How to Prepare to Photograph an Engagement Session
It is time for spring engagement photos for me! I have shot two weddings since our son was born on April 15th and they have made me so excited for May's round of engagement photos (and weddings)! Today I wanted to share a few things that I do so that I am prepared and inspired for each shoot.
Get to Know the Client Well
You can get to know your client through email, meetings, phone calls, or a questionnaire. I prefer to ask my clients questions over email so that I can understand their heart and their story. By getting to know the couple well, it eases nerves before the engagement shoot and helps me to photograph them authentically.
I prefer to prep my equipment once I am back in the office after an engagement shoot. If not, I will take care of it in the days leading up to the shoot. Equipment prep normally looks like charging batteries, cleaning memory cards and packing the gear in the appropriate bags!
I always let my clients pick a location for the shoot that is meaningful to them. Because of this, I ask them to send me the address(es) for the session. I also confirm the start time and the length of the session in the days leading up to the engagement session.
Visualize Poses that will be authentic for the couple
I don't ever want to photograph a couple in a way that feels unnatural to them. In order to approach my sessions with authentic posing in mind, I start with what I know about the couple. Are they light-hearted and goofy? Or are they soft-spoken and intimate? Everything that I know about a couple weighs into the posing.
Do couples ever surprise me? Absolutely! Sometimes a couple will be completely different in person than they are over email! If this happens, I just make adjustments!
Q: Do you decide where you're going to submit before the session?
A: I always have a pretty good idea of where I want to submit before I ever photograph the session, but I don't make the final decision until I see the images.
Q: Do you decide the location of the shoot?
A: I actually let my couples decide on the location! By taking ownership of the location, they tend to be a little more invested in their shoot. My couples are typically pretty relaxed and love to share stories about why they chose their location!
Q: Do you bring an assistant with you and what do they do?
A: Yes and no! I love it when Isaac gets to come with me to an engagement shoot but it doesn't happen every time. I include an assistant in all of my wedding day packages but I don't include an assistant at engagement shoots. So if he gets to come then it's just a bonus! He typically carries my bags and helps me swap out lenses!
A little bit of preparation goes a long way for a creative! It eliminates a lot of stress and it helps you to focus on what really matters: the people you are serving!