Engagement Photography Is A Social And Technical Skill
Engagement photography is a sector of the business which demands skills beyond those normally associated with pointing a camera and clicking. You have live subjects, at a time of their life when they are filled with optimism and beaming about the future, giving those with social as well as photographic skills the ideal opportunity to turn them into happy smiling perfect subjects. The majority of engaged couples will be inherently excellent photographic models, unless the ineptitude of the photographer turns them into bags of nerves by failing to capitalize on these opportunities.
Having said this, it is still important to realize that you are dealing with human beings, and that human beings behave in completely different ways in the same circumstances. You will find some who are naturally photogenic, and who have also posed for pictures before. These people will be easy to work with, and will do most of your work for you. Others will be perfect prospects, but will need you to put them at ease before they will loosen up and relax into the task at hand. You may even find some who will delight in telling you at every stage exactly how you should be doing your job.
It takes a significant degree of social skill as well as skill with a camera to carry out this type of work, and that is something which you either have or you don't. If you inherently have it, it can be developed through practice, and it is always worthwhile to offer free shoots to some friend who are either engaged or newly married just so that you can practice. Even if you naturally feel more comfortable dealing with someone you know, you will still be reinforcing your skills for when you have to take on the first paying client.
Even if you are supremely confident of your ability to engage the couple and put them at ease, you will still need to develop the necessary skills with the camera. Modern high end photography equipment is relatively easy to use, and it is forgiving to those who don't get it exactly right. Even if the camera produces something which isn't as it should be, there is still the possibility that software can correct some of the errors. The basic skills which you need to learn are taught in many colleges and through online courses, although there is no need to study for a degree.
The use of lighting is the most fundamentally important skill, and most photographers will want the subjects to visit them in their studio so that they have complete control over this. Advanced photographers will even be able to use lighting to create subtle effects which enhance the image, leading to something greater than the actual reproduction of what is there in the real world. It is also important to study backdrops, and to be able to tailor them to the people being photographed. Everyone will have different eye and facial color, and be wearing different clothing.
It is possible to make a living from carrying out engagement photography, or by combining it with other related photography skills. This is most likely to happen if you are based in one of the major cities, as there is only going to be a short time in the lives of people where they would be able to use this service. Marketing will need to be effective but limited, and there is usually little enough competition to get a first page ranking without much difficulty. You should find that you pick up a lot of your clients through word of mouth, as couples know other couples who need engagement photography.Author: Marc Knox
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