When couples are shopping for a wedding photographer, they are also going to be looking for engagement photos. This presents you with a unique opportunity to stretch your creativity. With engagement photos, you want to capture a couple’s intimacy and the excitement of new love. You want more casual moments rather than posed shots – casual moments that let their personalities shine through.
It’s also going to be a test of your people skills. It’ll be up to you to help the couple relax and be themselves. It’ll be your job to make them feel comfortable with you and trust you. If you can project a spirit of fun and excitement, they’re more that likely going to feel like you truly share that excitement.
Wedding Photography Tips
In some cases, the success of the engagement photo session may also determine whether or not you’ll be shooting the wedding as well. Here are seven things to keep in mind that will help make your session a success.
- Get to know the couple- In your initial meeting with the couple, you’re going to want to set the tone for the engagement photo session. This is your opportunity to accomplish two main goals – a) make the couple comfortable with you, and b) learn about them as a couple and as individuals. Use your people skills to make the couple feel relaxed and open so you can build their trust. Maintain an ongoing conversation throughout so they remain comfortable. And get them to tell you their story – How did they meet? What kind of wedding are they planning? What kind of persons are they as individuals?
What kind of future do they hope to have together?- The more information you can glean from your initial meeting, the more creativity you’re going to be able to put into the shoot.
- Make them comfortable with being affectionate- Get the couple to open up and more affectionate – engagement photography tips Get the couple to open up and be more affectionate One good way to make the couple feel comfortable with the idea of being photographed is to take some warm-up shots. Many people feel awkward in front of the camera, so by working in a few random warm- up pictures you can often break the ice so more natural moments can shine through.
Sometimes public displays of affection are awkward, but when a couple has just become engaged, the excitement of the wedding ahead and the thrill of the new life they’re about to begin is still fresh. Capture that freshness by encouraging them to be openly affectionate with each other. Look for unique ways they display their affections for each other too. And pick settings for the shoot that will help them feel comfortable with being affectionate with one another.
- Watch and learn
Another fun way to get compelling shots is to get the couple to talk about each other. Encourage them to look at each other while they talk so that affection will come out. Give them fun topics to talk about, like some embarrassing moments they’ve shared or listing things they find special about each other. The idea is to get them to discuss fun and intimate details in as animated a manner as possible, which will give you compelling subjects to photograph. And by keeping the conversation upbeat and fun, you’ll keep them relaxed so those intimate moments come to the fore.
- Build intimacy with the shot
Remember that you’re capturing their intimacy. No matter how affectionate they are with each other, if you’re too far away you’re not going to capture that intimate moment visually. When the moment calls for it, get in close with a variety of angles that will help reveal the joy of their new relationship. Encourage their interaction and make sure they keep the eye contact directed at each other so you can capture those intimate, natural moments instead of trying to pose stiff, contrived shots. engagement photography tips – get close with shot
- Build a visual collage of their unique love story
If you did a good job in your initial meeting with the couple, you learned enough details to make these a part of the engagement photo shoot. Every couple has a great story about how they met. Find a way to
Capture that when you’re planning on where to shoot – maybe stage the photo shoot where they met. Or maybe there is a place that’s special to the two of them that would make an ideal location. There are other details that make this couple different from others you’ll shoot. Find ways to weave these details into a visual representation that tells their story in a few well-chosen shots.
- Listen to their ideas
Often the bride-to-be will bring some ideas to the initial meeting. And sometimes the groom might toss an interesting, spur of the moment idea out for consideration. For that matter, be open to inspiration as you orchestrate the shoot. Great ideas may come out of their interaction with each other – and if you’ve developed a level of comfort and trust with them, the ideas are going to flow. They’ll get excited and inspired, and that can feed your creativity. Don’t be so set with your pre-arranged plan that you cut off access to some wonderful spontaneity.
