Will all my “Engagement Sessions & Couples Sessions” in the house say: Uhhh! Here are 9 tips to think about if you’re about to be photographed. Let’s have an awesome session and see what we can create together!
Yeah…So you’re getting your pictures taken huh? Maybe this is your worst nightmare, maybe you’re terrified, or maybe you love having your picture taken and can’t wait. Anyone, even a professional model, would be nervous if they didn’t know what to expect before a shoot. So if you’re nervous or eager, dreading it or so excited you couldn’t sleep last night, remember this: we are on your team and we want nothing else than to make the best of your session. If you let these tips percolate as you get prepared we promise you will have a great time. And remember, these aren’t rules, not all of them may apply to the style of session you want, so adapt these tips to suit your personality and relationship, and definitely remember this supposed to be fun. 🙂
1. Let Us In
What moves us as artists (and what makes our images special to our couples) is when we’ve captured something intimate to your personality and relationship. This really comes straight from a willingness to share on the part of our subjects. That starts with you knowing what to expect for sure and so we hope we can help you get to a place where you’re comfortable enough to let it all hang out. Be dynamic, be true to yourselves, be vulnerable, be breathless, be thunderstruck, be goofy, be inappropriate, be idiotic, be glamorous, be adventurous, be fanciful, be whimsical, be wild. Whatever you guys are like when you’re completely alone, let us in, we want to see it. Kelly and I are absolutely silly together, sometimes I break into song and sing like I am in a musical and sometimes Kelly does this voice that reminds me of a muppet character. That’s who we are. I guess what we are saying is embrace who you are and don’t be afraid that feeling of vulnerability when you share who you are – it’s magic. We know that it can sound kinda scary to let somebody in, but it can be profoundly rewarding when you see the result.
2. Don’t Bring Any Expectations
This might seem obvious, but first of all, just forget what you expect a photo shoot to feel like, or look like. The best shoots are about a mood and that comes from you guys. How you interact and the temperament of your relationship is what this is all about. There aren’t any hard and fast rules here, we are more interested in you guys feeling comfortable, than moving or standing or acting perfectly. The bush we are beating around here is posing. We aren’t going to pose every detail during the shoot. Sometimes we are going to tell you exactly what to do, but every bit of direction and posing is just a starting point. We want you to interact together naturally, build off where a pose starts and make something unique to you. A lot of what we are looking for is the in-between moments. Often times, the best photos happen right before or after you do what you think the pose or direction is supposed to be about. So don’t be afraid to move around a bit. Even if you hear shutter clicks, it’s ok to move around. To be honest, sometimes the most natural emotions happen when you think (or at least act like) we aren’t shooting. Let’s embrace the undirected moments that just happen and the outtakes and let’s own them. The point is, it’s our job is to take amazing photos, all you guys have to do be yourselves.
3. Leave Everything Behind
When it comes to your couple’s session, what we are going for is intimacy and simplicity. That intimacy is between you two and with us.It requires that, first and foremost, you are focused on each other, with minimal distractions, and it really doesn’t work if there is someone or something diverting your attention. So whether it’s your Mom, your bestie or your phones, please tell them we love them and we are sorry, but they aren’t invited
4. It’s all about CONNECTION
It’s so easy to rush from being down on one knee to wedding planning to Pinterest boards to bills to vendors to wedding checklists to the wedding day and not realize where all the time went. Sometimes we need to take a step back and remember why y’all are here getting your pictures taken. At the risk of making a huge generalization here, we think it’s safe to say you guys are expecting pictures that will show you in love. In a photograph everything is somewhat muted though. If we took a picture of you running, it will look like you’re jogging or skipping. We know you guys don’t love each other in a way that could be considered the “jogging” of love; You love each other the way Usain Bolt runs. Super awesomely and better than anyone else. The absolute best way to show that is with a physical connection. The old cliche is that when people are getting their photos taken they never know what to do with their hands. Here is the answer: touch. In fact, the more touching the better!! Whether you use your eyes, hands, body, lips or all of the above, we are photographing the connections between you both. Pull each other in, give him/her a big high five, wrap him/her up in your arms, drop a smootch bomb. Whether you are passionate or sultry or ticklish, we want to know. So don’t worry, there isn’t a wrong way to be photographed, whatever you guys do will be correct. Be present and in the moment. Focus on each other, interact and everything will be ok. We want to see what your love is like, and bring out the best in it. You guys only have to be what you already are: in love.
