In the past year I've encountered this question numerous times: "If we omit the engagement session from our package, would that lower the price?"
I love this question because it means my couples are thinking concretely about their budgets and because it give me a chance to explain how my process works.
First, to answer the question. My time is totally free during engagement sessions. I don't set silly limits on time / clothes changes, or any other factors. But I do ask that you buy prints or a CD after the session. So because I'm not charging for the shoot, there's no logic in discounting the overall package price.
Second, the engagement session is critical to the kinds of pictures I make. Absolutely, totally, utterly indispensable. Even if you already have engagement pictures taken by another photographer, I will insist on another round of pictures taken by me.
Why, you ask?
My style of photography has very little to do with fancy lighting, or Photoshop or gadgetry. It's all about connecting with people.
The only want to capture intimate moments of people is to get to know them -- to connect. And that means investing the time and energy into building a real friendship. The engagement session is just the first of what I hope is many opportunities to share parts of our lives.
Finally, and just as important, my philosophy on engagement picture sessions is different from that of many photographers. I push people to find the most adventurous and creative ways possible to express themselves in these pictures. That concept often leaves couples scratching their heads, but it's no problem -- I'm here to be your guide in that process.
The end result of our hard work?