Today I am going to let you take a peek into how I work with couples, and how I direct them into poses that don’t look cheesy or staged. Engagement sessions are really important to me, as they allow me to know the likes and dislikes of the couples I get to photograph. I always offer a complimentary engagement session with my wedding collections. This is extremely important to me, as it helps me better understand my clients’ personalities and how to better prepare for their wedding day. Most couples I work with had never worked with a professional photographer before and don’t really know what to do (especially if they are camera shy). Here are a few tips I recommend for getting the most out of an engagement session!
Choose the right location
I always encourage my couples to choose a location that is significant to them, whether it be the place where they first met, got engaged or just enjoy going to on dates. This usually helps the engaged couple get more relaxed and comfortable in front of my lens as soon as we arrive at the photoshoot site. If they have a connection with the location we are shooting at, they tend to be more in their element, therefore, more relaxed.
Lauren and Wayne chose to have their engagement pictures taken in a local record store where Wayne would often stop while visiting Lauren in Lynchburg, VA.
Don’t pose, guide
Encourage spontaneity and let your subjects just be… themselves! I try to bring a photojournalistic approach to both lifestyle and wedding photography. I believe in the emotion that can be transmitted through an image, and always choose candid shots over posed ones. I like to direct my subjects, rather than pose them, and this always pays off. My clients feel more relaxed and more in their element, therefore, their images end up being more natural, and not rigid.
Engage with your subjects
While sometimes I prefer using a longer lens to give my clients more privacy, once they get comfortable in front of the camera, I switch to my 85 mm lens (my absolute favorite portrait lens) and engage with my subjects. We talk, we laugh, we have fun! It is not unusual for my hubby to crack a few jokes during our photo sessions, in order to get a natural and genuine reaction from our couples. At the end of the day, these turn out to be my favorite photos from a session.
These are just a few of the tricks I use in order to get the most genuine reactions from my couples. I would love to hear how you go about photographing engagements. What kind of tricks are you implementing?
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