Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Having done wedding for over 25 years, my wife and I have always stressed the importance of having a professional engagement session done way before the wedding to validate your choice in a photographer for such an important event.  We thought the engagement session was so important that we have always included it as our gift to the bride and groom for choosing us as their wedding photographers. 

The engagement session is how we get to know the couple in a low stress environment, have some fun, and learn how they relate to each other, to us, and what they will or will not be comfortable with when in front of a camera.

The couple in the following images came to us a month after their wedding for an “engagement session” because they were not happy with their photographer’s images taken on their wedding day—especially those of just the two of them.  We took them to one of our favorite parks in Boise, Idaho—The Kathryn Albertson Park—and did portraits in several locations just like we would if they were about to be wedding clients.  

Besides doing looking at the camera, we also do pictorials…
f7.1 @ 1/125 sec., ISO 500; Lens @ 200mm
Pictorials are portraits designed as more artistic images of the couple relating to the environment instead of the camera. Composing this type of portrait with more space around the couple makes it ideal for a large wall print or a canvas wrap.

f7.1 @ 1/125 sec., ISO 500; Lens @ 200mm
When we have a couple with a major height difference…

First we show them a standard wedding pose that we try to avoid for couples of very different heights. Then we show them a different pose…
f6.3 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 800; Lens @ 200mm
Our goal is to get their heads together in most poses so they can relate to each other. This is just one simple way to do that outdoors. 

We always do individual portraits, as well….
 f4.5 @ 1/320 sec., ISO 800; Lens @ 165mm
For these we always have the other half of the couple standing right next to my camera to get the best expression from their loved-one. 

Then we reverse it….
f4.5 @ 1/320 sec., ISO 800; Lens @ 165mm
We always do a bunch of poses in different areas of a park. We do the usual mushy stuff; looking at each other, kissing, holding hands walking….etc.

This last image was something different….
f6.3 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 500; Lens @ 200mm
They both liked this one a lot because it had a rather introspective mood to it. This was actually one of my color test images I always do to maintain proper “color temperature’ as the sun sets.

We never know what our couples will end up liking when they see their slide show later on!  Again, that’s why you should have your wedding photographer do the engagement session way before your wedding.. If you really don’t like those engagement images it gives you time to find another photographer to do your wedding!

As always should you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask…’Til next week

Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman

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