Why We Include An Engagement Session in Our Collections

Engagement Session in Half Moon Bay
Christina & Anthony share a sweet moment on a beach in Half Moon Bay

When we put our 2017 collection together, we wanted to do something a little differently. After a few years of offering engagement sessions as an add on to our packages, we noticed something interesting: the couples who booked an engagement session with us felt more comfortable and confident being in front of the camera on the day of their wedding than those that didn’t. We began to dig deeper into why that was happening.

Wedding Day Elopement at SF City Hall
Andrew & Claudia share a special moment at SF City Hall

We began to see the value in engagement session- not just as something to be used as part of your save the dates and wedding stationery, but as something much more powerful than that. We become much more invested in the love stories of the couples who chose to do an engagement session. We were able to learn WHY they fell in love and learn more about each of them. When couples only booked us for weddings, we were just another faceless vendor and we didn’t know as much about them to create unique and special works of art for them.


At an engagement session, we meet the two of you earlier than your session is scheduled, to get to know you a little better and hear more about the two of you. Knowing the why and how you fell in love teaches us about you and how our photographs can tell your story.

We’ll pick a beautiful spot that has a special meaning to you- whether it’s a place you met or the spot of your first date or where you got engaged. Before the session starts, we’ll teach you some easy posing tricks so that you’ll spend less time worrying about what to do with your hands or where you should be looking and more time snuggling up close to your fiance. Your session is all about relaxing and being able to set everything aside and savor the moment together.

Our goal for each engagement session is for you to walk away from it feeling as if you’ve just fallen more and more in love with your partner and excited for your wedding day.


Wedding in Ukiah CA
Chelsea & Josiah had so many romantic moments on the day of their wedding!


In learning some simple posing ahead of time, the nervousness on the day of the wedding dissipates, leaving you more relaxed the day of the wedding. You already know us and have had a chance to be in front of a camera for longer than a few minutes.

We are not a vendor that you see only once before the wedding at your consultation meeting. Planning your wedding is a journey and we want to be there to help and to document this amazing time in your life.

Ok, confession time: when Paul and I were planning our wedding, we did an engagement session with our friend Lee. Even professional photographers can feel awkward being in front of the camera! Even after all the couples we helped pose, we still felt like we didn’t know what to do with our hands. After about 15 minutes, we began to loosen up and our poses became much more natural. It was all because we were getting used to being photographed and learning how our photographer worked. On the day of the wedding, even though there was chaos with the storm and all their heightened emotion of the day, we were confident in our photographer because we had already worked with him before and trusted him to handle all the craziness of our day. If we had not had an engagement session, we would have felt totally stressed the day of our wedding and worried that he wasn’t going to capture everything.


Engagement Session at Joaquin Miller Park
Leila & Calvin walking through the park


We have absolutely adored our experience so far with Nautilus Photography! Nicole & Paul are so professional, knowledgeable and totally easy going with whatever requests we throw at them! We have gotten so many compliments on our engagement photos. So many, in fact, that the excitement surrounding our upcoming wedding has skyrocketed! It is reassuring to know that no shot or angle is missed. They have the sharpest eyes when it comes to what looks perfect. We can’t wait to see what shots and ideas they will come up with on our big day!” Christina + Anthony


Paul and Nicole are professional and very experienced. They showed up early and were bursting with great ideas. They made the experience a lot of fun. Nicole even climbed a tree to get the perfect angle during our engagement shoot! Best of all, I felt like they really listened to what mattered to us. My husband and I had very clear ideas of what we wanted in our pictures and not only did they get every shot we asked for but they added hundreds more that were breathtaking. “ Chelsea + Josiah



After discovering how much engagement sessions helped our clients, we changed our business model. It is important to us that we serve your needs and give you the best possible experience! Instead of a wholly A La Carte menu of items, we created collections that would guarantee happier couples and more unique and timeless photographs that tell their whole story. We are honored to be telling your story and see the value in helping you along the way. You are not just clients, you are friends.

Want to learn more about our collections? Click HERE.

Get started capturing your love story today!