My name is Manik Rathee and I am one half of Manik Rathee Photography, along with the gorgeous and talented Aileen Atkins. Manik Rathee Photography is our wedding & event photography business based out of beautiful Montclair, New Jersey. We’ve been shooting events and weddings for quite some time now and we wanted to share one part of that journey with you: engagement sessions.

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Engagement sessions are really important for couples – more important than most people would think. Some couples look at them as just another set of photos but it is so much more than that. Your engagement session gives you a chance to get to know your photographer, how he or she works and, more importantly, it lets you get comfortable in front of the camera. In this post, we’ll explore all the fantastic reasons that you should book an engagement session with your photographer.

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

The engagement session gives you and your significant other a chance to get comfortable with the awesome photographer you’ve chosen. On your wedding day, the last thing you want to worry about is what to do when the camera is in front of you, or to worry if the photographer is capturing all of the precious moments. Your engagement shoot will give you a few hours of close time to learn how your photographer works, see what it feels like to be the center of attention, learn how you and your partner look best together and much much more. If you take the time to do this, not only do you get a whole set of beautiful photos to remember this amazing time in your lives, but you also get to feel at home with your photographer. When your wedding day arrives and the photographer, not to mention all of your guests, start pointing cameras at you, you and your partner can confidently walk by knowing you look your best.

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

On the other side of that, letting your photographer get to know you on the engagement shoot is just as important. For your photographer, knowing what makes you and your partner look your best will only make your wedding photos even better. On the shoot, your photographer will get to know you better and learn about the intricacies that make your relationship special. And when it comes to the big day, those little details will show in the photos – and those images will be more precious to you than anything else in the world.

Now, most people think that those few benefits are the only reason to do an engagement shoot, but it doesn’t end there. Your wedding is a few months away and you have settled on all of the details, all the way from your makeup artist to the table settings at the reception. The engagement session will give you a chance to get your hair and makeup done, just like the morning of your wedding. Doing this early allows you to be picky about the details so there are no surprises when the big day rolls around. This is why a lot of photographers recommend setting appointments with your hair and makeup professional of choice. Not to mention the fact that you’ll look absolutely stunning for your photos!

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove
We have seen quite a few brides that worked out some tricky makeup details on the engagement shoot that would have become a big hassle if they came up on their wedding day. They ended up looking gorgeous for the engagement session and their makeup artist knew exactly what they wanted on the big day – a win-win for everyone.

After all, everything should be perfect on the day you marry the love of your life!

Manik Rathee Photography WeddingPhotoLove

Now that you know why you should do an engagement session with your photographer, here are some tips to help make it a successful shoot.

  1. If you and your partner have any special items that represent your love & relationship, be sure to tell your photographer! For example, one of our brides met her husband while she was relaxing at her favorite park. So, for their engagement shoot, we went back to that park and took photos at the very spot they met! It could be something as big as where you met or as small as bringing a small memento to represent your first date. Anything that will make your relationship shine through the photos would be great.
  2. Dress for all occasions! Getting dressed up in your best dress, and having your fiancé dress in his best suit, is certainly a great way to go for your photos, but most photographers will work in time for a wardrobe change. So, make sure to have outfits picked out that not only compliment each other, but represent each of you. An example here would be dressing to the nines for the first part of the session, and then getting more casual for the personal part of the shoot – wear your favorite skirt or, for guys, your favorite jeans and a nice button down shirt- and let yourself relax for the second half of the shoot.
  3. Remember why you’re there. Most people are not comfortable in front of the camera. A lot of my couples started out the day very tense and rigid – almost uncomfortable even though they knew they wanted to have great photos. It’s really important to remind yourself why you are doing this: You’ve found the love of your life – the person that makes you happier than you’ve ever been before. These photos should celebrate that love! So take a deep breathe, relax and smile. It’s all about having fun with your love & your best friend.

So go on – give your photographer a call and book that engagement session. After all, you’ll want these memories down the road!

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