Engagement sessions for me can sometimes feel like a 2-hour pressure cooker where I’m constantly trying to figure out what’s next—what location, pose, and lens can I use to create as many unique photos as possible? But not every photo has to include your clients’ faces. In fact, taking a few non-traditional photos is a great way to add interest to the set, and draw inspiration from new places. Here are a few ideas that run through my head every time I’m out shooting an engagement session:
Affection Through Body Language
When you’re photographing an engaged couple, a good number of your photos will probably show them embracing. It’s worth it to take a second and capture one of these moments from a different angle. I always try to get one good shot of my clients cuddling or holding hands that doesn’t include their faces. It draws the viewer in to study the body language, which can speak volumes.
The Ring on Her Hand
There are tons of different ways to shoot the ring while the bride is wearing it, but finding a pose that doesn’t feel cheesy and overdone can be tough. My favorite ring shots include the bride and groom kissing or almost kissing, because it’s natural for the bride to put her hands near the groom’s face. Including a small bit of their faces gives the photo the emotional aspect it needs, while still leaving the ring as the focus.
Don’t Forget Fido
I love when my couples bring their dog along for part of the session. I use this opportunity to get a few photos that focus on the dog, and even take a few solo shots of him for the couple to frame at home or work.
Silhouette the Couple
A silhouette is a quick and easy way to diversify your photos during an engagement session. Pick a spot that shows off the beauty or interest of the location, making sure the background is significantly brighter than the light being cast on the couple. Pose the couple so there is some degree of face and body separation, taking note of where other dark objects intersect the image. Expose for the background, and darken the subjects a bit more in post if needed.
Set the Scene
Try to include some photos that show the location, especially if it’s some place meaningful to your clients. This might mean using props like wine glasses at a winery, including something in the fore- or background of the image like a bridge or sign, or simply pulling back and showing a bit more of the environment.
The Ring, of Course
Everyone loves a good ring shot. Take the time the find a way to incorporate the ring into the surroundings, and it will be even more significant to your clients.
Using these ideas can provide some much-needed inspiration when you’re having a mental block, and can elevate the resulting set of images to a whole new level.
What’s your favorite non-face photo to take? Leave a comment below and share!
Kelly Benton lives with her husband and two adorable dachshunds in Northeast Indiana, where she works from home as a Wedding Photographer. When she’s not photographing over people’s love, she’s a wannabe-rockstar triathlete with a penchant for funny movies and craft beer. Check out her blog or connect with her on Facebook.