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Photography Question 
Sarah B. Wittman

Shooting Engagement Pictures

I am taking my first set of engagement pictures and I was wondering if anyone had some tips for me ... to tell you the truth I'm nervous so I could use any help! I am using a 35mm camera with 400 ISO color film, and than I am using a 4mexa pixel digital camera. If you have any good poses or lighting things, let me know - any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, what are some ways to get everyone comfortable around each other?

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10/29/2005 3:14:55 PM

Jennifer W
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/26/2005
I'm not a professional photographer, but I took some engagement photos last year. What I did for getting comfortable shots was to have the couple just interact with each other while I was far away with my telephoto lens. I just snapped candids for quite a while and slowly got closer and closer to them. By the time I was up close, they were comfortable with having their picture taken.

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10/29/2005 3:24:31 PM

Craig  Paulsen   A glass of wine always does the trick. Don't have them look at the camera. Photojounalism is the hot item right now. Traditional is just traditional.

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10/30/2005 1:36:06 AM

Jill Lenkowski   I would say do a mix of candid and traditional. You never know what the couple is looking for, so give them variety. They will definitely want a more traditional pose for their newspaper picture. Try a google search for engagement pictures. Compile a contact sheet of them and take them with you in case you draw a blank during the session. Relax, have fun, and once you get started it will become more comfortable for you!
Best Wishes!

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11/1/2005 5:39:09 AM

Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
You didn't indicate whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors. This would not affect your posing so much as lighting. Give your couple a variety - full length and close-up images. Make sure not to have every shot with them looking at the camera - have them looking at each other in a number of images (very romantic). If you have them kiss in any shots, remind them to close their eyes as they kiss - otherwise, they probably won't and it will look dumb! If you want some posing ideas, feel free to visit my studio Web site and just click on my Wedding/Engagement gallery. Be relaxed, you'll do fine!
God Bless,

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11/1/2005 6:27:37 AM

John L. Webb   Great advice from Greg, Jill and Craig. Given that we shoot over 50+ weddings a year and an equal number of engagements, my advice is to try and feel those emotive moments and let that shutter go! I prefer fast lenses and films as opposed to flash myself, but then I strongly try to use mood in my work. Good luck !!!

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11/1/2005 6:30:00 AM

Linda K. McDonald   When I take portraits outside, I try to schedule them for when the sun is going down ... to catch the warm rays. Other times of day a little fill flash is nice and I always shoot some 100 black and white TX film. Yes, candids are the best! One idea for a pose is to have him put her on his back.

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11/1/2005 7:05:46 AM

Cayde Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/5/2004
  I assume you'll be outside for these? Pick a cloudy day or if really sunny, places where you can get fully in the shade (i.e., sides of old buildings or trees). For ideas on poses, google engagement pics and see what other photographers have captured. They are some amazing photogs out there. Also, maybe suggest they wear neutral clothing (nothing busy). If you do use a flash, try to get a bouncer (midi bouncer) to soften the light and fill shadows. Remember to try to be relaxed, and then your subjects will too. I always try to make them laugh, or ask questions about how they met. I also like to shoot some photos where I do NO POSING, and then you seem to capture them at their natural best ... Also try filling your frame with them, or part of his shoulder and her face ... have fun and be creative!!!

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11/1/2005 8:17:22 AM

Sarah B. Wittman  
Thank you all sooo much for your comments and great advice...I think for my first time everything went really well...I'm definately an amater so I think they turned out pretty well! Let me know what you think if you get a chance k?

Thanks again!


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11/1/2005 9:36:37 AM

Sarah B. Wittman   alright everyone..I have a gallery of the engagement pics I took so let me know what you think k??? Thanks!!1

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11/1/2005 10:02:06 AM

John L. Webb   I think you did just awesome Sarah!

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11/1/2005 10:05:17 AM

Laura M. Ingold   Check out my engagement section of my Web site for ideas and suggestions on clothing. I always tell them I want them to be themselves and have fun together and I will just catch the moments. Usually start out with a little posing and as things go along, they will relax and be more candid. When you are through, leave a few shots on the camera, because they always relax and do fun things and you want to be able to catch it - no problem if you're using digital. Some of my favorite shots were doing this. Have fun,

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11/1/2005 11:22:06 AM

Laura M. Ingold   oops. It's

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11/1/2005 11:23:32 AM

Michelle Ochoa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/4/2005

Those pictures are wonderful! They look really relaxed, and that made the difference. What did you do to get them to act natural with each other, even playful?

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11/1/2005 11:35:02 AM

Tony L. Avery   I've found in the past that if you allow the couple to be themselves you can get some good poses and expressions. By the way you will be using digital and this allows you to shoot several photos and yo also have the liberty to erase any that you don't like. So shoot plenty of your poses and plenty of theirs.

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11/1/2005 8:30:56 PM

Maria Melnyk   Have the future groom sit on the ground with his legs forward and knees bent, and have the future bride kneel behind him and hugging him. She should be to your right so that her engagement ring shows. Couples love this shot, and this is one of several poses I sell the most of. Another one is to have them both stand up, have him behind her, hugging her from the back, and her hands on his forearms. Regarding kissing, I don't do kissing photos for engagement shoots. I save the kissing for the wedding day.

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11/3/2005 10:14:04 PM

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