- Let your personality shine
Your personality will make or break the success of the engagement photo shoot. The more engaging you are, the more fun you can make the session – the more that is going to come out in your pictures. It’s an exciting time for this couple – feed and nurture that excitement by letting them see how much you share it. Fun is contagious and the more fun you have, the more you’ll elevate their enjoyment. Let them see you responding to their budding relationship, and the three of you will build a bond that will result in an interesting and creative photo session that will be more than a collection of pictures – it will provide the couple with a visual story of their new relationship that they will treasure for a lifetime.
- Taking unexpected photographs
When taking wedding photos, not all couples are happy with just the ‘poses’, sometimes people want some natural looking photos to remember their day by and this is where taking some unexpected photographs comes in. You should try to take a few pictures of the happy couple when they are relaxed and they are not posing for you. You should try to catch the couple when they are not expecting you to- don’t sneak up behind them and scare them, you should be nonchalant, as if you are not even there and you might find that some of the best pictures that you take on the day, are of the couple when they are sharing a private moment with each other.
- Bring nervous couples to ease before photographing them.
Not all couples are as willing to stand and pose, and some couples can be quite nervous and camera shy. There is no set way to help them to get over their fear of the camera, but as a professional it is imperative that you help your couple to relax enough so that you can get some great pictures. There are a few methods which you can try which may help to relax a nervous couple. First of all, you should have a good understanding of the different people whom you photograph. You need to realize that some couples will be easier to work with than others and remember, they are paying for you to take their photos so you should be patient and calm, and never loose your temper with them! You should also remember that first impressions are key. You should try to make the couple relax in your company from the outset, with a smile and a warm hand shake, be happy and genuine and you will find the couple relaxing in your company. You should also be sure to talk to the couple a lot, show your interest in them
and strike up conversations. You shouldn’t have to pretend that you are happy for them! All of these factors will help your couple to relax.
- Look like a part of the group
When attending somebody else’s wedding, you should remember that you are a guest there who is being paid to take photographs and you should make sure that you look the part. You should dress smartly, preferably in a suit and you should always make sure that you mingle well with the guests and make sure that people are comfortable with you so that you fit in. another important tip to remember is that you should always come alone- unless you have a professional assistant. Remember, this is a
business and the couple are your clients so don’t think that you can just bring along a friend or a partner to the wedding for some company. This is a job and you should remember that and be professional and courteous.
- Take lots of photos
One tip which should be quite obvious is that you should aim to take as many photos as you can. You can never have too many photographs and when it comes to editing them and getting them ready for printing for the couple, you will find that you have dozens to choose from and you can pick the best so that your clients are very pleased with the result. Make sure that you take several memory cards just for this reason, back up battery packs and anything else that you need to make sure that your camera continues to click away throughout the entire day.
- Keep your images safe
One of the most important things when it comes to wedding photographs is saving the images which you take and keeping them safe. When it comes to weddings, you are never going to be able to re capture the moments that you have shot and this can lead to a very un- happy couple! One problem which could affect the safety of your images is data corruption. If this occurs while you are in the middle of your shoot, then take out the memory card and replace it with a spare (always carry more than one memory card when using digital cameras) You might also find that when you download your images onto your computer, you can run into a few problems with a memory card corruption- but you shouldn’t despair because there are ways for you to save your images with software such as Photo Rescue. So make sure that you invest in some excellent software before you go on your wedding shoot.
- Remove your secondary photos
Once you have safely stored and backed up your raw images, then you should think about removing any photographs which you do not think are good enough for the couple to see. You should begin by creating a folder for all of your secondary or rejected photos and then move any images which you do not think would make good memories- such as an embarrassing position, motion blur or out of focus- and put them into your secondary folder. Be sure not to remove too many shots because you will want to give as many photographs to the couple as possible.
- Remember this is a serious business and you should know your stuff
One very important factor that you should remember when it comes to being a professional wedding photographer is that this is a serious business and not just for you. Wedding photos are very important to the happy couple, and people will pay big bucks for pictures that they can look back on and enjoy, so you need to take your job very seriously. If you act like a professional, then you will relax your couple and end up with some really good photographs that will really boost your clientele. If you are not serious about being a wedding photographer then you shouldn’t be doing it- a wedding is one of the biggest days in people’s lives and you need to be able to capture the memories professionally and creatively.