I had a meeting with a client this week and this question came up. It's a very good question! If you aren't sending out save-the-dates with your pictures on it, why do it? Maybe you've been together for so many years and everyone already knows that you are engaged? Or possibly you just feel like it's vain to have professional pictures taken of your both outside of your wedding. All valid points, except that last one! Having great pictures of yourselves absolutely never ever means you are vain... you only had some pictures taken, you can't help it if you just happen to be so good looking!
I'll get to what my answer was, but since I am more of a visual learner, I thought it would be most beneficial to be a visual teacher and give this example.
This engagement shoot features the lovely Andy & Andrea from a few months back in Sacramento.
(If it's plays with some hiccups, just let the show fully load and then play)
So what was my answer? The video should say it all! We get to meet and spend an afternoon together getting to know each other and having fun! When else do you have your own personal paparazzi following you around as you just spend time together in love? In just a few hours, I get a great idea of what you are like as a couple... what makes you laugh, how goofy or serious you can be, and simply who you are as people. Likewise, you get to know me and and when I show up on your wedding day, I'm just another friendly face! During the shoot, I throw out a variety of poses for you to try and I test out just how long you'll laugh at my cheezy jokes! It's the perfect warm-up for your wedding if you've never been in front of a professional photographer before. Oh, and you both do lots of kissing.
All in all, it's a personal preference. Clients who have chosen to do the session have never regretted it and in the end you walk away with some fantastic images!
A few recent comments from e-session clients:
"Wow, is all I can say! There are soooo many that I love! Thank you again soo much for making this such a wonderful experience. I am absolutely blown away by the quality and the creativity!"
"Wow, that is a lot of pictures! I love the artistic touches, the way you used color and light turned out amazing. I love them! Thank you for taking the time to come all the way to Sacramento and stay longer than expected. We had a really good time and it was great practice for our big day!"
"Thank you for everything yesterday! We both could not stop talking about how awesome you are at what you do! You are such a natural, we felt so comfortable."
FYI: These types of sessions are not just for those who are engaged out there! I love it when couples contact me for a 'just because" session! Why not get some fabulous shots of you as you are right now.... just because!