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You are watching a free tutorial from Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop.
To view the entire course, upgrade to Premium or purchase it in the SLR Lounge Store.

You are watching a free tutorial from Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop.
To view the entire course, upgrade to Premium or purchase it in the SLR Lounge Store.


As human beings we make mistakes, and sometimes we forget important things. When you’re on a shoot there are so many things to keep in mind and remember that missing small details can happen occasionally. That’s why we designed a 10 item checklist for you to complete before you press your shutter. Ten items may seem like a lot at first, but it will eventually become second nature. This checklist is designed to help you make fewer mistakes and become a more confident couples photographer.

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LEARN HOW TO TAKE AMAZING PHOTOS FOR COUPLES

The following is a written article from the Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop DVD. Master planning, posing and client interaction, lighting and post processing for Couples Photography. With nearly 8 hours of professional SLR Lounge Education, full resolution RAW exercise files and comprehensive post production video tutorials this workshop will improve your photography for both amateurs and professionals. For more information on the Natural Light Couples Photography DVD, click here.

1. CHOOSE THE SCENE

Before you shoot, you need to decide what scene you want to place your couple in. You control what’s in your frame and what’s excluded, you decide what you want in your background and foreground. The more intentional you are when choosing your scene, the better the results will be.

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2. FIND THE LIGHT DIRECTION

When you’re in direct sunlight it’s easy to find the light direction, but it can get difficult when you’re in the shade, which is why we have the hand test. Identifying the direction of light is crucial, especially if you plan on doing a pose that requires a specific direction of light (a hair light for example).

3. POSE THE COUPLE

The quickest way a couple will lose confidence in their photographer is if the photographer is unsure about what pose to use. Make sure you’re always prepared and study our Foundation Posing guide because no one wants their photo on a “10 most embarrassing engagement photos” list.

When posing your couple, be sure to give very specific and encouraging directions. Few people are comfortable in front of a camera, and your guidance in posing can make all the difference.

engagement shoot posing

4. MODIFY THE LIGHT IF NECESSARY

There are many things we can’t control, and as photographers, we have to be ready to revise our shots when things aren’t going our way. Whether the direction of light is wrong, or you need a slight bump to light some shadows from your couples face, you need to be ready to modify the light when needed.

5-in-1 reflector on engagement shoot

5. SET YOUR CAMERA TO SCENE AND LIGHTING

When shooting in Manual, this is a necessary checklist item. Actually, even when you’re shooting in an automated mode, this is a necessary item (because you need to know if your camera needs to compensate exposure). You can have a beautiful background and perfect lighting, but if your camera settings aren’t correct, then your images won’t be able to capture all the beauty you just set up. Make it a habit to check your settings before every scene.

6. CHOOSE YOUR COMPOSITION

Look carefully through your viewfinder, If you’re not paying attention, there will be elements in your composition that you don’t want. Think carefully through what you want to keep in, what to crop out, and your angle. Be strict on what you’re including in your frame because if it’s not working with your composition, then it’s probably working against it.

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7. CHECK THE DETAILS ON THE COUPLE AND THE SCENE

Check on your couple before every shot. Look at their wardrobe, their hair, their makeup, and watch out for spotty lighting that might cast light on places you don’t want. Also, be sure to communicate to them to check on each other before every shot, this way you get an extra pair of eyes watching out for misplaced details.

8. WATCH THE BACKGROUND AND CROP

After you take your photo (or a set of images) make sure you check the background and crop in your camera. It’s much easier to spot distracting elements on a 2d LCD screen.

check your background and crop

9. SHOOT THE IMAGE

This is the most necessary item on the checklist, and this is not a joke. Shoot the image means to also make sure you have the necessary items for your camera to function when you’re shooting. Whether that’s cards, batteries, or even film, make sure you’re never caught unprepared.

10. VERIFY SHARPNESS AND EXPRESSION

After you take your photo, look at the photo in camera to make sure the image is focused properly and that you got the right expression from the couple. No matter how reliable our camera’s are, a mis-focus is inevitable, so always be checking for the blurries. Also, keep in mind when you’re verifying expression you’re not only watching out for blinkers (photos of the couple blinking) but also photogenic expressions that you would want them to do again later.

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CONCLUSION AND MORE INFO ON PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHTING

We hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Be sure to check out the Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop which has been reviewed and critically acclaimed by photographers around the world. Read more below.

The Natural Light Couples Photograph Workshop focuses on posing, storytelling through composition and simple yet effective lighting techniques to create amazing images straight out of your camera. This DVD is designed to be an industry standard training solution, and a must-have for any portrait photographer. For more information on the Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop, Click Here!

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Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop