Well, all those “To Do” guides available – including this one can only share a few helpful insights into what you can achieve with your surroundings and the subject.

The exact outcome should ideally depend upon what the situations present you at the spur of the moment.

Photography is a creative art and that said, it goes without saying that real test clearly will be the D-day and for that matter, every day is a D-Day for the photographer.

So, let’s get started with this guide on engagement photography…

CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1

Guide To Engagement Photography

CHAPTER 2

Make Sure You Capture the Relationship

CHAPTER 3

Go For trial Runs

CHAPTER 4

A few More Tips That May be Helpful

CHAPTER 5

Things That Most Photographers tend To Miss Out

CHAPTER 1

Guide To Engagement Photography

Getting engaged is one of the prominent aspects of one’s life.

Whether you are a photographer or the couple, engagement is what brings in a lot of excitement and option for experimentation. 

Actually, an engagement will offer better opportunities for you as a photographer than a wedding photography.

In fact, almost all couples want to go for an engagement session before the wedding. In many cases, photographers may want to market engagement photography as a separate product or sell it as part of the wedding photography.

No matter how you present the two of them, there are a few golden rules you are expected to follow so as to come up with a truly engaging session of engagement photography.

CHAPTER 2

Make Sure You Capture the Relationship

Remember one thing.

The Engagement has nothing to do with the wedding.

No, don’t get us wrong, but the focus should not be on the wedding as the theme for the engagement photography.

Try to be different, bring up the nuances of the relationship between the couple. How they met, how did they propose to each other and how did the relationship progressed – waiting to be solemnised through wedding – these are what you should focus on as an engagement photographer.

The Place

Yes, this is going to be quite important. Of course, you can choose a location that is awesomely beautiful – something from dreams. But, does that relate to the couple? It would be advisable to have a talk with the couple and choose a place that has a tale to tell.

What does that mean? Well, the location should be what the couple should relate them to. That they can relate to their relationship.

How about an engagement photo session somewhere they normally spend their quality time together? Or the one where they first met. Choose the favorite locations that the couple cherish. These can indeed spice up the theme and in fact, have a relationship to what they share between them.  

Let Them Be Individualistic

Of course, the couple has fallen in love and vow to stay together throughout the life. But, what about their individuality? In fact, rather than focusing on the couple as a bride and groom – the focus should be on their individual sides.

Opt for a relaxed setting for your engagement photos. In fact, in sharp contrast to the wedding photography – engagement photography gives you a huge room to be creative. In essence, the engagement photos should weave a story about how the couple fell in love with each other. Highlighting the individualistic nature of the couple will help you enhance the settings further.

CHAPTER 3

Go For trial Runs

Confused? We are not pointing you to go for rehearsals.

But, a properly done engagement session can help you share a closer bond on the wedding day.

In fact, you may not get the chance to practice for your wedding day, but the engagement session is entirely different.

You can go through a few trial sessions with a few settings and interwoven stories to get a better effect. Who knows, this compatibility can even further enhance your photographic performance on the wedding day!

Wardrobe

This is an area with which you can try out different options before the actual shoot. Of course, the couple will ask you for your suggestions on what will look good on camera. You can provide your tips as you are well aware of what is good in a particular setting.

Newlyweds posing for photos in a field of giant sunflowers

Agreed, no matter what you suggest – the couple will finally wear what they like the most or what they are comfortable with. Even then, you can provide a few suggestions so that the final setting will be up with a few firecrackers. It would be better to suggest your clients to wear what suits their personality.

The best trick would be to opt for a dress change in the middle of the session. Changing between the casuals and formals can provide the best-desired looks. In fact, we prefer our couples to be best in the casuals. It will bring up the real them instead of those “made up” looks.

Hair Do

The bride should ideally go for a hairdo and a makeup session just before the engagement session. This will also help them detach from whatever that may be occupying their mind and relax in the atmosphere.

The hairdo session for the engagement session will also help your hairdresser and make-up artist to understand your client better. Hairstyling should match the theme you have chosen for your engagement photo session. Of course, ensure that there is not much of a difference between the look on the engagement day and the wedding day.

CHAPTER 4

A few More Tips That May be Helpful

Well, an engagement photography session is completely different from what you would be experiencing on the wedding day.

The wedding day can be gruelling – both for the photographer and the couple.

You have all the time at your disposal to help them get cosy and be themselves.

