Back in the day, engagement photos were typically studio portraits taken to accompany engagement announcements that ran in newspapers, and they often had to meet specific requirements regarding size, background, and so on for the newspapers to run them.
Those days are mostly gone, and with them the formality that these types of announcements required. Today, engagement photos are typically informal shots taken in natural settings, often outside. However, as predictable as studio shots were years ago, today’s informal shots are becoming equally expected.
For something different, why not try combining some of both approaches? With the wealth of backgrounds and backdrops available for studio work today, it’s possible to create almost any sort of virtual world indoors. And, studio’s greatest advantage—having complete control over the shooting environment—can definitely work to your favor in many situations. Bad weather? Not a problem? Restricted access to a desired location? Again, a problem that you might be able to leapfrog working indoors.
Studio engagement shots can be just as personalized and individual as outdoor shots, and some engaged couples might even prefer them as studio portraits often have a more timeless, enduring quality to them. And, the controlled environment of studio work—specifically solid, clean backgrounds and lighting right where you want it—puts the focus on the couple, not on the surroundings.
Some clients may naturally gravitate toward a studio setup for their engagement photos. Others might need some gentle leading or persuading. The best approach is to have a solid portfolio of your own to show them, but exposing them to images by other photographers can open the doors to creativity on their side and yours too. Consider showing them some examples of iconic work by portrait photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, noted for her bold colors and innovative poses, or maybe Yousuf Karsh, renowned for his dramatic black and white portraiture.
Then, let your (and their) imagination soar! If they’re sports fans, it might be a great time to try out a sports-themed floor drop. Or, maybe they want a dramatic black and white portrait with a little something extra. A Black Cream Retro Muslin Backdrop might be just the ticket for the additional touch that will make their portrait stand out from the rest.
Sonia has been a self-employed writer and editor since 1988, building on her experience working in the education, healthcare and publishing arenas in various communications capacities. She has served clients across the United States and abroad and has written, co-authored, or ghostwritten more than 20 books and hundreds of print pieces, ranging from sales brochures to annual reports, plus numerous articles and reports on subjects ranging from home architecture and interior design to the high-tech and pharmaceuticals industries.