I have had a lot of engagement shoots in the past few weeks and I got to thinking about some things that to me were obvious markers for success, as well as some things I learned along my journey. I have shared some suggestions below to ensure you have a fluid session and leave your clients wowed.
Arrive Early & Stay Late When you are late to your own scheduled photoshoot that says a lot. Your client may think, “Will he/she also be late for our wedding?” This gesture may send the message to your clients that you may be irresponsible or disinterested in their needs. Instead, you should send the message to your clients that they are your number one priority by showing up not only on time, but staying late as well.
Backup Equipment I currently shoot with one body and 2-3 lenses. But I always keep a backup set of equipment in my trunk or at the venue in case something malfunctions. If you find your camera malfunctions during a shoot and you were unprepared with a backup, maybe it was you who malfunctioned. But really...be prepared for anything.
Have a Rain Date When I schedule my Engagement Sessions I create a backup date right away. It is easier than having to go through the whole process of finding out when everyone is available all over again. The weather can be unpredictable but you do not have to be. Afterall, you cannot have a rain date for the wedding so you might as well take control of what you can.
Research the Lighting I always try to go to a new location with my camera first before the actual session. I also pay attention to the sun during my research shoot and if possible, time it around the same time of my upcoming scheduled portrait session. This way I can test for the lighting. You never want to take someone to this really cool spot you found the week before only to find that the shot you had imagined is now unable to be captured due to a change in the light.
Location, Location, Location Don’t be afraid to try a new spot, if anything, it will diversify your portfolio, get you out of a rut and may teach you something new. Some of my best photographs were taken on a whim. I often will walk by a side street downtown and think, what a great place for photos or what a cool backdrop. So return with your subjects and make that great spot a reality.