In my previous post I showed how I capture love. Those tight passionate shots only make up a part of my engagement shoots. Here is the detail of my pre-wedding or engagement portraits process. I have included my business targets in case they are of interest to those of you who shoot weddings for a living. I use just one lens and keep everything simple.
The business bit… My aim is to have about 60 or 70 frames to show the client so I find myself taking about 200 photographs in total during the session. I keep approximately 1 in 3 frames to show my clients who usually go on to buy 60 – 70% of what they see. I learned early on in my career not to show too many images. ‘No’ is not a great word to hear too many times in the viewing room. So we show only the best pictures. My client saying “no” more often than “yes” in the viewing room is a clear sign that something is wrong with my photography. “How do we choose? We love them all” is a target phrase. My aim is to produce an album with 40 or so pictures for the couple plus photographs in desk frames for each set of parents and grandparents. Other sales add ons include framed prints for desks at work and a large mounted print that the wedding guests can leave personal messages on.
The practical bit… I usually have about an hour and a half for the shoot so I have to work efficiently and keep the pace up. I meet my clients at 11am at a coffee shop near the waterfront in Bristol and within half an hour we are on the streets shooting. At 1pm they go to lunch at a local restaurant before heading over to my studio some 30 minutes away to view the photographs on the big screen. I get about 75 minutes back at the studio to weed out my pictures and process the 60 or so picks in Lightroom. Working fast has forced me to get it right in camera. Shooting film for many years in the 1980s and 90s helped in that regard too.
Camera kit… I keep my kit to the barest minimum and use just one lens on the camera, If I’m using my Canon 5D2 SLR I fit a 100mm f/2.8L macro. If I’m using my Fujifilm X-Pro1 I use a 60mm f/2.4 macro. The Canon is a better camera/ lens combination to use because the 100mm L lens has fantastic image stabilisation. I shoot both set ups at maximum aperture in manual mode. In my hand I have a camera and lens and in my camera bag I have a Fujifilm X100 camera as my backup, my car keys and wallet.
Keeping the kit simple means I can concentrate on creating and capturing definitive moments and not be distracted by the processes of photography.
The photographs… These 36 pictures are from one recent ‘Photographing Couples’ workshop I ran in the UK. If you like a pose or two why not pin them on an inspiration board using Pinterest or drag them to your desktop and add them to an app like Moodboard Pro.
Stay inspired! Coming up next is my third and final piece on photographing couples. I’ll share with you some intimate couples boudoir images and the business model behind the new genre. These are perfect for sporting couples who want to celebrate the hard work they put in at the gym in order to look tip top.
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