Kohler Andrae State Park Non-Engagement Engagement Session - Erika & Chris
Engagement sessions are very important to me. That is not the case for every photographer that shoots weddings. I was recently at a workshop that focused on business strategies for creative entrepreneurs. The workshop organizer mentioned that most couples do not want an engagement session and will want to negotiate pricing if you offer packages with an engagement session. Essentially, they were suggesting that e-sessions should only be offered as an "add-on" service. When the group of 15 creatives (mostly photographers but some planners) were asked if they did a lot of engagement sessions - all but 3 of us said "No." I understand that if you are good at what you do - you can secure all of the "necessary" photos but I want so much more for my couples and to be blunt - for myself. I really enjoy the story. I enjoy spending quality time with my couples and letting loose before it comes to the wedding day. Because wedding day is "go time" and as much as I would love to bond with my couple on that day - it's not the time nor the place. This is where the engagement session comes in.
A typical e-session with me starts with adult beverages or sweets. The couple and I will literally just hang out. We often end up talking so long that we forget why we are actually together. So when we get around to photos, it's more like taking photos with a friend than someone you hired. This feeling will translate to the wedding day and taking photos will be easy peasy. My e-sessions are, on average, 3 hours but I don't put a time tag on them. I clear my schedule and we let the night guide us. There are so many rules and timelines to stick to on a wedding day and I want my couples to have an experience without the stress of time constraints.
Erika and Chris had their engagement photos taken by a member in their bridal party before I met them so that brings us to the title of this post. I wanted to earn their trust and spend more time getting to know them so we dubbed the session a "non-engagement engagement session." Stress free and full of wine was the winning combination for this session. Also, they are some of the most genuine folks I have ever met and their openness warms my heart.
Side note, if you have never been to Kohler Andrae State Park, it's about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee and simply gorgeous. It's a must visit!