Hey y’all! I’m so excited to be here guest posting for Teresa again! I love getting to share my thoughts on photography.
I was obsessed with engagement and wedding photography long before my wedding. I can remember following all kinds of wedding blogs and pinning dream wedding photos even before Steven and I had met. Yes, I was that girl. But, to be honest my obsession was less with the idea of me getting married than it was an obsession with photography. That obsession has been growing since my dad placed my first camera in my hands.
The first time I took engagement photos, I was a nervous wreck. If I’m being honest, I still get really nervous but I have learned a thing or two about engagement photography and I’d love to share some tips with you! If that’s alright with y’all… 🙂
Get to know the couple and their wants: Regardless of whether you know the couple personally or not, it’s important to find out what they want out of their engagement pictures. Pinterest has literally made this so easy because the couple can make a board and share it with you to show what styles they like or poses. I recommend having those pins handy during the shoot as well, especially if there are specific shots that are must-haves for the couple!
Location, location, location: Choosing a location for engagement shoots can be so fun! As a piece of advice I always recommend that some part of your shoot be outdoors. Even in great lighting conditions, indoor just doesn’t have the same lighting quality as outdoor. That’s my opinion at least. This is all a part of getting to know the couple, too. Is there a place that is meaningful to them? Do they prefer open fields or industrial downtowns? Sometimes it’s great if you can get two locations in one shoot to meet both of those needs.
As a side note, when you’re taking the photos, show off that location! The zoomed out photos that show off the location are always a favorite of mine. Especially if the place has a meaning to the couple, you want to show the location off as well as showing the couple off!
For this shoot, we went to downtown Lexington, NC to a coffee shop that this groom-to-be’s brother owns. It was a place the Aimee and Clay (the couple) hung out at a lot and Clay even worked there. So when we got there I asked him to whip up some drinks for us. That gave me a chance to capture the essence of a place that meant so much to them!
Plan an activity: Unless a couple is completely natural in front of a camera, having something for the couple to do or an object to interact with makes the shoot so much easier on you. Especially for couples that are camera shy, giving them an activity helps them take the focus off of the camera and it will help them act naturally. I love having the activity part of the shoot be at the beginning of the shoot, maybe the first 30 minutes to let the couple relax and get used to me following them around.
After Clay made some drinks, I had them sit in a booth and play a game of checkers. Some of the photos I got were great because I felt like I was capturing a secret date of theirs. There was no posing and they honestly got lost in conversation and completely forgot I was there.
Another side note: I did say to stick to outdoor photos, however, in the indoor photos here I had ZERO lights on and all the windows open. But it was still a challenge to get the lighting right where as when we were outside it was so easy.
Posing: Aimee had picked out a couple of poses she wanted to make sure we got which was a huge help for me! It also showed me what level of affection they were comfortable with in their pictures. Especially if you don’t know the couple, ask if they’re comfortable kissing in their pictures. You never know, they may not be! The best advice I was given is to loosely place the couple in a pose but don’t force where there hands go or anything like that because it won’t feel natural. Instead, place one person and let the other “embrace” them in whatever way they feel comfortable. It might be holding their hand, leaning up next to them, leaning their head on a shoulder, or it might be a kiss.
Time of day: Hands down the absolute best time for photos is the hour before sunset and after sunrise. The lighting other times of the day can be super harsh which leads to terrible shadows. As another tip, overcast weather is perfect so usually any time of day in overcast lighting will be great. Sometimes the contrast in your photos can get washed out but I’ve gotten really lucky every time.
Get photos of both people individually: The couple photos are important– that part is obvious. But I learned from my own engagement and wedding photos that having photos of your groom-to-be or your new bride is wonderful. There will be plenty of photos of the couple, so don’t neglect the individual photos.
What about you? What are some tips for engagement photography? Or if you have any questions, comment below and I can address them! 🙂
If you’re interested in reading my other guest posts or following along with my blog or social media links, check out the fancy new author bio that Teresa added at the bottom of this post! All of my info is there!