When deciding on your engagement photography location(s), there are a few things to keep in mind.
Tip 1) Choose Fewer Locations, More Time at Each Location – The more time you spend in transit, the more time you are not taking pictures. The result is fewer pictures and potentially less-perfected pictures because of the rush to fit in multiple locations within a specific time frame. We limit our engagement sessions to two locations. If you require a third location, an additional hour is necessary.
Tip 2) Choose Private Locations – Locations that are busy present complications. In busy public places like Douglas Promenade or Mooragh Park, it takes time for backgrounds to clear and at certain times, it’s entirely impossible to get a clean shot. This results in much fewer images and potentially images with strangers in the background. The second thing to consider is that public places are not always the most comfortable places to be in front of the camera. With strangers (and often times security) watching, it’s hard to let your guard down and act naturally in front of the camera. This is another obstacle to overcome and often shows up in the pictures.
Tip 3) Choose Simple Locations and Backgrounds – The main goal of an engagement session is to bring out the personalities of the couple and capture their interaction. Often times, all that this requires is a simple, clean background. Shots of you two laughing and having fun don’t require epic backgrounds. Below are a few examples:
Tip 4) Choose Locations without Security or Lighting Restrictions – Many public places limit your ability to use off camera lights. Using off camera lights is how I create many of my artistic effects including mood lighting and back lighting. It’s also how I create flattering light for portraits via reflectors and diffused flash. Having restrictions on these techniques limits our ability to utilize all of our skills and tools available. Also, if a location requires permission, be sure to take that into consideration. Sneaking around and getting kicked out of a location significantly affects the flow (and the overall positive vibe) of an engagement session.