When I first started out I dreaded the engagement session. In fact, I dreaded anything that meant I had to actually pose or direct my clients. It just scared me because I had no idea what to do with them. But as the years passed and I got more comfortable with the idea, I have actually grown to love shooting engagement sessions. I’ve learned that working with just the couple can be really fun and the opportunity to explore multiple locations allows for a high level of creativity.
Not only does the engagement session allow you to get to know your clients a little better, but it also gives you the opportunity to see how they photograph and to figure out how to make them look their best. Often when I’m shooting an engagement I will stumble upon a pose with a couple that just really works for them. All of a sudden they look comfortable, happy and just gorgeous and I start getting all excited and shooting a ton. I’m sure this happens to most of you as well. So when it does, I encourage you to name the pose with your clients. It can be called anything. But the point is that you want them to remember it for the wedding day because it will be an easy go-to, and you and your clients will immediately feel comfortable. They might even just do it automatically.
This particular couple named this pose “Signature Drape” during their engagement session and we used it several times on the wedding day. You can see they even got better at it from the first image to the second.
If you forget to do this during the engagement session itself, you can also use Pictage to help you figure out which images your clients love. Simply take a look at which ones they ordered. You may find that your favorites and your clients’ favorites are very different.
Just one thing to remember, look for a signature pose for each client, one that flatters them specifically. Try to avoid having the signature pose that you do with every single couple.
Written by Justine Ungaro
Justine Ungaro has been photographing weddings in her own clean, classic style since 2003. A second generation photographer, Justine grew up in the Washington DC area and moved to Los Angeles in 2006 where she expanded her business to include children’s and music industry portraiture and soon after began giving workshops and speaking at photography conventions. She currently maintains studios in Los Angeles and DC.