5 Steps to Prepare for an Engagement Photography Session

Engagement photo shoots are often starter projects for beginning photographers. It was one of the first gigs seasoned Jasmine Star got as a photographer. An engagement shoot is much less complex than photos of the wedding day — and that’s all the more reason you should nail it. Star, who has years of experience as a wedding photographer, shares five tips for preparing for an engagement shoot in this video. As she says:

“I have discovered that preparation for an engagement shoot goes beyond ensuring my lenses are clean and my memory cards are reformatted.”

Arrive Early

Even if you’ve shot at a location before, get there early to scope it out. Things may have changed since the last time you were there. For example, if it’s outdoors, an area may closed or otherwise inaccessible. Make a note of what is around you and consider where you’ll lead your clients. Think about the weather and the positioning of the sun. If you’re planning to shoot during the sunset, consider timing as well.

Best for Last

It can take time for clients to loosen up in front of the camera, so consider saving some of your best locations for last. Here’s how Jasmine Star explains it:

“I prefer to save the best for last because by the end of the shoot clients are more relaxed, confident and likely willing to do things outside of their comfort zone, if asked.”

Work hard to make your clients feel comfortable at the beginning of the shoot. That way you’ll get their best near the end of the shoot when you’ve got them in the best location and with the best lighting.

Check the Weather

Checking the weather may be obvious, but shouldn’t be overlooked. By checking the weather ahead of time, you can inform your clients on what to expect. By doing this you’ll prepare yourself and ensure that your clients will be ready and comfortable during the shoot. It’s an easy way to build rapport and confidence between you and your clients, too. Tell them what time the sun sets and how that will affect your shoot (if it does) and they’ll know you’ve got things under control.

Change of Clothes and Props

Ask your clients what they plan to bring to the shoot. Do they plan to bring a change of clothes? How about props? Remember to budget time for outfit changes or for setting up props. Consider what you have to work with and plan for when or how to work in props or outfit changes.

Ask About the Location

It’s not enough just to view the location. It’s essential to understand why the couple has chosen the location for their shoot. What’s significant about it? Is there anything particular or meaningful about it? You may find that they chose it simply for being picturesque. However, there might be more to the story that you may want to capture through your photos.

location engagement photo with props

Alexander Graham Bell once said:

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Planning is important no matter what your level of expertise is. Remember these five tips to make sure your shoot goes smoothly and is a success.

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