Best Camera Settings For Engagement Photos

By | 23/10/2022

Every couple is unique. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate to them being skilled at naturally interacting between themselves and relaxed posing during the engagement session.

If y’all regularly shoot engagement sessions you probable wait forward to sessions with attractive couples that pose so naturally you wonder if they work as models in their spare time.

But then reality sets in. As you gently guide and pose your next couple they willingly and cooperatively follow every pedagogy and direction — but end up looking unbelievably uncomfortable and tremendously tense!

What is the Key?

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet! I all information technology took was a squeaky toy everyone would already be using it. At that place is not a “one size fits all” pose that every couple will perfectly fall into position with.

Yet, at that place are some tips yous can keep in heed as y’all approach your side by side engagement session.

Professional person Thoughts

Engagement photos from a professional person can exist very expensive. Many of the height pros accuse a session fee in improver to very expensive reprint rates (I’ve seen some photographers that accuse $l or more for an 8×ten).

I don’t blame the photographers: most of them are good enough to charge such rates. And I know, from having shot engagement sessions before that the sessions can accept quite a bit of fourth dimension. For me, an average session would take about 6 hours of total time (initial contacts/communications with the couple, driving to the photo site, taking the photos, downloading/processing the raw images, and and then processing the couple’s order).

A money-saving tip: some professionals offer the engagement photos equally a part of their wedding package. If your wedding photographer offers such a service – accept reward of it! Even if you don’t society a lot of reprints it will give you and your fiancée an excellent opportunity to see how well yous interact with your photographer.

If you lot tin’t afford (or don’t want to spend the coin on) a professional photographer: don’t throw out the idea of appointment photos!!

Friend Alternatives

Find a friend that owns a DSLR and a zoom lens. The DSLR cameras are the digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. Such camera prices are falling (often ane can be purchased for about $700) and their popularity is increasing.

Run into if your friend has a good zoom lens. Such a zoom lens will frequently become from 100mm out to about 200mm or even 300mm. If your friend doesn’t have such a lens perhaps they could be talked into ownership one. I’ve seen a consumer-version Nikon (and Canon) 75mm-300mm zoom lens for most $100!

While yous probably won’t get photos that are good as professional, you tin can become very nice photos from such a setup. And I’m going to requite you 2 huge bits of advice that will brand a earth of difference in those results.

Tip #i – The Zoom

If you want a nice, blurred, background in your appointment photos, y’all’ll need to have them taken with a zoom lens. Using a 200mm zoom lens will beautifully mistiness out the groundwork behind you. And don’t stand besides shut to your background: I’d recommend being at least 15-twenty feet abroad from whatsoever background. If your friend knows what the camera’south discontinuity is (the f-end), accept them prepare it to be every bit broad open as possible (the everyman Aperture number available – perhaps F4.five or even F2.8).

engagement photo techniques

Photograph by allie mullin; ISO 320, f/three.v, 1/250-second exposure.

Tip #2 – Evening Shade

Don’t get out on a bright sunny day at noon and wait to get cute photos! While y’all may stumble upon some good photos, information technology is actually harder to take dainty images in the bright sun due to the harsh lighting, nighttime shadows, and squinty eyes.

I recommend you take your date photos on a sunny solar day – merely start the photo session nearly an hour earlier sunset. Try to find a park that has beautiful green grass and trees. I generally try to discover areas that have a big amount of shade. At that time of the evening a hill will ofttimes provide a large area of gently-lit shade.

You volition be amazed at the quality of light that is bachelor at such a fourth dimension!

To be honest, every bit a working professional who has shot a number of engagements, the vast majority of my images are taken in that exact lighting with ZERO modifications (no reflectors, strobes, etc.).

Are Y’all Serious?

If you are — don’t be! When y’all go out to have your engagement photos taken by a friend, y’all demand to have a good fourth dimension. Focus solely on your fiancé and your love for them. Enjoy spending fourth dimension with them! Too many people focus on the camera and become nervous and uptight: and information technology shows in the photos.

Hopefully your fiancé is the simply person in the world that can help you forget nearly everything else – which would include the camera…

methods for great engagement photos

Photo by raymondsy; ISO 125, f/3.ii, ane/100-second exposure.

Do Your Homework

Planning for an date session will ordinarily improve the quality of the results. Hither are a few steps I would propose yous accept as you begin planning:

Run Google searches for “engagement photography” and “appointment photos.” Look for images that yous call back yous and fiancé could imitate. Print off about xx of your favorite images. Go over them with your fiancé and narrow the listing down to the ones that both of you really like and think will exist possible. Then, testify those to your friend who will exist taking your pictures. Whittle the samples down even farther based upon their thoughts and feedback. Try to end up with 5 or 10 sample images that anybody is excited about.

