Engagement shoots are so popular that many wedding photographers include them in their pricing structure. They capture an exciting and memorable time for engaged couples. As their photographer, your job is to ensure that they feel at ease and confident during the shoot. The engagement photos you take are ones that they’re going to be looking at for years to come, after all.
To make the most out of your engagement shoots, we’re rounding up five tips that are so simple yet make a world of difference. Nail these to make sure you and your couples leave satisfied with their photos.
1. Eat A Hearty Meal Before Your Engagement Shoots
Let’s face it, no one does their best work when hangry. Enjoying a hearty and energizing meal before your shoot is essential for both you and your couples. If you’re short on time, this could be something as simple as a protein shake or stopping through a drive-thru to get a quick snack.
If you know that your shoot is going to be a long one, bring snacks for both you and the couple. Opt for champagne and finger foods to turn it into a mini picnic. Your couples will appreciate the thoughtful gesture–and the snack break will make for some adorable photos.
2. Pack The Night Before
If an engagement shoot takes place early in the morning, prep all of your gear the night before. This gives you the time to ensure that you have everything you need rather than scrambling to collect it all in the morning. This also means making sure that your wallet and keys are next to your gear. Prepping and packing the night before will make your exit out the door as seamless as possible to keep stress at bay.
Photobug Tip: Check the Route and Traffic
Make sure that you check your route to get to your destination so that you’re not surprised by how long it takes to get there! Most map apps will let you check traffic during different times of the day so you can make sure you plan for any traffic patterns that might slow you down.
3. Research The Area Beforehand
Whether it’s a location that you’ve never shot at before or you just want to try out new poses, you should research the area beforehand. Brainstorm posing prompts for each spot you know you’re going to be visiting. There’s nothing wrong with looking at engagement photos from other photographers for inspiration either—so long as you are not copying their work, of course.
It may also be helpful to bring a mini portfolio with you. Some folks are very nervous in front of a camera so it can be helpful to give them a visual of what you’re creating with your prompts. You can never go wrong with reference photos.
4. Spend A Few Minutes Getting To Know Your Couple
Start all of your engagement shoots with five minutes of getting to know each other. You’ve probably communicated over email, but this might be the first time you’ll be seeing them in person. Make small talk and ask them about themselves and their love story. This gives you a better understanding of who they are which will make shooting easier. It also helps them build a sense of trust with you.
If you’re not sure what to talk about, consider asking some of these questions:
- How did you two meet?
- How did the proposal happen?
- What do you two like to do together?
- What’s your favorite memory together?
While this may feel awkward at first it often leads to full conversations naturally. You can expand on their answers or ask follow-up questions. You’ll be in full conversation mode before you know it.
5. Be Confident
Even if you are just starting as a photographer, have confidence throughout the shoot. Most couples have never been in front of a professional camera before so they’re relying on you to lead them. Don’t be afraid to pose them or give them small tips and tricks about smiling or looking at each other.
If this is something that you’re nervous about, look back at the inspiration photos you gathered and make notes of the poses used. Although this isn’t something you should do for the entirety of your career, it’s extremely helpful when you’re new to couples photography. The more time that you shoot, the easier it becomes.
Last Tips For Engagement Shoots
Lastly, don’t be afraid to cheer them on. Consistently reassuring them will help them feel more comfortable and confident in their own abilities in front of the camera. Give them sneak peeks of the photos so they can see just how beautiful the photos are turning out with their own eyes.
We promise that engagement shoots will become second nature as time goes on. If posing still intimidates you or you just want to add a couple of new poses to your portfolio, check out our posing prompts that are sure to help your couples feel carefree!