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Archive 2013 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot
  
 
DigMeTX
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p.1 #1 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


This is a couples shoot I did. They're not engaged, just dating pretty seriously. The reason that I'm posting it here is that I'm doing my first engagement shoot soon so this was good practice for me. Now perhaps you guys can give me some tips that will help me improve for that.

BTW, I'm not one of those delusional people who comes here and thinks I'm the next Cartier-Bresson or something. I've got a lot to learn and a long way to go. I'd especially love some big concept critiques moreso than a doezen nitpicks for each picture.

There are a few more on my blog: http://bradcookphotography.net/cole-kristin-waco-tx-couples-photography/

We started at the Farmer's market.

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brad









Edited on Feb 25, 2013 at 10:34 PM · View previous versions



Feb 25, 2013 at 03:39 PM
lilyphoto
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p.1 #2 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


I think you did great. I like how you have a mix of candid and posed. For your next shoot, I'd say try a little more variety in posing. Here I see a few of them laying on the ground. Have them sit as well. Also, just a personal "rule" ... typically if I am going to only have one face showing in the photo, I choose the female. After all, it's almost always all about them! :-)


Feb 25, 2013 at 04:04 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #3 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


ya i actually think they are pretty fantastic. you showed just the right amount and they have a very loose fun totally unposed feel to them.
One of the things I struggle with during an engagement shoot is just being able to let go of wanting to be "perfect" so that I can get some of those spur of the moment shots

nicely done



Feb 25, 2013 at 04:44 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #4 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


lilyphoto wrote:
I think you did great. I like how you have a mix of candid and posed. For your next shoot, I'd say try a little more variety in posing. Here I see a few of them laying on the ground. Have them sit as well. Also, just a personal "rule" ... typically if I am going to only have one face showing in the photo, I choose the female. After all, it's almost always all about them! :-)


Thanks for the suggestions. After the laying down shots I was like, "Oh yeah, I need to do some more posing!" I agree about the faces and I was actually thinking of that but I kept finding myself on the wrong side of them.

hardlyboring wrote:
ya i actually think they are pretty fantastic. you showed just the right amount and they have a very loose fun totally unposed feel to them.
One of the things I struggle with during an engagement shoot is just being able to let go of wanting to be "perfect" so that I can get some of those spur of the moment shots


Thanks a lot, Doug. That is very encouraging!

I want to give full credit for inspiration here for the non-posed shots - Sergio Mottola. Ever since I saw his shoot of Evan and Amanda Baines I had it in my head that if I ever did a couples shoot I would start the shoot with pure interaction before even mentioning anything posed. I love capturing interactions and I felt like the farmer's market and the flower shop would be a great place to create some! I didn't want to go completely unposed though. I felt good with the mix.

A lot of credit for inspiration can go to a number of you here. I've been watching and inspired by the photos in this forum for a long time.

brad



Feb 25, 2013 at 05:03 PM
kwhaley29
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p.1 #5 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


I think that these are great and I really enjoy the mix of images!

On the first couple of images and a few that followed it seemed like you were a bit "disconnected" from the couple. It felt more like were shooting an event and they just happened to be in the photos. But I love the concept and I know that it's hard to get people to "act natural" when they're being followed around by a photographer.

Maybe some others can shine some light on how to approach these interaction shots because I know it's an area I'm lacking in myself.



Feb 25, 2013 at 05:35 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #6 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


Yeah so... You are going to do just fine.


Feb 25, 2013 at 05:56 PM
awad
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p.1 #7 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


Personally not a fan of the first two triptychs. I'm with Kevin, it just felt a bit disconnected on those two. I see what you're going for. I think you just gotta get closer, not just in photographic terms. But you need to connect with the couple as well. It's really easy to disassociate yourself when you're working and just worry about making images. When we do our engagement shoots, we hang out for a bit first. get coffee, do something other than take photos. once we've got that relationship set and we're all comfortable with each other, that's when the cameras come out. that's just what works for us though.

that said. you nailed the set, love the gif on the blog as well.



Feb 25, 2013 at 06:34 PM
 

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DigMeTX
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p.1 #8 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


Thanks for the suggestions and the encouragement, everyone.

kwhaley - can you be a bit more specific about what feels disconnected or why? I'd love to remedy that but I don't know that I truly grasp what you mean.

awad - same question for you too. Any clues as to why it feels disconnected? I actually had a great connection with the couple and we had a lot of fun throughout the shoot. I actually started in the Farmer's Market partially to do something casual that would help loosen everyone up. BTW, I love your Dalanna and Andy wedding set.

brad



Feb 25, 2013 at 09:09 PM
awad
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p.1 #9 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


honestly, it might be just as simple as the busy background. i think it might be lacking the isolation that would make the emotion stand out more. the emotion comes through much better in the portraits that follow. that's just whats standing out to me. shooting when theres that many people around is definitely difficult.


Feb 25, 2013 at 09:15 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #10 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


As I look through them again I was thinking also it could possibly be that I could have mixed in some more shots that are a little physically closer in the farmers market sequences. I try to avoid the mistake that a lot of people make of having all the shots in too close but I could stand to have a few closer shots. That would also help take away some of the busy background.

Thanks for the critiques and helping me think through them. Everyone else is welcome to keep them coming.

brad



Feb 25, 2013 at 09:42 PM
kwhaley29
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p.1 #11 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


Brad, I think that the first two images feel somewhat disconnected because of the way that the shots are framed and because there really isn't much going on (although there could be, and I'll get to that in a second). The images give us context, but there isn't much that sets the couple apart from the rest of the crowd at this point other than them being the closest people to the camera. By comparison in the fourth image you caught something more interesting taking place. Even though I can't see her face, the guy's reaction is full of life and it does two things: 1.) It makes me wonder what's taking place and 2.) it shows me a little bit about the guy's personality. That's the image that really pulled me into the rest of the set.

That's not to say that the first few images are bad by any means. I think it might be a lot more interesting though if you mixed it up a bit. In that first image I noticed that the guy is smiling at the girl, so maybe in a case like that you could either zoom in on his smile and make that the focal point. Or try putting some distance between you and the couple and have something in the foreground out of focus and then have the couple in the background. Even though you'd be farther away the mood that you'd create would feel more intimate because you would isolate the couple in what appears to be a very public place and the out of focus areas would draw your eye into the image.

I don't know if that helps or not but those are just some thoughts since you asked how you could improve the concept. Like I said, I think that overall these are great and there's a nice warmth to the lighting and processing which is great to see especially this time of the year.

Kevin



Feb 25, 2013 at 10:15 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #12 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


Yeah, awesome! I understand what you mean. Thanks for taking the time!

brad



Feb 25, 2013 at 10:20 PM
mgauthierphoto
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p.1 #13 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


The eyes are almost too much in the last 2. Nice work though!


Feb 26, 2013 at 02:26 AM
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p.1 #14 · First couples shoot - help me prep for 1st engagement shoot


Thanks! I really didn't do that much to the eyes. Just the standard LR iris enhance brush and I think I actually brought the exposure down some from the standard setting because it did look like to much. He has pretty striking eyes naturally.

brad



Feb 26, 2013 at 03:17 AM





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