Are you feeling a bit nervous about your engagement photo shoot? Wedding photographers Xander & Thea, reveal how to create the perfect natural engagement photograph.
1. Don’t be afraid to move
I often see this at engagement shoots, for example if I ask the couple to go and sit down, they’ll put their arms around each other and realise they aren’t sitting comfortably or in a way they would normally sit together. Because they are aware there is a camera there, they are more likely to remain seated in an uncomfortable position than to get up and move into a comfier spot. It’s okay to shift around and it’s important to forget what you think they should be doing. These sound like simple and obvious reminders but with butterflies in the tummy they are easy to forget.
2. Forget the poses
Don’t try to emulate poses you see celebrities do in gossip magazines and on red carpet runways, you want to look naturally beautiful. By hiring a professional you can be sure that they will guide you into flattering positions that look both natural and elegant.
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3. Don’t follow fads
Often we see the same ideas doing the rounds on Pinterest and while they are creative, light hearted and fun they are at heart a fad. You like the idea because you haven’t seen images like that before and you are tickled by the novelty that you can use your hands to spell love with your fingers etc. It is quite cool I’ll admit but it’s not as rare as you think, it’s a popular trend and like most trends, they aren’t timeless and the more common, the less elegant they become. If you have seen something you MUST have a photo of, speak to your wedding photographer to discuss how you can recreate the same idea but in a different, more natural and elegant way.
4. Travel light
If your coat, your handbag or scarf & gloves aren’t part of your carefully choreographed outfit, leave them behind. Carrying around spare clothes, a hairbrush, makeup and so on really minimises how natural the images appear as the photographer can’t shoot freely without distractions and you will find you need to start and stop more which in turn will lead to less emotive imagery.
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5. Not a chore
In the run up to your engagement session, don’t treat it as something that needs to be knocked off your to do list with the rest of your wedding chores but as a luxury retreat to reconnect with each other amidst the wedding chaos - I promise you will enjoy the experience so much more! Couples are always so surprised how by how much fun they have and many have commented how they feel like it was more of a date than a photo shoot.
When you feel yourself getting nervous or feeling awkward a great way to relax is just to close your eyes and focus on your breath, focus on the feel of your hands touching, your fingers intertwining. Focus on the breeze and ground yourself. It sounds a bit airy-fairy but it really does work (plus it results in beautiful images!)
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7. Trust your photographer, expect to feel awkward
If you are not comfortable in front of the camera, expect to feel awkward at first and know that that is perfectly normal but your professional photographer will help you to relax into it if you trust your photographer! This is why it’s so important to meet them in face or on Skype before you book, it’s not just about their imagery, it’s about how they interact with each couple to produce that imagery. Their job is to look for fantastic light, great angles, and genuine emotion which all results in fantastic photos! If something sounds a little strange just keep trusting them, they know exactly what to look for and often might just be photographing the smallest of details.
All images Xander & Thea
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