Today whilst training one of the new photographers at the studio I got to step out from behind the camera and gain an insight into how our clients feel on the other side. I’m so used to being the photographer, it felt very strange becoming the ‘photographed’ as we reenacted some of the classic Flawless poses.
Some things I learnt from switching camera roles:
- It is very warm on the other side of those lights!
- I blink alot.
- The flash is brighter than I thought.
- Some of the poses are actually quite difficult.
- Shooting with a friend can induce fits of laughter
- I need to start making an effort with my hair
- …and make-up
- Do not eat your lunch and then lay on the floor
I’d recommend all photographers step out from behind the camera and become the photographed now and then. Practical research is good research!
I wrote a post back in October titled HOW TO: Dress for an Autumn Engagement Shoot, where I gave my ideas on ways to dress for an outdoor shoot while staying comfortable and confident.
As it’s now the first weekend of spring I’ve decided that post needs a bit of an update. So here is the Spring edition! Whilst the temperature is a little warmer in Spring, a lot of points from the original Autumn post still apply so I’d definitely recommend following the link above for some extra tips regarding colour matching, make-up and what to bring on your shoot.
No matter what time of the year it is you want to dress in clothes that you and your partner feel comfortable in to fully enjoy and get the most out of your shoot. You want your clothes to be complimentary in colour without being too matchy all the while ensuring you stay true to outfits you would normally wear and best express your personalities.
I’m a casual kind of girl, so these outfits I put together using Polyvore.com are what first spring to mind when I think of a Spring engagement shoot. Muted colours and pastels give a fresh, natural look which looks beautiful on photos. Some other things you might want to consider;
- Dress for your location- If you’re having your shoot in a park or forest you may want to steer clear of grassy or dark green toned colours in your clothes. Perhaps your shoot is at the beach? Lighter toned colours will stand out against the sea or sky and keep the focus on you.
- Layers- If you live in the UK like me, this goes without saying. The unpredictable British weather means you never know when the sun will appear or disappear or when the heavens might open on what seems like a perfectly clear day. By layering up you can prepare for any eventuality and stay comfortable for your shoot. Also, working with different layers of clothing can add variety to your images as you can swap and change between them.
Nothings to say you can’t dress up for your engagement shoot! Often I suggest doing the first half of a shoot in a more formal outfit and if opportunity allows, changing half way through into a more casual one. This way you get a mixture of images that not only display two beautiful outfits but show two different sides of your personality too.
- Make sure that your outfit is easy to move around in and fits you well. The better you feel in your clothes, the more relaxed and ‘yourself’ you will be during your shoot, which will result in you looking your best in your pictures,
- Avoid clothes with strong patterns ,vivid or neon colours. These characteristics can sometimes draw attention away from your faces, the most important part of your photos!
- Accessorize – Little details such as statement necklaces or a hat can really add something to a photo so don’t be afraid to accessorize, that goes for the men too! Oh and don’t forget your engagement ring, there are lots of lovely photos to be had with that.
Props are always welcomed by a photographer. Perhaps you’re wanting a themed shoot? or have something different in mind. Bring props to your shoot that express the two of you as a couple. A picnic blanket for example, or even go all out; picnic basket, strawberries, champagne, the lot! These can be subtly incorporated into your spring engagement shoot and make it truly personal to you.
1. At the top of my ‘want list’ is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. It’s a compact instant camera that uses the Instax mini-type film. It has 6 shooting modes, brightness control and just looks awesome.
2. This Floral Camera Strap is super cute, end of.
3. A camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag! The ONO Brooklyn Camera Bag is slightly higher on the budget scale, but if you’re looking to splash out on someone (or even yourself) I think this bag is absolutely gorgeous!
4. These Film Roll Salt and Pepper Shakers are just really cool.
5. I need one of these! The Eye-Fi Wifi Memory Card is a memory card with built in wifi that allows you to wirelessly pair your camera to your smartphone, tablet or computer and transfer your images instantly.
6. Camera Lens Mug I have one of these, though it doesn’t have to be used as a mug. Its perfect as a make-up brush holder or you can even put a plant in it! A nice little, novelty gift for any photographer.
7. I love this Editing Day Mug. For all those cups of coffee needed to get through an editing day!
I hope these ideas help if you’re stuck for photography related gift ideas.
I have some engagement shoots planned over the coming months with some lovely couples. A few of them have asked me what they should wear for an engagement shoot..should they match? ..what colour should they wear?…should they bring anything? I’ve decided to write this post to give couples an idea of what I feel works best for an Autumnal themed shoot and some things to consider when deciding what to wear.
Okay, so firstly and most importantly you want to be comfortable. If you’re comfortable in your outfit you’ll find you can relax more in front of the camera and your photos will reflect this. The whole purpose of the shoot is to capture you; your personalities, your style and so you want to be wearing clothes you would normally wear, otherwise you’re not being yourselves!
The beautiful autumn colors make for a perfect time for portrait sessions but it is important to dress for the location or theme of your shoot. Below, using Polyvore.com I have compiled a few sets that i feel would work perfectly whatever the location, whether your shoot is at the park, the seaside, an urban setting or the middle of the countryside. You may notice I enjoy quite a casual theme.
- Compliment each other without being too matchy by incorporating similar colours into your outfits.
- A variety of textures as shown above will add depth to your photos.
- Dark solid colours are often most flattering.
- One of my biggest tips would be to wear comfortable shoes, we may be standing/walking for a while so this is very important.
- Don’t be afraid to incorporate colour into your outfits. I love these warm, rich, Autumn colours and again they are similar but not too matchy.
- Plaid, tartan and dogstooth all look great in the Autumn but try not to overdo it with the patterns.
- Statement jewellery or scarfs add nice little details.
- Avoid clothing with large logos or lots of writing, this can distract from the image.
- I always recommend to bring a coat, we do live in the UK after all!
- Make up tends to look much more toned down in photos and so you may want to go slightly heavier on your cheeks, eyes and lips than you normally would.
- Glittery/shimmery powders can reflect light and make you look shiny. Stick to matte shades where possible.
- Finishing with a setting powder can minimize shine and give you flawless looking skin.
- False eyelashes look awesome on photos. If you’ve never worn them before you may want to have a little practice before-hand!
- I will no doubt want a picture of that lovely engagement ring so make sure your nails are photo-ready too.
- You are welcome to bring along any little bits that define your relationship or that are unique to you. From posters or signs, balloons, bicycles, flowers, your favourite books, umbrellas, instruments you play or even your dog (dogs are MORE than welcome!). Props make the shoot abit more fun and also allow your personalities to shine through.