There is a lot of talk among photographers whether Pinterest is good or bad for the industry. Personally, I like Pinterest from a creative standpoint. It allows me to see what others are doing and serves as an opportunity and challenge for me to deconstruct the photo while asking, “How did they do that?” From a client standpoint, it can be quite dangerous in terms of expectations. Magic like that doesn’t just happen. The sun doesn’t hang at the perfect height for long and that breeze slightly lifting her hair and dress can’t be ordered on command. It is well planned and perfectly executed by a joint effort from the models and the photographer. Overall, I will say that Pinterest is a great tool for inspiration on both user ends – photographer and client.
Here are some things that you can do to make your engagement photos Pinterest-worthy.
Show Up on Time
The most important aspect of a shoot isn’t the location; it is the lighting. There are two times during the day that are ideal for taking engagement photos, when the light is the softest – about an hour before dusk and an hour after dawn. You can shoot midday, provided you can find some shade or it is an overcast day, but if you are looking for that sun-kissed, golden hue photo of you and your fiancé, the window for that happening is quite small, so you need to arrive on time.
Pick Your Spot
I always encourage couples to pick a location that is relevant to them. It can be where you had your first date, like to hang out, or if it represents who you are. By shooting in that location, you will be more at ease and looking at the photos, they will mean more to you. One of my favorite engagement sessions was taken on a ski hill for two snowboarders. The photos were totally unique to them and perfectly told their story.
Be Active…Bring Props That Are YOU
The easiest way to be comfortable in front of a camera is to physically do something. It takes your mind off of what I am doing and lets you live more in the moment. I always encourage couples to incorporate something they like doing together – snowboarding, fishing, drinking wine, playing music, hiking, dogs, and more – have all been incorporated into engagement shoots I have done, resulting in sessions that capture you and your relationship.
Pick Your Clothes Carefully
Sometimes I wonder if J.Crew secretly owns Pinterest. How does every couple have such impeccable, classic, chic style? Regardless, take notes! The photos and the emotions that they emit work, in part, because the clothes work too. Guys, don’t wear patterns that are distracting. Do wear a tailored, pressed shirt and nice shoes. Loafers, boat shoes, oxfords, or wingtip all have their place in a photo shoot. Sneakers do not. The bold colors of your gym shoes pull the viewer’s eye down to the ground as opposed to up towards your face. Girls…you know you look good so no advice is needed 😉
Two Locations, Two Looks
If you have time to squeeze in two locations, be sure to bring a change of clothes. You want to match your wardrobe with the scene. For example, if you are photographing outside in nature, you don’t want to be wearing your fanciest black cocktail dress. Don’t think you have time to change? Layers, like cardigan sweaters, and accessories can easily be swapped for a new look.
I know how awkward it may feel kissing in public while having a camera pointed your way and bystanders watching. You know what? Who cares! Own it. Have fun with it. Guarantee the more fun you have with your partner, the more you will love your photos. So if it means breaking out into an impromptu dance party (which has happened), do it! You will laugh about it later and have great photos to remember it by.