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Should You Book an Engagement Photo Shoot with Your Elopement Photographer?

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Why You Should Book an Engagement Shoot with Your Elopement Photographer

For many couples out there, the question of “Should we elope” rings in their heads. 

They know they want intimacy, a day that’s fully dedicated to them, and the opportunity to say their vows in a place that makes them feel alive. But sometimes, getting from the desire to have those things to actually having those things can be a big leap.

Thankfully, there are lots of resources out there to help educate and encourage couples to do what they want on their wedding day –so that pool of people who wonder, “Should we just go for it and elope?” is getting smaller and smaller. And often, the answer is a resounding yes. (A fact I’m totally thrilled about). 

Still, even for those couples who aren’t questioning whether or not to elope, another big question is still on the table–what should we do about engagement photos

My advice? Hire your elopement photographer to capture some stunning and sentimental shots for you. 

As an elopement photographer (who also captures all kinds of intimate couples’ sessions, like engagement shoots!), I’m a big supporter of hiring a photographer to capture engagement photos for you–preferably the photographer you’d like to hire for your elopement.

Why is this such an important and exciting thing to do? That’s exactly what this blog is here to hammer out for you. 

A lot of couples tend to think that engagement photos happen for one of two very specific circumstances:

  1. Surprise engagement photos where one person doesn’t know the proposal is coming 
  2. Photos for couples who need images for their traditional wedding invitations 

Both of those things are super valid reasons to opt for an engagement shoot–but they’re definitely not the only reasons to have one. 

There are tons of reasons to hire a photographer and have engagement photos taken that don’t fit into those two categories. 

Maybe you and your partner want to soak in these few moments of being engaged–that beautiful little interim before you say your vows and become spouses. Maybe you both want an opportunity to celebrate your love for each other through this unique lens. Maybe you simply want photos taken because that’s a thing you both enjoy doing. 

There’s no wrong reason for hiring someone to capture engagement photos for you–and even more importantly, there’s no wrong way to go about it, either. 

Want my spin on this? I think it’s an incredible opportunity to have those photos captured by someone who’s either already booked or you might want to book for your elopement day. 

Obviously, I’m very pro-capture-all-those-important-moments–no matter who’s taking the photos. That means even if you don’t hire your elopement or wedding photographer to take these, they should still be captured. 

But I also think your engagement photos could be a fabulous opportunity to hype yourselves up for your wedding day. 

Here are a few reasons I think it’s a great idea to hire your elopement photographer to capture your engagement photos, too! 


A man kneels down to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal during their engagement photo shoot.


You’ll Get a Chance to Get to Know Your Elopement Photographer

Obviously, your engagement photos are about your and your partner above all–but if you hire your elopement photographer to capture them, you get the fringe benefit of getting acquainted with your photographer before your wedding day. 

You can see how they like to work, what sort of direction they provide, and, importantly, how you feel about them capturing your big day. 

It can act like a meet and greet of sorts–you get to experience what it’s like to work with them, and they get to know you and understand what’s comfortable for you both. 


Get Your Photo Jitters Out

Consider this a practice round–but like, a fun and exciting practice round where you end up with stunning photos you’ll always cherish. It’s no secret that sometimes being in front of the camera can be a little uncomfortable at first. There’s no shame in the fact that it can take a minute to warm up, let loose, and be yourself. 

This time period could be a touch longer if you’re just getting to know your photographer or hanging out in front of the lens for the first time. 

Listen, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you’ll be awkward on your elopement day if you don’t have an engagement session (because that’s simply not true!). But if you’re already nervous about warming up in front of the camera and being yourself, it might be really helpful for you to have a practice round! 


You Might Be More Comfortable & Less Stressed on Your Elopement Day 

If you know what to expect on your elopement day (from a photo perspective, at least), you can invest more time and energy into mindfulness. Stress is the very reason most people choose to forgo big, traditional weddings and opt for elopements (which inherently tend to be less stressful in general). 

If you find that the idea of photos or capturing images of you could trigger stress, engagement photos could be the perfect way to address those concerns head-on, quell your anxiety, and allow you to relax fully on your elopement day when the lens comes out. 


A man and woman lean in close on a mountain cliffside during golden hour during their engagement photoshoot.


You’ll Have Engagement Photos to Cherish Forever 

This is my all-time favorite reason for couples to get engagement photos. The entire point of distilling moments into photos is so that you can hold onto them forever, launch yourself back into those emotions, and savor the nostalgia of it all. 

