Your engagement portrait session: Tips for a relaxed and enjoyable shoot
Our engagement shoots are designed to be fun and relaxing and also a great opportunity for me to know the couple. I am a peoples person and love meeting couples and create photos that reflect their love and personalities.
These sessions differ from the usual wedding day photos as the primary focus is you and there are fewer distractions. Most importantly, there is no rush to the timeline. Here are some commonly asked questions that will help you plan your day.
Getting to know you
Photographing someone is not just taking photos. It's more about knowing them and their personalities. When you arrive, I/we introduce ourselves and get to know you and a little about your likes/dislikes. We try and find out little details like
- What makes you enjoy each other's company
- If you have a side of your face that seems more flattering to you
- Are there any postures that you like/dislike
- Are there certain photos that you want recreated. The must haves so to speak
These are just to help shoot photos which would complement you not go against your personalities.
It's ok to be nervous
Most couples we meet have never shot with a professional photographer before and they are usually nervous. Which is totally fine and natural. Top that with likely meeting someone for the first time to take photos that will last them forever. Our endeavor is always to break the ice when we arrive and make you guys feel relaxed. It's not unusual to say that in the first 5-10 minutes of the shoot you might feel out of place or even wonder what's going on. But as time goes on you feel start feeling comfortable and relaxed and actually start enjoying your session. I have seen this happen with 95% of the couples we work with. And it's OK.
Looking for interesting backgrounds
The primary focus of all photos will always be you. Locations and backgrounds complement and create an atmosphere in the photos. We look for interesting backgrounds which are both free of unnecessary elements like clutter and people. If we find something really interesting but has people in it, we might take a call if those can be photoshopped later and shoot accordingly.
We pay special attention to skies and retaining the natural texture in them. We scout and find spots which bring a sense of mood in the photos. Something that might look totally dull at the first look might be really interesting with you guys in the photo. Trees, scluptures, waterfalls, lakes and scenic views are elements that bring these all together.
What's the best time for a shoot
We are equipped and ready to shoot at almost any time of the day. That being said, the most flattering light is either in early mornings or towards evening/sunsets. Bright light often makes people squint and is certainly not the best look for photos.
What should I wear?
The best outfits are the ones you are most comfortable in. I have analyzed over the past years that if you are uncomfortable with what you wore, it will show up in the photos. Our expressions, no matter how much we try to smile, reflect our uneasiness from inside. Comfortable clothes go a long way in making you happy
Bold colors or muted colors are both nice to work with. You will stand out from the surroundings and they provide a great contrast in the photos.
Having comfortable shoes are also important as we tend to walk around a bit. Please feel free to carry a bag with anything that you might need at the shoot. I/we avoid getting bags in the shot but most places have a spot where we can keep them while posing you.
Will you pose us?
Yes and no. Stay with me... 😂
We will start by going around looking for best backgrounds and interesting spots to get the photos taken. Based on the lighting I will position you guys and frame my shot. Once everything looks good, I would ask questions that would make you guys interact naturally and feel comfortable. I avoid asking very personal questions that might make you feel uncomfortable.
As a personal preference I tend to avoid very posed and stiff photos. I feel they loose the emotion and connection altogether. My approach has always been to get the most natural and emotional expressions captured.
Don't worry if it feels too slushy or emotional. I never overhear conversations as most of the time I am at a distance. Even when you are interacting and talking, I rarely can overhear you guys as I am more focussed on making the shot.
I would suggest hugging, kissing and just having the time of your life. Engagement sessions are designed to reflect you being together and the precious feeling of having someone you're willing to spend the rest of your lives with. It's a reminder of your engagement and something you can look back at for years.
I hope this post answers most of your questions. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.