I had this theory that, if you were looking for a photographer you'd want, no, NEED to know what this guy/gal would be like BEFORE your big day. That's why I let all of my brides and grooms have a complimentary engagement session with me before their big day.
Some photographers have said to me, "isn't it a total waste of your time?" or "you should charge for these sessions, you're not a charity!". These photographers clearly don't have the same ethos as me as I think the session is hugely important! For me, the meeting isn't just about getting to know each other, it's about building a real relationship between you and me.
It's so vital that you feel calm and relaxed in front of the camera as it will show in the final pictures. Please take a look through some these photos from a few of my recent engagement sessions, the customers look relaxed, chilled out and ready to have some beautiful pictures taken. This is because not ten minutes before I was having a joke, a laugh and a good honest conversation with them.
Don't just take my word for it either. Here's what some of my customers have to say about the engagement shoots;
Did you enjoy the complimentary engagement session with Matt?
"Absolutely- it gave us a good idea of his style and was nice to get to know him first" - Kate and Ash, Coventry.
"Yes, it really helped us feel relaxed when it came to the big day, as we now had some experience in front of the camera" - Chris and Rose, Oswestry.
How did Matt make you feel at the engagement session?
"The engagement session was a good way for us all to meet and it was good for us to discuss what we wanted from our wedding day. The engagement shot allowed us to experiment with some styles of pictures we may wish to use at the wedding. We also had the opportunity to tell matt what we wanted from our day and what pictures we wanted" - Julia and Chris, Solihull.
"Almost instantly, we felt at ease with Matt. We laughed and joked the whole way through. It felt as if we'd known him for years!" - Kate and Ash, Coventry
"Relaxed and less awkward in front of the camera. We liked how Matt suggested scenes and settings but also asked for our input" - Chris and Rose, Oswestry.
I also asked some of the brides who booked me, how much would they expect to pay for an engagement session such as the one I offer, most of them suggesting anywhere between £100 and £200. The actual price of an engagement session without booking your wedding is £99.
So, are complementary engagement sessions really worth it? I think so.