Every fall, many of our couples take advantage of this gorgeous season to do an engagement photo shoot. The colorful foliage and often blue and clear skies make for a great backdrop. This year, we did a number of sessions at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown as well as at the Lambert Castle in Clifton. These already unique and beautiful locations are even more stunning this time of the year.

Aside from having great looking photos, there are advantages to having an engagement photo shoot, which is why I recommend them to my clients. If you haven’t considered it or are on the fence, here are five reasons why you should do it:

1. You will take better wedding day photos.

An engagement shoot is a great opportunity to practice for your big day. Most couples have never had their photos taken together professionally, so some people may feel self-conscious or even a little bit awkward in front of the camera. An engagement shoot will allow you and your photographer to get to know each other and as a result, you will feel more relaxed in front of the camera come wedding day.

2. Make use of your bridal trial hair and makeup.

Many brides will have a trial hair and makeup session before their wedding day to determine the look and style they want. If you are already done up for the day, don’t let it go to waste–it’s the perfect time for engagement photos!

3. You can be fun and creative.

Engagement shoots are usually very casual and stress-free, it’s a great time to just be yourselves and have some fun. Many couples will use props and signs in their photos, such as displaying their wedding date on a burlap banner or even pumpkins. Unlike on your wedding day, an engagement shoot gives you plenty of time to be creative and show your uniqueness as a couple.

4. You can use the photos for many purposes.

There are so many uses for engagement photos. You can use them for save-the-dates or a guestbook. You can display enlarged prints at the reception or use them to create unique table numbers. You can also use the photos to create wedding favors and gifts.

5. Capture this special time for the memories.

Your journey for your life together started when she said “Yes!” This is a special time and having it captured in photos will serve as a wonderful keepsake for years to come.