
Until I shot Andrea and Chris’ engagement session and it hit me. The answer to “What is an engagement session?” is just simply… You.
Now I can just see all you out there raising an eyebrow to the one word answer but work with me here for moment. If my sole focus is to tell the story of you, which it is, why would your engagement session be anything other than just who you are? Why would we involve you holding balloons while sitting on a couch in empty field? While those elements definitely can make a photograph more interesting they have no intrinsic value in telling your story. Do not get me wrong, I use the outdoors and locations as backdrop to my photographs but I try very hard and have them not be the focus elements of the photographs themselves.
This is where Andrea and Chris come into play, as I asked them what their thoughts were on an engagement session that would help tell their story. The reply I received was very simple but also very telling who they were as a couple. I was told by Andrea that a Friday night for them was making something from scratch in the kitchen and then enjoying a night of video games with each other. The cooking element was something that had already be mentioned a few times by both Andrea and Chris and it even has some tie ins to their actual wedding day. So I started to run with the idea of them in the kitchen on a Friday night, enjoying the cooking as much as they are enjoying the time they have with each other. Every couple has differences between them but they also have ties that bind them together. I truly believe that it is my job as a photographer to find the ties that bind each couple uniquely together and then capture that in way that tells the world who you are in photograph.
So without further rambling, I give you Andrea and Chris, who are cooking something up for this summer 🙂
Location: Williams Tree Farm