Engagement photography session will also help you get to know your clients quite well. This camaraderie can be helpful in working out a good amount of photography session on the wedding day. In fact, engagement photography can go a long way in promoting the trust and rapport between the couples. It will also help you get to know them better.

How about checking out a few tips here?

Be Simple and Basic

A married couple at the beach, wearing wedding rings, holds hands on the sand

The engagement poses should be basic in nature so that you can get a better rapport. Keeping the tasks simple is the key to better photography.

Reserve those special and dramatic poses for the wedding day. Staying basic and opting for the simple approach can be the right thing you can opt while opting for engagement photography. In fact, this approach can also be comfortable for the future bride and groom.

Go for the Best Light

The lighting plays an important role in shooting your engagement images. In fact, if you are an expert photographer, you should be aware of the term referred to as Golden Hour. The one hour period just before the sunset or an hour after the sunrise are termed as the best natural lighting for the photography.

Use the fact that you can choose your own lighting conditions for your engagement shoot to your benefit. You may not be able to choose the right kind of light on the wedding day. In case, your clients are not comfortable with the right lighting conditions – you can make use of the artificial lighting for getting the right kind of functionality.

An Excellent Interaction

The interaction between the couple is what can add more value to the shots in your engagement photography session. Agreed – the couple may or may not be comfortable with the each other or may be not as acquainted as you may be expecting them to be.

Get your clients to interact with each other in the most possible romantic way, but ensure that it does not look artificial. Of course, if they tend to have respect and commitment towards each other you can definitely expect it showing up in their behaviour. Have a keen eye to pick out those subtle signs and shoot them right away. Holding hands and similar other intimate gestures can be quite great moments for an effective shoot. Take care not to go beyond a certain limit when capturing the intimate moments. There should not be something that your clients would not like showing their grandchildren.

Focus on the natural Landscape

The natural landscape is another option that can improve the performance of your engagement shoots. You may use the surroundings as props. If you can locate good surroundings in your engagement venue, they can be an added advantage.

The natural greenery around your venue should go a long way in aiding you to add that extra touch to your shots and this will help you add visual interest also.

Focussing on the natural surroundings can help you add up a few dramatic effects to your engagement photography. Wedding photography will not provide you with this freedom. Possibly, these shots can work great value to the wedding album.

Preview and Connect with the Couple

By the term “Preview the Couple” we mean understanding and getting well with the couple. They are your clients and it is essential that you should get to know the couple in a better way. You can consider meeting them up for a cup of coffee or chat over the phone.

If you can get to know the couple and their chemistry, you would be able to create a few masterpieces with ease. Make sure that the couple keeps connected to each other throughout the engagement shoot. Even when they may not be comfortable, it is your duty as an experienced photographer to make them feel comfortable. If you can achieve it, your work is halfway done.

No Issues with PDA

PDA or Public Display of Affection should not be an issue as long as engagement photography is concerned. It isn’t like most of your other shoots where your subjects may not be ready for intimate sequences.

Engagement shoots are all about romance and love. Being playful, kissing, holding hands or hugging should not be an issue as such. Going touchy feely should be in the air as long as the culture permits. In fact, you should make them comfortable so that you can create a few shoots quite personal and amoral.

Use Burst Shots as much as Possible

Engagement shooting can be quite difficult as you would need to get the couple INTO the mood. It is possible that the couple could be nervous initially while you take their poses. They may tend to loosen up as soon as the shot is taken and thus may smile, laugh or exchange a cute look between themselves. Never ever miss them out.

These are the moments a photographer will always cherish. Never lose out on those shots as they tend to be the most natural moments you may not be able to get by any sort of direction. Using the burst shots constantly will ensure that you will never lose those special moments.

Keep Talking to Them

Making the couple comfortable is the key to get a few good shots when you are shooting for an engagement. For most of us, the engagement tends to be the first and only once in a lifetime affair. They may not be comfortable and tend to be nervous. That’s a thing we have been repeatedly focussing on throughout this tutorial.

Tend to be as much vocal as possible. Keep talking to them and indulge in conversations with them to loosen them up. You can suggest them a few engaging poses. Crack jokes and help them create a friendly atmosphere. Most of the couples would expect you to direct them. Try to come up with something really creative. Take inputs from the couple on what they are comfortable with.

CHAPTER 5

Things That Most Photographers tend To Miss Out

Well, most of the top 10 kinds of tips explain the most typical of the ideas.

Many of the tutorials tend to come up with only a few obvious tips and options.

A host of these suggestions and tips include most of the aspects we have already covered in the above paragraphs.

