Today portrait photographer Christina N Dickson shares tips on how to shoot engagement portraits. Christina’s work can be found at www.ChristinaNicholePhotography.com.
Shooting engagement portraits are perhaps some of the most enjoyable for photographers. Most often, they are taken before the whirlwind of wedding planning is fully underway, and the couple is still quite enamored with one another. How do you take advantage of this time and produce incredible images? Follow these few steps to achieve real and vibrant engagement portraits.
1. Be involved!
As a photographer, you must keep your people skills sharp. With engagement photos, you have to do your research on the couple you are photographing. What are they like as a couple? What are they like as individuals? What is their wedding going to be like? How did they meet? This is going to affect the way you want to build your images and portray them.
2. Encourage affection!
Rather than posing each shot, ie, “okay, now you kiss her cheek!” encourage your couple to show as much affection as possible. Every couple does certain things to show one another love. If you want to capture them accurately, you will urge this type of interaction.
3. Be observant!
A couple is most natural when they are focusing on one another. Try to direct the shoot by suggesting they talk to one another, telling one another most embarrassing moments, or 5 things they love about each other– topics that will pull out expression, interaction, and affection.
4. Remember that space determines relationship!
If a couple is leaning in for a kiss, or walking arm in arm, you will be able to communicate a message of intimacy. Sometimes you can get sweet shots with contrast and tension in the picture by placing the couple far apart in the frame, but be sure that this is your purpose if your going to do it.
5. Tell a story.
No love story is the same. Find unique traits about the couple, and then pull this out in the creation of your images. If the couple is perfectly at ease with one another because they have been best friends for 10 years, you can create images with a laid back and contented feel. If the couple has had a whirlwind romance after meeting on e-harmony.com, it will be natural to pull out the affection and passion of their relationship
6. Be open to suggestions!
Often times the bride to be will have an idea for a shot she will suggest to you before hand. Other times her fiancé may think of an idea on the spot during the shoot. If you can integrate these ideas into your shooting, you will delight the couple, and possibly find yourself inspired by new ideas.
7. Be personable!
If you get to know your couple, and allow them to fall in love with your personality and style, you have a good chance of booking them for a wedding also. Your job is not only to take good pictures, but also to give them a fabulous time they will remember for the rest of their lives.