5 Tips for Bringing Out Romance in an Engagement Session

embracing couple photographed through flowers

Today’s feature is from Miranda Zynda-Kneeland.

Miranda says:

Angie and Dave had a beautiful evening for their engagement session! We had a lovely time making our way through the gardens, witnessing a woodpecker work its magic on a tree, and discovering a couple of really unique trees along the way.

The two of them have been a couple for over a decade, and we’re excited to have the honor of being their engagement and wedding photographers.”

Miranda’s Photography Tip:

After nearly eight years of photographing people in love, our couples have come to seek us out for our ability to create compelling and romantic images. We’ve learned to take something that can be potentially awkward (public displays of affection in front of a photographer) and make it into a fun and natural experience.

Most people aren’t familiar with what it’s like to have their portrait taken, are camera-shy or are self-conscious about something, and it’s our job as photographers to help them feel great about themselves. Photography can also be such a helpful tool in reigniting that spark for couples and showing them just how great they are together.

It can be a really rewarding and inspirational experience for clients to see that their relationship looks as great as it feels.

Here are our top 5 tips in bringing out the romance in your couples’ portraits:

1. Get to know them. Romance means something different to each couple, so we really like to get to know our clients as best we can. We give each couple a questionnaire to fill out together (after doing such, our clients often report back how much fun it was to complete), and their answers really influence our approach in capturing the two of them.

We learn what drives them, and we can reference it throughout the session to bring out their authentic emotion.

2. Choose a location that’s relevant to them. By learning our couple’s story, what they like to do together, and their style, we are happy to help our couples decide on a location for their shoot that tells something about them. Normally people think about where they should have their photos taken instead of where they could have them done.

We often incorporate a couple’s favorite bar, bench, restaurant, hiking trail, etc. When they’re in a location that sparks positive memories for them, they’re naturally more joyous and affectionate with each other.

3. Compliment them. Because we love getting to know our couples, we also really enjoy discovering what makes them special. By letting them know what a great couple they are during our session, their confidence is boosted and they become even more appreciative of each other. Pretty soon, we don’t even have to ask them to kiss or snuggle!

4. Give them some space. Shooting with a longer focal length, especially in the beginning of the session, will make them more comfortable with being romantic in front of the camera. It also gives them the opportunity to whisper to each other without us hearing them. That means great candid photos!

Starting out further away for some full-body shots and then moving in for the close-ups will help them adapt to being in front of the camera, too.

5. Pay attention to their body language. It’s great to come prepared for a shoot with some posing ideas that you have for your clients, but we also pay attention to how they naturally interact with each other during our session. We use those subtleties throughout the shoot to make our poses more customized and the couple, in turn, more comfortable.

This also ties into tip #4 because when you give a couple some space while you’re setting up a shot, you can observe how they naturally snuggle, joke around, tease, hold hands, etc.

There you have it! Remember to have fun doing what you love, and that will be sure to rub off on your images, too!

walking hand-in-hand alongside giant leaves
bird's eye view
whispering sweet nothings by the white fence
kiss-on-the-cheek close-up

Miranda used a Nikon D700 with a Nikon 35mm lens and a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens to capture these images.

Miranda Zynda-Kneeland is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Wedding & Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Personality and Client Direction.


These images are lovely, and one thing clients love to do is show off their lovely images. Make it easy for them, and get your clients to do the marketing for you.

 

 

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