How about checking out a few things that are overlooked most of the time? Not that the following tips have not been discussed anywhere. But they tend to be mostly overlooked. That is precisely why we plan to explain the not so obvious tips for your benefit.

Pick A Capable Assistant

Well, you will look for an assistant on the D-Day because that is a shoot that requires a whole lot of accessories and lighting arrangement. Your assistant can be quite helpful in handling a lot of tasks.

In addition to helping you out in carrying the equipment and with other tasks like lighting, the assistant can also take care of the necessary settings.

It would work wonders if you choose a professional photographer as your assistant. He will be able to provide you with suggestions on the intricate photography tricks also. You can join them in as an assistant in their photography assignments.

Flexibility is the Key

Bride's hand wearing wedding ring sits on groom's hand in Chattanooga

Never be rigid with your photography sessions and schedules … be ready to accept the suggestions from your clients. Not that the suggestions would be practical and excellent in every case, but they can be interesting and inspirational at times.

Be ready to accommodate the suggestions and inputs from your clients. No matter who the idea comes from – be ready to accept it based on the practicability of the suggestions and tips. You may consider modifying and improving upon their tips. In essence, being ready to be flexible can go a long way in producing quality shots.

Focus on Lesser Locations and Better Shots

Bride and groom's hands touching over wedding bouquet

It is not necessary to go with more locations to get better shots. A single session will not be able to cover everything that your client is looking ahead to. Thus opting for fewer locations and working to get the full potential of this location will be what can produce really excellent engagement album.

In fact, focusing on a couple of locations and giving it a complete attention can go a long way in creating a few really wonderful shots. Rather than jumping to multiple locations in a matter of few hours and not being able to pay attention to closer details, why not check out the ideal backgrounds and expressions at just a few locations?

Make a Beginning with the Basic Portrait Shots

Start your Engagement photography session with a few portraits before moving on to other shots that would need closer coordination. This can be helpful in letting you have a simpler and relaxed start to your session.

Your clients will get warmed up and get used to the camera with the help of initial portrait shots. Moreover, you will also gain a better knowledge of your subjects. This will help you get to pay a closer attention to the finer details. Double chins, blinking and similar other aspects can be assessed in a better manner if you tend to opt for the portrait photography shots in the initial phases of your session.

Let Your Clients have a Look at the Shots

Let your clients have a look at the shots on the LCD of the camera every now and then. This is normally referred to as Client Chimping. You may find it a little awkward at times to let the clients or your subjects check the shots, but it tends to help understand the issues if any.

In fact, people tend to look at their own faults more keenly. There are a few points you may fail to notice, but your subjects can right away point a few awkward moments. A wardrobe malfunction, a few smaller details that might have gone unnoticed or a couple of awkward issues in the shots can be easily identified and removed.

The Shooting Angles

This is yet another area most of us overlook while going through the engagement photography. The poses you have opted for may be excellent. Shooting the same pose in multiple angles can bring out a kind of unique identity to the picture.

However, do ensure that while you are at shooting multiple shots for the same pose from different angles, take care to figure out the safe shot first and never ever miss it.

All the shots from all the angles may not look good and you may be forced to send a few of them to trash. Take both the close up and far away shots of the same pose. This will help you add a little variation to your shots. In fact, engagement shots are ideal enough for the experimentation, unlike the wedding photography where you may not have much of a choice.

Indulge in Research

Yes, research is what would be helpful in every aspect of your profession. That goes true for the engagement photography as well. You can learn from your previous engagement photo shoot assignments.

Look for the creativity in poses and locations. Have a keen eye for the locations around you that may offer an opportunity for the unique and innovative shots. In fact, if you have a collection of any good poses and shoots from your previous assignments in the same genre or otherwise – you may suggest them to your clients. Of course, it will finally be whether they agree to it or not. But a proper research on your part will aid you in coming up with a few interesting shots.

Conclusion – Engagement photography

Well, those were a few inputs that would be helpful for you if you are looking for a great day with engagement photography assignment.

Do note that these tips can indeed be practical enough in turning your engagement photography into a successful venture.

An engagement is a precursor to the big event. It can be the happiest event of your life.  Apart from helping you get along with your fiancé, it will also give you an opportunity to create a memorable album that you can share with your children and grandchildren.  

It should be what will help the couple strike the right cord with each other.

It is your duty as a photographer to make the engagement event much creative, romantic, unique and satisfying for the stakeholders. Work through those tips and bring up the new age engagement photography into reality.