Why having an engagement shoot is so important?

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Engagement shoots are not really “engagement shoots”. Most of the time, couples have been engaged for a while when comes the time to do their engagement shoot. We kinda do it a few weeks/months before their wedding ahah! Some clients like to use those photos on their Save the Date, but I often get asked if it can be removed from their wedding package. I always say “No”. There’s a really good reason why I include it guys, otherwise, imma tell you, I WOULD NOT!


Engagement shoots are an introduction to our team. Because yes, my clients and I, I see us as a team. Of course, I’m the one that works the most 😉 While taking your photos & working the light, I also do/say a lot of silly things to make you guys laugh and relax the mood. But I still need you guys to be ready to give me all of your energy! We 100% need to work together to create the PRETTIEST PHOTOS EVER.

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How it helps you

First, having an engagement shoot helps to remove a lot of stress from your shoulders. Most of my clients never had their photos taken before their engagement shoot, so, without it, their wedding day would also be their first experience in front of the camera. They would not know at all what to expect. And as anything new, that can be a little scary. Mostly for the grooms, because let’s be honest; guys usually hate having their photos taken ahaha!!
And even if you had shoots before, but with another photographer. We, photographers, all work in different ways. So, it might not be the same experience AT ALL.
You already have so much going on on your wedding day. You do not need to have a stranger get into your bubble to take your photos. Am I right?! It would only stress you even more.
So, during our engagement shoot, we talk, we laugh, we get to know each other. You see my way of working and learn to get along with it. You get to see there’s absolutely nothing to be scared of or stressed about a shoot with me ahah!
But anyways, we have fun together during that shoot, so when your wedding day arrive, you do not mind me getting into your bubble(because I assure you I will!). Because you already know me & we’re friends.

 

How it helps me

It helps me understand you guys better. Every couple is different, so every couple needs to be approach in a different way.
Some couples will open to me and get silly pretty fast, while others will stay a bit shy all shoot long. It’s their personalities. I need to understand it and respect it. By doing an engagement shoot, I get to feel and understand your personalities before the wedding, so I already know how to interact with you guys to get the BEST OUT OF YOU for your wedding photos! I also learn the kind of poses you like the most to do the same kind on your wedding day!

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As I said at the beginning of this article, the engagement shoot is an introduction to our team. It helps us learn to work together so we’re ready and know how to give our 150% on your wedding day.
Really often, during wedding, we schedule 50 minutes for photos but end up having 20. When that happens, if we had an engagement shoot, we have no worries doing an hour worth of photos in 20 minutes because you guys know how to work with me & how to pose yourself and act when I give you directions. That way, we can work fast without any problem!

I know engagement shoots are not always possible. Sometimes my couples live very far from me or they book me like a month before their wedding, so we don’t have any time to do it.
But when they are possible, I seriously highly recommend them!
It’s seriously a gift I make you guys by including it in my packages, SO PLEASE TAKE THE GIFT ahahaha!!! 

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I really hope it’s all more clear now & that you’ll be ready to do that shoot with me !
We’ll rock it!


Please don’t forget to leave a comment below to share your thoughts with me! 😊

 

Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Montreal, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”

WHY I DO NOT LIKE TO OFFER MINI-SESSIONS

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Since I’ve started my photography business two years ago, I think I offered a total of 6 days of mini sessions.
A few in the lavender fields, a few in the blossoming apple trees, one in studio and that’s about it.
It’s not much, right? When I think that a lot of photographers offers them for every season and every holidays.
I often have clients asking me when will be my next ones and my answer is often:
“I do not plan on having some for a while.” Or “I do not know.”

The reason for that is that I HATE MINI-SESSIONS.
I do hate them.

I KNOW that photography is expensive (for good reasons, but it still is) and not everyone has the money to pay the full price for a regular shoot.
I get that.
I really do.
But as much as I want to please my clients, for me mini-sessions are just a pain in the ass.

I’ve been looking for the reason why I hated them for quite a while and it’s just recently that I understood.

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IT DOES NOT FIT MY BRAND.


Each day I’m finding more and more things that makes me fall in love with photography. Each day I’m working more and more to make my brand fits me and the way I think.
And one of the big thing I’ve really been working on for the past months to achieve that is to build a relationship with my clients.
I’ve noticed that to make the greatest photos of you guys, I need to know you.
I need to make you feel like my friends.
I need to show you the silly me so you’ll show me the silly you.
But I need to KNOW YOU GUYS.
I need to understand your personalities and the kind of relationship you have.
It’s only once I understand that, that I know how to make my photos about you.


Because I do not want to just take cute and pretty photos in a field that you appear on.

You know what I mean?

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And you’ve got to understand that it’s still a work in progress for me. It’s something I’ve discovered and started to work on it a lot for the past weeks/months only. So I’m not quite where I wish to be yet.
But I’m working on it A LOT. And I’m getting there. 

