Our Blog

How To Shoot Great Engagement Pictures In Less Than an Hour

Bo and Adrienne by Josh Self from Flickr
So, you've met with your bride and family and booked an engagement shoot. Where do you shoot your couple? What location is right for your couple? How do I do the shoot quickly and efficiently without wasting everyone's time trying to find the right spots?
I've found the answers to these questions in the past two or three engagement shoots that I have done.

The first engagement shoot I did took 2 or 3 hours as I wandered around the location that I had picked trying to find some "great" shots as my couple looked at me like I was an idiot. So I decided not to do that again. I wasted both my clients and my time by not being prepared. Here are some tips for shooting engagements efficiently that also look great:
  1. Have 3 or 4 different style locations in your local area picked out ahead of time to tell your clients about when meeting with them initially. These could be different style locations (ie. garden, vintage, urban, farm, forest, or even more unique locations that you have found) so your client will have a few different options to choose from at the initial meeting
  2. Have test shots or portfolio shots on hand during the initial meeting from each of these locations to show your bride how awesome each location is. (I guarantee you will upsell engagement sessions this way!)
  3. Book the engagement session as early as possible, but at a time convenient to the couple. They need to use these for newspaper announcements, wedding programs, or Save The Date cards.
  4. Scout out the location ahead of time. Either a few days / weeks before or arrive WAAAY early to the location on the date chosen to scout shot locations.
  5. While scouting be sure to frame shots and find places with good depth of field and focus options. Take a few test shots to show your couple once they arrive (optional) .
  6. Don't waste time once your couple get there.
  • be friendly and make them feel comfortable (this is VERY important, and it will show in your pictures if the couple isn't comfortable with you!)
  • get down to business and communicate what you want them to do and where to go. They want you to take charge and be professional. (Remember they trusted you enough to book with you!)
  • you have your shots already scouted out right? No reason to dilly-dally (note to self: investigate the origin of that word :-). Shoot away!
  • Do some posed (looking at the camera) and a lot of candid / fun ones. They couple need the posed ones for the print media that they will be doing and the candid ones for personal use and slideshows.
The client will be impressed by your efficiency and happy that they can be done with this awkward situation quickly. Just make sure your framing, focus and all the other technical photographic techniques you've learned (you learned these right?) are up to par. Oh and remember the Rule of Thirds! HUGE! (See my photo of Bo and Adrienne above...).

After you've done 3 or 4 shot locations with 3 or 4 poses each, there's really not too many more variations on a couple shot that you can do anymore. Show the couple yours shots on the preview screen on your camera and ask them if they would like to do any more? The trick is to make sure you get some great shots in each location and pose. Once you have these, and the client likes them, you're done!

My last engagement with Bo and Andrienne took a little longer than 45 minutes! I'm not saying to be so fast that you forget shots or take quick blurry shots that are sub-par but be efficient and do it right. Your client will be thankful.

© Joshua Self Creative Commons 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be A Photo Pro Designed by Templateism | MyBloggerLab Copyright © 2014

Copyright 2015 Joshua Self Photography. Theme images by richcano. Powered by Blogger.