5. Keep It Simple
So before we explain this, we want you to know: you can wear whatever you want. But if we you ask us, we would highly recommend that you dress comfortably. This photo shoot is a special thing, an honest to goodness life event, but it’s most exclusively about who you are, so don’t feel like you need to “dress up.” You will be dressed up on the wedding day, wear something you feel good in and that you are comfortable in. Whatever outfit you choose, just be yourselves. We have a couple pinterest boards you can check out, if you really want to find some inspiration: Guys Outfit Inspiration Board and Girls Outfit Inspiration Board. You also don’t need to worry about changing your outfit if don’t want to, or bringing a backpack or purse… I mean, you can if you want, it is your photo shoot after all. 🙂 But what we are going for is all those little things that happen when you aren’t thinking about the camera, or even that you’re getting your pictures taken, and that works best when everybody can move freely. The extra complexity of props and extra outfits will naturally make that more difficult. This is about the interaction between you two first and foremost. At a minimum, consider letting us carry your stuff. We always have a bag or backpack around, so let us do it.
6. Picking The Right Location
Location, Location, Location is especially important in real estate (we learned that on House Hunters)! It’s true in photography as well, but remember, we aren’t photographing the scenery here. The location should make sense for you. If you guys are outdoorsy, let’s go on a hike. If you guys are foodies, let’s go to the nearest city and explore. If you guys are artists, or readers, or netflix watchers, the setting, location and weather will affect your mood. We want your surroundings to be comfortable and natural. So whether that’s your own home, or a museum, or a lake, or the top of a mountain, what matters is that you guys are in a place that you enjoy being in. If you haven’t planned your session yet, do take a read through our post on planning your session. It will help you identify the style and locations that make sense for you.
7. Take Advantage of Imperfect Moments
Yes, we are talking about the weather. But it’s so much more than that, there is dirt, and wind, and hair, and tripping. Well, tripping hasn’t created a great photo for us yet, but the rest have! One of our favorite words to describe our style is “authentic,” which, in this case, we feel is synonymous with imperfection. All those spontaneous elements directly lead to what makes it authentic. If it starts to rain, that will be amazing (trust us!). The wind in your dress is gorgeous, the wrinkles in his shirt are lovely and the hair in your face is stunning. In the immortal words of the Lego Movie: Everything is Awesome. It’s our job to make you look and feel amazing, so let’s not worry about every little detail while shooting. We will never make you look bad, we promise.
8. Trust Us
You’re not there for us, we are there for you. We want to document your relationship, to help you find, in a photo, a slice of your lives together. The objective is not just to take pretty pictures, it’s to remember this exciting stage in your life and bottle it up in photographic form. We will never ask you to do anything that we think will make you look anything but absolutely stellar. Pinky promise! Cross our hearts and hope to die!! But, here is the rub: if a shot doesn’t work out, only 4 people will know, you two and us. We won’t tell (promise!), so let’s experiment: be silly, be vulnerable, be sensitive, be wild. Some of it might not work, but you’ll be surprised by what does. And after all that, for years to come, when you walk past those photos on the wall you will smile and remember all the fun you had together.
9. And Make It A Great Day, Thanks!
We know you guys are genuinely awesome, but you aren’t going to be a cute bundle of greatness at the end of a stressful day full of errands or anxiety. So take it easy all day! Get a meal together, get a drink, relax doing something you guys enjoy doing. During the day think about how much you love each other, hold hands, cuddle, talk about your favorite trips together and your inside jokes, think about the first moment you realized you were in love and maintain an awareness of the contentment you experience in your relationship. Remember those moments and bring that emotion and energy to the shoot.
We are going to have a great time. Every couple is different and we want to capture what makes you guys tick. Who you are as a couple is what makes this special. Our entire goal is to try and document the personality of your relationship, so we promise, we won’t try to make you be something you aren’t. Enjoy these tips together, but don’t feel like you have to memorize them or print it out and keep it with you. They are just general guidance and suggestions that promote a great shoot, but they aren’t the “end all, be all” of a great shoot. We will find our own way together and we promise you will have a great time. See you soon!