Look closely at those sample photos to run into what types of location are being used and what the lighting looks similar. A lot of engagement photos are taken in either a park or city location. I would suggest driving around and scouting possible photo locations for the session. But don’t merely do a “bulldoze-by scouting”! Get out of your auto with your camera and have actual photos inside each park of the locations you retrieve would work best. Compare your snapshots with the sample photos you printed off.

You tin also do cyberspace research by looking at the web sites of local wedding ceremony photographers. While your previous search for engagement photography would have returned nation-wide results, the goal of this inquiry is to see where the local wedding pros are shooting their date sessions. Y’all’ll likely recognize some of the parks and buildings that they are working in and near.

Lots of Photos

Hopefully your friend will be using a digital camera. That mode they can take lots of images without worry about film expense. Sometimes the difference betwixt an average photo and a great photo is simply changing the bending and perspective of the camera!

ideas for engagement photos

Photo past Christopher; ISO 64, f/1.4, i/8000-second exposure.

This point was really driven home to me with some contempo engagement photo sessions I have done. I am in the process of creating an eBook to help couples accept top-notch engagement photos. I had another photographer assistance me out with several engagement sessions. Together, nosotros shot most 600 photos during each ii-60 minutes appointment session. During the session, I would often setup and accept photos of the couple. While I was doing so my banana would be moving around and photographing the aforementioned scene at different angles. Afterwards, I would look at the photos I took and besides some of the side-angles my banana shot at those same times–and there is often a night and day deviation between the two. The couple didn’t motion or change their pose; the only departure was the angle at which the image was taken!

So, once y’all have establish a expert location for your photo session and you lot and your fiancé are in position — let your photographer snap abroad! Don’t limit the shots they’re taking!

Accept the Proper Mindset

This seems basic, but the realization that some couples will be easier to work with and some harder is a practiced commencement step. Models are usually paid for their time and services. Since y’all aren’t paying the couple for their time: don’t expect too much of them! Just be grateful for the “natural posers” when they show upwardly!

First Impressions Practice Count

When you lot greet the couple, do it with a friendly smile and by warmly shaking each of their easily. Be genuinely happy to see them. If y’all demonstrate nervousness or awkwardness as y’all get to know the couple, they will immediately option up on it — even if it is subconsciously — and information technology will increase THEIR nervousness during the photo shoot.

Social Skills 101

Forgive me if this is also basic. Chances are you lot already do this. Merely, but in example, I feel a demand to make certain the base is covered: make certain yous carry on a pleasant conversation with the couple from the very beginning throughout the whole photo session. Their tension will increase if the simply time you talk to them is to give them terse instructions “Move slightly to the side – at present tilt your heads together – more – more – no – too far!” Nigh couples love to talk, and their favorite subject area will likely be themselves.

You shouldn’t have to pretend to be interested in them! I really savour finding out details about the couples I photo. Details such as: how they met, when the proposal took identify, when the wedding ceremony is scheduled, how the hymeneals plans are coming along, etc. etc.

Warm Ups

Plan the offset function of your photograph session with the idea of relaxing the couple. Don’t endeavour for your best shots during the first 15 or 20 minutes. If the simply thing you reach during that time is to completely put the couple at ease with yous, the camera, and each other (the last 1 should be easy) — you lot will get much amend photos during the balance (majority) of your session.

During that commencement segment I would recommend using easy, basic, uncomplicated poses. Go on talking and interacting with them. Let them know information technology is OK to forget most the camera. Try non to give them likewise many specific directions and instructions. Encourage them to be themselves – even if the resulting photos aren’t that cracking! Once they are at ease you can gently requite more instructions. The first goal has to exist putting them at ease!

Unexpected Photos

This method doesn’t work with every couple considering information technology totally depends upon how naturally they collaborate with each other when they aren’t expecting y’all to exist taking their pictures. Some couples will conversation while aimlessly starring off into the distances – others will have an animated and happy conversation while looking into each other’s eyes and occasionally laughing (those are the moments you’re trying to capture!).

The goal:
Taking a few photos when the couple is relaxed and not expecting you lot to be taking their picture.

The method:
For me, the best timing is usually when I demand to change retentivity cards. I’ll let the couple know that I need to change cards and they can relax for a few minutes. I so rummage around in my handbag for the new card, all the while watching them out of the corner of my eye.

