What’s the Best Way to Photograph an Engagement?
If you are just beginning your journey as a photographer, sooner or later you will have to deal with photo shoots for couples in love. Many people prefer to choose the same specialist for engagement and wedding photo shoots. If you perform well the first time, another booking is assured. It’s also a great opportunity for you to get to know your clients well, so you can do a gorgeous wedding shoot in the future and add to your portfolio. Here we have collected some tips that can be useful for beginners and pros alike. Professional lingo is also used here, so if you haven’t studied all the photography terms yet, we recommend checking out the article on the Skylum site.
During your engagement photo shoot, you will have to face some difficulties and surprises. We hope that this material will help you to prepare properly and get the most beautiful, romantic pictures of the couple in love.
Prepare and set up all equipment
One of the rules of any successful photo shoot is to prepare in advance. Think in advance about what you need to take with you. Perhaps for this genre, you will need a nifty fifty or a different lens (some photographers prefer to take several options at once and change them depending on the circumstances). Also, think about fast or slow lenses and the right lighting. If you’re photographing in the evening, you’ll need a flash or other lighting equipment. Not sure what kind of equipment we’re talking about now? Then take a closer look at the photography-related words.
Check all camera settings and battery power. Pack your entire bag the night before the day of the photo shoot. Of course, the easiest and most affordable solution is to take pictures outdoors in natural daylight. You can also offer portraits in the studio or a photo shoot at the couple’s home, in their usual surroundings. Be sure to choose all your best equipment, because the quality of your work directly depends on it.
Have a pre-meeting
Some points need to be clarified in advance. Of course, you can have a ready-made package for an engagement photo shoot, but it is still important to take into account all the wishes of clients. You can give some recommendations from a professional point of view, but it is up to the lovers to choose the style of the shoot because it is their holiday. You can take your portfolio or examples of other photographers’ work to the meeting for inspiration. Don’t forget a notebook or tablet to take important notes. Talk to the lovers about the following points:
- What kind of photos do they want to see? If they don’t give you a definite answer, ask about their dating history, and how and when the couple decided to get married. This will help determine the style of the pictures.
- Their behavior with each other. Not all lovers will be overtly romantic. Some are more laughing, while others are more affectionate with each other. The couple’s communication style will determine their posing.
- Whether they have a special location. Very often, lovers are lost when it comes to choosing a location for a photo shoot. Perhaps they have a special location (such as the restaurant where the first date happened). This would be the most ideal option.
If the couple is connected with the chosen location by warm memories, it will create a more intimate and romantic atmosphere in the photos. Be sure to consider this factor. When communicating, you don’t have to use photographic terms, you can explain everything in simpler words.
Discuss the closet in advance
The quality of your photos directly depends on the style of your clothes. Discuss the possible closet in advance. Be sure to ask the sweethearts to take several sets of clothes with them for the engagement photo shoot. You can try to take pictures with formal casual wear and more evening options. That way you will get more variety in your shots and you will have plenty to choose from.
You don’t have to use the entire closet your clients bring with them, but it gives you more creative freedom. It’s easy to see that a person feels uncomfortable at a photo shoot because of certain clothes. Emphasize that lovebirds should feel as comfortable as possible in the outfit they choose. You can also work together with stylists and makeup artists, so the couple will look much more confident and you’ll make a great portfolio.
Look for more natural poses
If your clients are not professional models, they will have to be heavily assisted while posing. Not all couples feel comfortable showing public feelings, so you need to discuss PDA in advance. Emphasize naturalness, do not recommend poses that do not relate to the couple in any way. The engagement photo shoot should look especially sincere.
Constantly interact with clients, talk to and encourage them, so they can loosen up and behave more sincerely. If you’re trying to explain something from your professional field, you can use some of the photography-describing words.
Act like a real professional
Take your time and always stay in a positive mood. This will show that you are a really good professional and help attract more potential clients. If the couple likes you, they will recommend you to their friends and acquaintances. Don’t forget that a slightly bad picture can be corrected in a photo editor. You can try the handy Luminar Neo or another application with AI tools.
To get more dynamic shots and avoid boredom, keep the lovebirds moving. Remind them that it’s okay to move to another location rather than staying in one position. Ideally, if the shooting locations are within walking distance. Some random shots in motion turn out to be masterpieces. If you want to raise your level and use more photography terms at photo shoots, read this article on Skylum’s blog.