The small period of time when you’re engaged is a moment that deserves to be celebrated, enjoyed, and cherished–capturing these moments permanently and keeping them with you forever is something both you and your partner deserve to experience. 


It’s the Perfect Chance to Connect with Your Partner 

If you have an engagement photo session–especially one that maybe mimics the goals of your elopement day–you’re gifting yourselves a chance to reconnect, bond, and focus entirely on the upcoming elopement. 

This isn’t like a planning day, though–it’s a chance to slow down, soak it in, and remind each other that the best day of your lives is happening so soon. With your engagement session, you can really experience that connection together–feel what it might be like to have someone capture you in your element, sample what a day like that feels like, and explore how you can make your elopement day even better


Want to Capture the Magic of Your Engagement? I Can Help 

Technically, I’m an elopement photographer–but really, I’m all about capturing meaningful moments for couples. And to me, that means any and every moment that matters–couple sessions, engagement photos, wedding days, and more.

If you’re looking to preserve your precious moments as an engaged couple in photos, I’m here to help–whether I’m booked for your elopement or not!  Reach out to me with all your questions, ideas, and inspiration–I’m here to help you create and capture images you’ll want to remember forever. 

Join the Facebook Community, Mindful Elopements, filled with free resources, free videos, engaging conversations and questions, and other couples that are exactly like you, in the same place, trying to book an adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer.



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Alex, Coastal Elopement

"We loved our experience having Marcela as our elopement day photographer.

What was even more special about our experience was her ability to set us at ease months before our day. Through constant communication leading up to, and during, the day we got eloped. Her personality is that, in just four days time, we felt as if we've known her for years. 

Ah, but you're wondering about her photos. We loved every thing about them especially the raw emotion captured in many of the shots."

Caitlin, Alpine Lake Elopement

"My husband and I have been trying to put into words how simply amazing working with Marcela was.

From the start we could tell she truly cared about us, our relationship, and our story. She asked us so many questions, valued what we wanted, and kept up with the ever changing plans that came along with planning a wedding.

She made us feel so comfortable, made us laugh till we cried, and captured our true wholesome love for each other."

"We loved every moment of the day she helped create. Marcela was the perfect photographer for our adventure elopement! She worked tirelessly to make our adventure into marriage happen after our first options were snowed in! Great Sand Dunes felt like the perfect unique place for two Floridians who met in the mountains.

She made us comfortable to be ourselves throughout the whole day while making her job look effortless and fun. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, laughing and a few tears.

Marcela captured every precious moment! Her photography is absolutely stunning every way! I highly recommend Marcela for your elopement or wedding!"

Lauren, Sand Dunes Elopement

Amy, Forest Elopement

"Instead of telling us how to pose or interact with each other, Marcela gave us prompts that seemed simple but made a huge difference.

She asked us to talk about our first date. We discussed the weirdest things we loved about each other (which made us laugh) and how we could fulfill each other’s love languages. Amy and I played games with each other and Marcela captured the energy that happened naturally between us.

I love this shoot because it perfectly captures the love we share. It’s incredible to see that love and admiration encapsulated in a photo! Thank you for this!"

Chris, Anniversary Session

"The photos we just got back from Marcela are giving me CHILLS!! They are absolutely stunning!!!

She did SO MUCH more than just photograph us — she created special moments that I’ll cherish forever. She encouraged Con & I to genuinely interact & share intimate moments together. She prompted us to tell each other things that we love about one other, ways that the other person inspires us, & how being together has positively changed us.

It was more than just a beach shoot. We ended up giving each other precious, heart melting encouragement & that makes these photos all the more treasured to me."

Andrea, Red Rocks Elopement

"We had a pre-meet with her before the big day which definitely helped me feel more relaxed going into the wedding day. She gave us great suggestions and things to think about to be ready with on the wedding. On the day of she showed up early to help scope out the venue. She was creative to try and pull extra joy into our photographs.

When I look at these photos I see more than just beautiful images. I feel the moments that Marcela helped us experience and the connection we had.

I can't thank Marcela enough! We will treasure these moments forever!"

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A couple looks out on a mountain vista during their engagement photo shoot with their elopement photographer.


Should You Book an Engagement Photo Shoot with Your Elopement Photographer?