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Why I offer a Complimentary Engagement shoot for the couples who book me to photograph their wedding.

John Paul

4 min read

May 20

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 #weddingphotographer, #engagementphotography, #wisconsinphotographer, #Milwaukeephotographer, #FranklinPhotographer,



One of the reasons why I offer a complimentary engagement shoot is to learn where my couples are in terms of their physical chemistry together. Some are very natural on camera, like a fashion model. That being said, the vast majority of couples aren’t that  comfortable in front of the camera, nor are they fluid in their poses, and are in need of guidance, and direction from me to have good photo results. In addition to me helping out with verbal commands, they get to work with me before their Big Day, and learn my style and communication while working with just me, where they gain my trust and dedication to making them look good on camera.   For couples who have a friend who has a camera, who took photos of them that they would like to use for their engagement session…  that’s great..  I hope you got the results you were looking for from them. However, I’m not that friend. I am a professional photographer with over 30 years of photographing people in all kinds of shoots from fashion to families, seniors, and weddings……where at weddings I am photographing families, couples, things, babies, elderly, tall, short, thin, not so thin, bald and hairy people all the time…  etc..  Most people feel awkward in front of the camera. That’s normal. It’s actually quite abnormal to find a couple who are very photogenic, who can feel comfortable posing, and kissing, and not being concerned with what others are thinking about them or what they are doing in front of my camera. That being said, I have also learned a great deal to transform them into people who look like the couples you see in viral Pinterest photos..  (I should know.. I’ve had a few that went viral there too.) at our shoot. It happens all the time!   Also, there are specific locations that I am very familiar with, that are popular, because everyone wants to go to those places, because they are popular..… There are also some that are not so popular, that I encourage my couples to go to, because for one, they are free, do not require a permit to shoot at, nor are they heavily populated….(Like Seven Bridges for example)..  I was just there a month ago on a Saturday, where I took a picture of over 70 people at the beach..  There are parks and places where I usually never see anyone, ever, anywhere. which remain secret to me, so that other photographers won’t find those hidden gems and end up with their couples, or their couple’s families having picnics in my background. In fact, I may bring along a fire kit and have couples get cozy by a warm fire, perhaps they may roast marshmallows.. (I provide all that too)…..where there are virtually no Karens around to complain!   Recently, I was at Seven Bridges for an engagement shoot, because the couple insisted they wanted me to shoot there. If they insist, I’ll do my very best to make the shoot successful, Although it was in the end, the shoot was quite a bit more stressful than if they were at one of my “Top Secret” locations..  They didn’t anticipate the place being packed, and how that would affect them with people watching them engaging in romanic poses with each other, or coming upon them while working with me, embracing and kissing. From the feedback I hear, most couples would prefer a more secluded place to do that in. Although it was a beautiful day, with amazing colors, my couple found themselves being easily distracted by kids with their parents having to see them “making out”.. Much of the shoot time was spent waiting for other people to move along, getting away from other people who didn’t move out of our backgrounds..(it’s a public park, what do you expect? They are fee to use it as we are too!) or trying to find a place that was more secluded..    I figure I wouldn’t be doing my job the way you would want me to, if I didn’t at least mention all this in a blog post. However, you make the final decision. and I’ll just have to work a little extra harder to get good results.


  In addition to providing excellent photography and a chance to learn my couples, because everyone is different, they can get to know me, my service dedication to them, my shooting style, etc. they get a complimentary Premium Quality 16x20 photo for their guests to sign at their reception, (see the example I have in my Wedding Photography Portfolio) plus a 5-pack of Ultra-Fine Sharpie Markers that work best for writing on thick, Lustre photo paper, that is flat, not rolled up like a poster, in addition to a private gallery website for them to see the results, and let the photos talk to them about how they posed, what works best, & what didn’t work so well, so they can bring that learning experience to their wedding day, to make their photos even more priceless!

John Paul

4 min read

May 20

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