Wedding photographer, Dunkin' enthusiast, and lover of all things romance and weddings.



For Brides

Engagement season is here and the weather is getting warmer (kinda sorta!) and so if you’re engaged already, you’re probably starting to think about whether you want to do an engagement session! There are so many reasons why having them done is so important and I’ll share just a few main reasons why!

All the packages in the MJMP Wedding Experience include an engagement session and I LOVE it! It’s so vital for me to have engagements done with my couples for a few reasons:


Normally when I book my couples, I would have met them at a local coffee shop or FaceTimed with them so I meet them face to face and so we aren’t complete strangers. During an engagement session, the atmosphere is more relaxed, we’re able to talk and joke around as we’re walking to different locations and preparing to start the session. I love this time with my couples because I get to see how they are with each other, if they’re naturally bubbly and joking and outgoing or if they’re more on the shy side and don’t like too much PDA 😉 This helps your photographer IMMENSLEY on the wedding day because now that we know you, we’ll know whether joking will help lighten the mood, we’ll know which side is your best side, and if you prefer candid moments or if you’d like help posing! You’ll get to know me a little more because we would have spent almost two hours together for your session and I’ll know you both better too!


Most couples don’t have professional photos taken of them often, if ever! So for most of my #mjmpcouples, this is the very first time they’ve had photos taken of them together that isn’t on an iPhone 🙂 When we begin your session, you will feel nervous and a little awkward if you aren’t normally infront of a camera. BUT I promise, by the time it’s over, you will feel like a PRO on your wedding day! The engagement session gives you both the opportunity to see how my posing workflow goes, so you already have had practice with posing and what to do with your hands (I got you, grooms!) This helps me also know what side is your best side if you have one, which poses and prompts work best for you both and how to get those genuine laughs and smiles!

MJ Mendoza Photography | Richmond VA Wedding Photographer


If there’s anything about engagements that I love, it’s when my couples really personalize them! I love hearing their love story and the things that they enjoy doing. A 2019 #mjmpbride Jennifer and her fiance Erich had their engagement photos taken at the VMFA in Richmond VA. They chose this location not just because it’s pretty but because sometimes they liked to walk their dog, Francine on the grounds of the VMFA and they live in the area. They even included their dog because that’s their fur baby! She is a part of their story and their life so it was important for us to include her in the photos too! A 2020 couple is choosing to revisit the location where Sam proposed to Katelyn in the Church Hill area in Richmond. I love being able to tell their love story in their engagement session. It’s personal to them specifically, it’s who they are as a couple. This is a huge reason why I love engagements and why they’re so important! You can choose a fun location, like where your first date was, where he proposed, where you both met… you can include your pets, you can make your session whatever you want to. It’s telling your love story.

MJ Mendoza Photography | Richmond VA Wedding Photographer


You may have been dating for years and you’re looking forward to many many more years together but now as a MARRIED couple! The time when you’re engaged is such a sweet and fun time but it’s so short of a time too! Some engagements last as long as a couple years while wedding planning and some engagements are really short (like my 1 month engagement!) so I try to remind my couples to slow down for a day and enjoy this engagement time. You’ll be able to look back at photos from your engagement session and remember how sweet it was when you were wedding planning and you both were so excited for the future. All the fun and joy you had at the session, going to a fun location in Richmond or nearby and making a date night out of it since you’re both already dressed up and having fun! 🙂

MJ Mendoza Photography | Richmond VA Wedding Photographer

Engagement sessions are so fun for myself and for my couples and they help make the wedding day easier because we both know what poses work and don’t work, we’re comfortable with each other and we know how to have FUN while taking portraits! So if you can, I always recommend doing one. Plus one last small reason: who doesn’t love getting dressed up in a cute outfit and running around fun locations with your fiance?! 🙂 Bride to be, if you’re thinking about an engagement session but not sure where to start, feel free to drop a comment below or get in touch with me HERE!

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Why Engagement Sessions are SO Important