Yes you are at the right blog! Recently my brother in-law asked me if i would do his engagement photos. I was very hesitant but I thought it would be good practice to get out of my comfort zone. I probably bit off more than I could chew. In the end it was good experience. I learned a lot which would help the next time (if there is ever a next time). All of it was shot natural light. If you make it to the end I’ve listed some tips that helped me.

Here are a couple of things I learned in preparing myself for my first engagement shoot.

1. Use the right lens: I’ve always boasted how I can get a decent picture with my cheap lens, however my normal portrait style is using strobes. I quickly found out that some of the inexpensive lenses do not fare as well shooting wide open in sunlight. If you are not careful your images will come out soft. It is also helpful using a hood. I usually never shoot with a hood, but I’ve learned that not all lens flare is welcomed.

2. Tones: When putting together your set, try to match the tones. This does not come from my experience as a photographer but my years experience as a Design Director who has looked thru countless portfolios and stock photos. I see a lot of photographer who post a set and they think it time to flex their photoshop skills…black & white here, sepia there, dark tones on one, HDR on the next..ect. Just stop that! That all said that doesn’t mean you have to stick with just one tone set. I’ve seen sets where the sessions where shot in 2 location. Each location had its own unique tone. BUT! those tones complimented each other.

Check out my good friend Shannen Norman’s photography. Her sets and sessions are a perfect example of this.

3. Paparazzi: Not all people are completely natural in front of the camera. Just follow around the couple and try to grab some candid moments..even though the scenario might be set up the you can still capture some honest emotions.

4. Shoot a lot: Take multiple shots of the same scene. You will often get a shot where one person expression is perfect and the other ones is keep clicking away

Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments….I’m still learning myself.

Update: There have been several questions on how I got the warm tones. The warms tones were mostly sooc. A ot just had to do with the location and time of day (golden hour). When posting these shots I actually added colors (reddish and some green) because all the golden warm tones were a bit too much for me.