I’ve always taken a documentary, photojournalist, un-posed approach to engagement photos and wedding photography. In the purist sense, engagement photos can’t be 100% documentary because the couple knows the photographer is photographing them. really same with weddings. They just don’t always know when and the approach is much less hands on than strongly posed. Photojournalist style engagement photos are a thing. Especially for that couple who just wants their fun day and true love captured in it’s simplest form.
What’s the benefit to doing Photojournalist style engagement photos? –
The approach works for a skilled wedding / engagement photojournalist, and the couples who want a more organic and natural vibe to their photos. I give minimal direction at first, and maybe in between, but when actually photographing them, it’s a bare minimum interaction. I just want them to focus on each other and the love they have. I’m more of a fly on the wall documenting their day. As opposed to manually posing them throughout the day, which isn’t for many couples. In that case, the photos will show it.
At the beginning I provide some basic tips for hand and body placement and the overall mood I’m going for based on the lighting conditions and location. I move to accommodate them from there. Of course if they’re stuck I am happy to help, but nothing would be more awkward than a love coach with a camera directing the entire engagement photo session. This is how I capture their love without the contrived look to the photos.
The whole point of engagement photos is to be casual and affectionate as a couple, document a fun day or evening, morning, whatever time. It’s a fun way to connect with your photographer and get used to the process, in a relaxed fun setting. Have fun with it and don’t overthink it. Just have the photographer whose work you love the most document your time together. It’s a lifetime heirloom. And beyond that.