The challenge:
Taking the photos without standing at the camera and pressing the push. Sometimes a wireless shutter release can be used. Other times I’ll have an banana with me and will have them take a few of these shots while I’thousand rummaging in the camera handbag. Occasionally the couple then completely forgets virtually the camera and me that I can actually go back to the photographic camera and hit the shutter release without them noticing!

Hopefully, these tips, combined with your personality and experience, will aid you put couples at ease (while nevertheless giving yous the freedom to offer natural posing suggestions) then you get take some incredible engagement photos!

DON’T Lose Images

If you are not conscientious with your digital work-period yous can easily cease up losing images. This is Not an selection for a professional photographer. The adept news with appointment sessions is that if you happened to (somehow) lose a number of the images from an engagement session — yous tin (likely) redo the session! Weddings, on the other hand, are practically impossible to redo.

If you should happen to encounter data corruption while photographing the couple, or while downloading the images — do not panic! If information technology occurs in-camera, take the carte du jour out and move on to another card. I take had this happen several times over the years and have only lost the 1 decadent image and nonetheless many images were in the buffer at the time I had to switch to a new memory card.

The more common corruption has occurred when I am downloading the images to my figurer. In that location are a number of software tools you can run on the memory card to restore the images. I don’t take room in this article to write in-depth about recovering lose/corrupted/deleted images, but I would recommend y’all purchase “Photo Rescue” version iii (a Google search volition find the software). I held off on buying the software until I had a need, and when I had a need (an entire memory menu from a family photo session that had become corrupted during the download process), the $29 price was well worth it! Since buying the software I have used information technology a number of times to recover deleted or corrupted files from a memory card.

Safeguard the Images

The first thing I do when I get back from a photo session is download all of the images to my computer.

I and then do some bones checking to make certain there are no images missing from the session. I will cheque the file number of the first prototype and terminal paradigm from the session — subtracting the two to find out how many images were shot. Then I will check the actual files on my estimator to make sure it matches.

Such a double-check would catch any images missing from the heart of the session, just you’ll notice it wouldn’t detect images that were missing from the very beginning or stop of a session.

That is why I will also sort the images past “date” or even file number and curl through the time stamps to make sure all of the time that I was shooting images resulted in actual files.

Once the “checking” process is done I will fire all of the images to DVD. Really, I create 2 copies of the files on DVD’south. Ane DVD is stored on-site and the other DVD is stored at an off-site location. I also accept an Excel file that functions similar a database: I enter basic data about the photo session into Excel and assign a number to the DVD so it tin can found (easily) later on.

Removing “Secondary Photos”

After ensuring the raw image are safely backed upwardly I volition start into my post-production process. The starting time footstep involves removing bad photos. I used to call them rejects. Now I simply telephone call them “Secondaries”.

I create a folder chosen “Secondaries” and I move any photos that have problems to that folder. Any images that are embarrassing to the couple (catching an odd await, or a glimmer, etc.) or have mistakes that I made (move blur, out-of-focus, diddled highlights, bad compositions, etc.) end upwardly in the “Secondary” folder.

I want to keep equally many photos for the couple as possible, so I endeavor not to eliminate too many shots. Although, I recollect i date session where I took more than ane,300 photos. For that session I very freely moved images “Secondary” folder!

If the photo session resulted in a smaller choice of images or if the “pose” in question only had a few shots, I’ll attempt to leave as many from that session or “pose” every bit possible.

The Renumbering Determination

Let’due south say your photo session started with 250 images. fifty of them moved to the “secondary” binder. You’re left with 200 photos. At that place are gaps in your photographic file numbers.

Some couples volition not detect or intendance about the gaps. Your photo numbers are probably not going to be 001-250 (with fifty missing). They are more probable going to something similar 6918- 7168 — and the missing numbers volition not very obvious. But it still would be possible for a discerning couple to run the math and figure out that 50 images are missing — or to notice, as they click through the images, that the numbers occasionally “skip”.

You lot will need to decide whether it is worth the time to renumber your “select” images. I use the freeware RName-Information technology version (a Google search will detect the software) to renumber my images, but most Epitome Editing software can also handle the renumbering of images.

I usually do not renumber the images. I don’t recollect I have always had a couple enquire me for missing images. If they were to do then, I would explain the types of images I remove, and if they were really interested in seeing them I would likely ship them over. I have constitute that if you lot provide a big amount of pinnacle-notch photos, couples don’t seem to worry about the five%-10% that are not included.

There’southward a lot more to my after-photo-session work-flow, but I’ll take to cover that in another commodity!

About the Writer:

Christopher Maxwell is a professional person lensman based near Kansas Urban center. He has created a number of practical resources to help beginning photographers Learn Engagement Photography, equally well every bit providing information almost Learning Nuptials Photography.