Hi Everyone – I’m Mary Jane, a wedding photographer in Santa Barbara, California. One of my absolute favorite parts of the entire wedding process is the engagement session. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, it’s a fun, casual shoot that you do before the wedding. Most photographers include the session in their packages, but if yours doesn’t, you should definitely inquire about it.
My sessions usually end up at the beach at sunset, but I think it’s fun to really make the session something meaningful. I love to capture couples doing something they love, whether it’s tennis, riding beach cruisers or just hanging out with a cup of coffee. I really want to capture the very essence of what makes my clients click, what makes them laugh and what makes them love.
The engagement session for me is kind of like a dress rehearsal. The couple gets to feel what it’s like to be photographed and I get to get to know them as a couple. That way, on the wedding day, I feel like I’m just an old friend with a really expensive camera. It also gives them a chance to get to know how I work and really see how easy and fun it is to be photographed! By the end of the session we NEVER want to stop shooting – they are ALWAYS so much fun – the photographs do not lie!
A lot of times my couples will use the photos for their Save the Dates, invitations, reception photos or guest book. It’s really fun to make the engagement session into an album with lots of white space and have your guests sign the album. My husband and I did this for our wedding and it is our favorite thing to look at to this day! We love it and I know any couple would.
So, just some friendly advice to any newly engaged couple – take advantage of your engagement session! Give some real thought to places and activities that are special to you and will help define you as a couple. This will allow your photographer to truly capture your spirit and a glimpse of who you are.



Loved the tree. The faded edges work and the girl being carried scene looks convincing enough. Good work.

love this! 🙂
mary jane you’re awesome! love how you love what you do! 🙂 🙂
the engagement session is my favorite part too!!!
beautiful photographs as always.
xoxo | katee grace 🙂