Business + Branding Education for Fearless Boss Ladies
This post is part of the series, The Ultimate Guide To Being A Wedding Photographer — advice for running a successful wedding photography biz. Click here to view a list of all the posts in this series.
When I had my wedding photography business, I LOVED engagement sessions! They were a great way for me to get to know my clients better, prep them for their wedding photos and also take some of my favorite shots.
Today I’m sharing three tips for a stellar engagement session:
Unless your clients are models, they’re probably not getting professional photos taken regularly. In fact, this might be one of the only times they do.
So it’s understandable why they might not know how to act in front of your camera, or how to dress. And that might make them feel awkward or even nervous about the experience.
A Style Guide!
By creating a style guide for your clients, with information about what to wear, how to pose, and any other thing they might need to know, you can better prepare them to work with you. You can also relieve a lot of stress, get better pictures, and help create an even better brand experience!
Wondering what your style guide should include?
Sit down and make a list of all the issues that have come up in the past, and any questions previous clients have asked. Chances are, future clients are wondering too! Then provide the answers to help your clients (which will make your job easier too!). It’s win-win!
Want those gorgeous, glowy sunset images? Well, guess what, you have to shoot at sunset (well, the hour leading up to it).
I often hear photographers complain that their clients are scheduling their shoots at bad times (like noon — when the sun is high in the sky, casting awful shadows).
So, my question is, why are your CLIENTS scheduling their shoot time?
You need to be the one in charge, scheduling at a time that works for you, and for the light. And here are two tricks for that:
The bottom line is, YOU need to be in charge here. Not your client. They’ve hired you to get fabulous photos, so you need to use your expertise to find the best time for the light.
Like I said, engagement sessions can feel super awkward for your clients… which can start to make you feel awkward. And that is not the recipe for good photos.
To get your clients to relax, pose naturally, and enjoy their experience, start each session with a little “speech.” Tell them you understand that this might feel awkward, but you’re going to make them look and feel fabulous. Tell them to ignore the camera, and focus on each other. And tell them that the bottom line is you are all going to have fun.
Then, keep a conversation going. The whole time.
Ask them about themselves — and you should already know a ton of personal details from their client consultation. So ask follow up questions (they’ll know you remembered, and are genuinely interested in their lives).
If you can get them talking about themselves, they’ll start to forget they’re getting their picture taken (score!). That will make them loosen up, and you’ll get better photos!
Do you have any tricks or tips for shooting fabulous engagement photos? I’d love to know — Share them in a comment below!