Engagement Sessions – part 2 | An Education

May Topic: Engagement Sessions – How we get our candid poses.

Last month we started talking about engagment sessions, why they’re important and how we get our couple comfortable. Let’s assume we’ve now been talking with our couple for about 10 minutes, we’ve been walking, and we’ve told them what to expect. Now we’re chatting comfortably and have found where we’d like to start the session (hopefully preplanned).

We ALWAYS start with the easiest “pose” which happens to not be a pose at all: we have our clients walk. Everyone can do this and most couples have a natural way they walk together so it’s comfortable for them to do. This eases some anxiety and usually makes our clients laugh because we have them walk, talk, and occasionally glance at each other while they walk. Generally one of us is talking and telling them to slow down or look a certain way if we’re not getting what we want.

We love showing our couples a photo that looks awesome to get them to feel good about what they look like and how they’re doing. This continues to build their confidence!

Our favorite pictures are when our couples let loose and laugh. We accomplish this in many different ways. Sometimes all it takes is us saying “look at each other” and they giggle because they think it’s funny. Other times we tell one of them to make the other laugh. We even make jokes or make fun of ourselves or the situation just to make them smile and to lighten the mood. Seriously, whatever it takes, we’ve done it. Another way we catch that cute glance or fun laugh is to shoot before, during, and after a pose. Sometimes if the couple is being serious, kissing for example, when they pull away they laugh! We make sure we keep shooting those before and afters because sometimes they’re better than the inentional shot.

Below is a great example of those in between shots. It makes it much easier since there are two of us! One of us is shooting while the other is off to the side talking to the couple, telling them what to do. Jackie is laughing at something we said and the shot looks so natural!

This cute moment below is achieved by having Nicole standing and waiting while Zac quietly came up behind her to give her a locked bear hug. It was fun and feels in motion, always a goal of ours!

Here are two examples (Gabby & Jorn plus Kim & Ivan) of why we like to shoot a kiss from before to after. The kiss itself is always romantic, but sometimes the before has so much more passion! (…and most of our couples laugh after, creating those natural laughter shots!)

Sometimes our clients do the best work! Below we told Jessica & John to just hug like they would if we weren’t there. So cute and true to their relationship! We love letting our clients take charge once they’re feeling comfortable.

Some of the best moments are accidents and we just have to be fast enough to recognize it. Below we were setting up Meghan & Luke in a new spot and they were just talking with us and getting together. It’s possible this was even a test shot for light, but we love it regardless!

Usually our best shots come towards the end of our sessions. Our couple is used to us, they know what to do, and we don’t need to give them any directions…which is awesome. The pictures look more natural, loving, and fun. Below we were just finishing our session, walking back to the car with our couple Kim & Ivan. We were walking in front of them and turned to say something when we saw this beautiful moment happening between them talking while walking and laughing in such a carefree way. We snapped as they walked and are so happy we turned at just the right moment! 

Lesson Learned: Keep your clients moving and photograph the in-between poses.

Thanks to all of our couples, shown and not, who open up to us, laugh with us, and find love & happiness in each other. We truly love being a part of it! ~Erik & Marissa

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