On Engagement shoots, we love to take our couples to gorgeous locations, and sometimes we like to take a step back and take an outside-looking-in approach. This allows for natural and candid photos where the couple can interact with each other, and it’s an easy way to capture a great photo of the scene they’re in. We call these kinds of photos Environmental Portraits.
3 TIPS ON SHOOTING GREAT ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS
TIP #1 USE THE CLOSE UP POSE
If you read our Foundation Posing Guide, then you’ll notice that we like to use the Close Up Pose for Environmental Portraits. The main reason we use this pose is because it allows us to observe the couple naturally in a scene without having them look too “posed”.
TIP #2 DRAG YOUR SHUTTER TO REMOVE DISTRACTING ELEMENTS
One great technique to learn for couples photography is shutter drag. We shot this photo with a .5 second shutter speed to turn potentially distracting elements (like the bus and people walking in the background) into aesthetically pleasing ones. This technique can be used in many environments, and can easily turn ordinary environmental portraits into extraordinary ones! Click here to see exactly how this image was shot and edited.
TIP #3 BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR CROP AND COMPOSITION
When shooting environmental portraits you want to be detail oriented as to what is being shown in your frame. If the rocks and waves in a scene are exciting, but there are no clouds, then compose your frame to show more of the rocks and water. If there are great clouds in the sky but it’s too dark to shoot anything in the foreground, then make sure you compose your frame to capture the beautiful sky.