Why Your Engagement Session is the Key | Nashville Wedding Photographer | Crystal K. Martel

One of the questions I often get is "Why an Engagement Session?" Whether my inquiring Brides and Grooms have already had their Engagement photos taken, are planning to let a friend or family member do them, or they think they "don't need them," there is always a good reason behind the question. There is also a good reason why every one of my Wedding Packages comes with an Engagement Session, and I wanted to share how a session often unfolds in order to illustrate why they are so important for me and for you!

When I arrive "on location" for an Engagement Session, I come bearing my equipment, what I know about what I do, and I'm excited to laugh and have fun. My couple(s) are glowing, having spent time and effort getting ready that day - anticipating what is to come! And it's all well and good getting everyone and everything rounded up, tromping through a field or forest, finding the perfect lighting, and setting up.

Then ... I have to do my job.

Suddenly, I'm not just a friendly face asking you about your pets or your hobbies. I'm behind the camera, and you are in front of a lens that suddenly looks three times bigger than it did two minutes before.

And all you can think about America's Next Top Model and how I'm most likely going to start yelling, "WORK IT! WOOORK IIITT!"  

When, in fact, I'm just peering through the viewfinder to find the best angle and lighting and haven't yet begun.

In spite of the friendship built through coffee dates, phone calls, and even shopping sprees - to find that PERFECT piece to compliment the outfit(s) - there is suddenly a nervous shifting of weight and a decided air of formality that takes a hot second to shake.

You wonder: Can we be natural? Can she get us at our best with each other? 

You can, and I can!

Let it be said, however, that the images that usually make the final cut, and are my FAVORITE, are the ones where we have all found our groove - it's not a magic number, but I would say that this happens around the 20 minute mark. By then, I have taught a few angle "tricks," we continue to joke and play, you realize that I will never leave you without some form of direction, and I have had a chance to see you and your spouse-to-be "at your best." We have, essentially, built a creative trust and the session becomes less about a formal shoot and more about me taking photos of you having fun with your favorite person.  

On your Wedding Day, I will be with you a good solid portion of the day. The very last thing I want my Brides or Grooms to worry about as they get ready, say their I do(s), and celebrate with their friends and family, is this: Can we be natural? Can she get us at our best with each other? 

Because of your Engagement Session, you know: You can, and I can! 

If you have a minute to watch this video of an Engagement Session I did with a couple (whose Wedding I shot a couple months later!), you'll see how much fun you'll have on your Session with me - XO