Are Engagement Photos Necessary?

The Importance of Engagement Photos: Capturing the Magic Before the Big Day

When planning a wedding, there are many decisions to make and details to consider. One important aspect that is sometimes overlooked is the engagement photo session. You might be wondering if it’s truly necessary to invest in professional engagement photos when the main focus is on the wedding day itself. However, engagement photos hold significant value and serve several purposes that make them a worthwhile investment. Here are some compelling reasons why engagement photos are necessary.

A couple holding hands and running through the sand dunes at North Muskegon State Park during their engagement session. Photographed during golden hour with her dress flowing gently in the breeze behind her.

1. Celebrating a Milestone

Getting engaged is a significant milestone in a couple’s journey. It marks the transition from dating to planning a life together. Engagement photos capture this special moment, providing a beautiful reminder of the love and excitement felt during this unique period. These photos become cherished memories that you can look back on and share with future generations.

2. Building a Relationship with Your Photographer

One of the key benefits of an engagement photo session is the opportunity to work with your wedding photographer before the big day. This helps build a rapport and allows you to become comfortable in front of the camera. Your photographer can get to know you as a couple, understand your preferences, and learn how to best capture your personalities. This familiarity can lead to more natural and relaxed photos on your wedding day.

Behind the scenes of the creation of an engagement photo with a unique perspective from the ground up. Taken in the pine forest of northern Michigan at Esch Beach near Sleeping Bear Dunes.

3. Getting Comfortable in Front of the Camera

For many people, posing for professional photos can feel awkward and intimidating. An engagement photo session provides a low-pressure environment to practice and become more comfortable with being photographed. By the time your wedding day arrives, you’ll feel more at ease, resulting in more genuine and candid shots.

4. Personalizing Your Wedding

Engagement photos can be used in various ways to add a personal touch to your wedding. They can be featured in save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, guest books, and wedding websites. Displaying these photos at the reception can also provide a beautiful visual story of your journey as a couple, enhancing the overall experience for your guests.

Engaged couple playing in a field of wildflowers laughing.

5. Capturing Your True Selves

Wedding days are often filled with formalities and structured timelines, which can sometimes make it challenging to capture candid moments. Engagement sessions, on the other hand, are typically more relaxed and can take place in settings that are meaningful to you. Whether it’s your favorite park, the coffee shop where you had your first date, or simply a beautiful outdoor location, these photos can reflect your everyday love and the genuine connection you share.

6. Experimenting with Styles and Locations

Engagement sessions allow you to experiment with different styles and locations. This is a great opportunity to showcase your personalities and interests as a couple. Whether you prefer a casual, laid-back vibe or a more glamorous, high-fashion look, you can try different outfits and settings to see what feels most authentic to you.

We’d hate for you to go through a full session and not like any of the photos because you didn’t like what you were wearing. So, for our couple’s engagement sessions we typically recommend that couples bring two to three outfits, that way you can play around and find what you feel works best for you.

Engaged couple portraits in the lush Michigan woodlands at VanRaalte Farm Park in Holland, MI on the bridge over the creek.

7. Creating Lasting Memories

Life is made up of many small, beautiful moments that can be easily forgotten amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. Engagement photos help freeze these fleeting moments in time, creating lasting memories that you can treasure forever. They serve as a reminder of the love and joy you felt during this special time in your lives.


Engagement photos are more than just pretty pictures; they are an essential part of your wedding journey. They celebrate a significant milestone, help you build a relationship with your photographer, and allow you to become comfortable in front of the camera. They also provide a personal touch to your wedding and create lasting memories of your love story. So, as you plan your wedding, don’t overlook the importance of an engagement photo session. Embrace this opportunity to capture the magic before the big day and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

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MIchael and Jennifer at the beach portrait of West Michigan Wedding Photographers, owners of March81 Photography