SO, to achieve that, what do I do?
 I talk to you before and during the shoot.
I ask you guys how you met, what you like to do when you’re alone together and what you do for a living or in your free time.
I ask you guys a lot of questions and also, I GET SILLY.
I try to make a lot of jokes, I gesture the poses I want you to do, I dance on the music, etc.
I make you guys laugh.

When I do that, it takes about 10 minutes before you guys start being comfortable and another 10 to 15 mins(depending on the couple) before you start being silly too. That’s when you start showing me the real you.
And by that time, the mini-sessions is already done.

During mini-sessions, I do not get to capture the real you.
Most of the time, the shoot ends before you guys get there.

That’s why it does not fit my brand.
That’s why I don’t like them.

And I think it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? 😉

When I have 15-20 families/couples, sometimes even more, coming in front of my lens in only a few hours and I barely have the time to talk with them and get to know them, I literally feel like a robot.

So, I guess mini-sessions are totally appropriate if you want cute photos of your kids with a Halloween or Christmas backdrop.
But that’s not me. I won’t ever do that. #sorrynotsorry


As I said earlier, I want my photos to talk about you guys. I do not want to just take cute and pretty photos in a field that you guys appear on.

I want you guys to feel the craziness of your couple in my photos.
And for that I need to spend some time with you guys! 😊

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With all that being said, I’ll probably gonna continue to offer them once in a while, because I always love to please you guys. But don’t wait too much for them. ahah!😉

See ya guys !

WHY YOU REALLY SHOULD DO A IN-HOME SHOOT!

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So, you guys probably know how much I LOVEEEEE in-home shoots. (If you didn’t know, you should join the fun on my Instagram!)
Well, today I want to explain to you guys, why I love those sessions so much. I assure you, you’ll want to do one as soon as you’re done reading this.
NO JOKE.
I’ll spy on ya jumping into my DMs! 😉


So, the first thing I need to tell you guys is that you DON’T need a Pinterest looking house to do an in-home shoot. You don’t. As long as you have windows and your house is clean when I arrive, well there’s NO problem!
I know people often stop themselves from shooting in their home because they think their house is so “regular” and has “nothing special”.
Well, that’s NOT TRUE GUYS. Your house IS SPECIAL.
It’s the place that you call Home. The place you chose to start your family. The place that makes you guys feel good and safe.
So, YES. Your house IS SPECIAL.

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Now, I hope you’re ready! ‘Cause it’s time to JUMP IN!😉

 


FIRST, when I do in-homes shoots, it’s a LOT easier for me to get you guys comfortable in front of my camera. WHY? you’ll ask.
For a really obvious reason: You’re in an environment you love, enjoy and feel good in. You’re already a LOT MORE RELAXED than if we were shooting in a place you do not know.
It makes sense, right?!
I know it does. And it’s true!
That part of my job to make you guys comfortable is already half done when I arrive!

SECOND REASON: HABITS!!
I’m 100% sure that you guys have habits in your house. Small things you often do together, a way to sit when you watch TV, a place around the table, a routine. Am I right ?!
Well I know I do! So I’m sure you have AT LEAST one too 😉.
We’ll try to use that.
It seriously makes you guys even more relaxed to include elements of your everyday life.
We can even use an activity you guys do together and transform it into a shoot!
Play scrabbles for example,
or take a bath with wine,
order a pizza and eat it on your living room floor,
 even bake a cake AND COVER YOUR FACES WITH DOUGH!!!!!
IT SOUNDS FUN, RIGHT?!

It will represent your couple a lot more than just shooting in a park! And that is SO important. I want my photos to talk about you guys and tell YOUR story!!

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THIRD: It’s soooo COZY !!
Just imagine yourself cuddling and playing around on the couch with your lover, with a nice cup of hot chocolate while it’s snowing outside.
How sweet does that sound?!
Well it could turn out as great photos too!

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Your house is also usually the place where you guys get the most intimate, if you know what I mean 😉, so it’s easy for you to (almost) forget I’m here and get into your bubble.
(You won’t be able to completely forget I’m there anyways because I’ll say too many silly things! WHOOPS AHAHA!)
But mostly for couples that do not like to be demonstrative in public. There won’t be anyone around you guys (just me thirdwheeling as always).
It’s only gonna be another cuddly & playful time! Yay!
& The photos are gonna turn out A LOT more intimate and cute because of that!



And LASTLY: No weather problems.
That’s kind of a great one too.
You do not even have to think about the weather!
There’s no weather reasons why the shoot could be delayed!


In-Homes are so great during winter, when it might be so freezing outside you don’t know if you’ll still have all your toes at the end of the shoot!
If you’re from a northern country, you know that feeling right ahah!!! It’s not a fun one!
Well with in-home shoots, you can stay warm at home and hang out it front of the chimney!


SO, ARE YOU CONVINCED?!
Are you ready to shoot in your house?
I know I am ! 😊

SO
LET’S DOOOOOOOOOOOOO IT !!!

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Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Montreal, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”