Engagement Photos: Sam & Marshall

I love when I’m presented with an opportunity to take photos of couples; I feel like I can tell a better story when there is more than one person involved. When Sam asked me to take some relaxed fall photos of her and Marshall, I was thrilled. Fall is my favourite time of year, and couple portraits are some of my favourite to take!

These was my first ever “Engagement Shoot”, and having had my engagement photos done just a couple months ago, I knew there were a few things that help a session go well.

We also asked a friend of ours to do the photos, and I wanted to give Sam and Marshall the things that worked well, and some of the things I wish I had asked for. Our photographer professionally shoots real estate and outdoor sports videos. That being said, I knew portraits wasn’t necessarily his thing, but I hoped for the best. We had some fun shots, and a couple cute ones, and I wanted to give this pair a good experience. I met with Sam a week or so before we did the shoot, just to let see what she wanted and talk about what she could expect.

1. I wanted her ideas – I never had an official sit-down chat about what kind of shots I’d like and how I planned on using them. Knowing whether or not someone wants some for Save-the-dates, invitations, large print size or just as memory keepsakes can determine the type and variety of shots you’ll need. Sam wanted fun, colourful, and a few for save-the-dates and thank-you cards. I took this as, not too many mushy ones, definitely some above the waist shots, where they look relaxed doing something that fits their personalities. So we went to a lake.


2. I asked her for specific poses – I want to leave room for the couple to suggest things that catch their eye, it allows them to really get into the experience and feel like they have some control over what’s happening. If I can make one or two of the shots they really want happen, then they’ll be more receptive to suggestions and more  excited about the whole thing. I never spoke up at my shoot, asking for what I really wanted. I was disappointed that I didn’t get more romantic ones, or ones that really showed us relaxed and just enjoying the time with each other, but I didn’t know I wanted them until months after we had ours taken.



3. I wanted to have enough time and space to get a variety of shots, and to have time to joke around and laugh. At my engagement shoot, I didn’t feel like we walked around enough or took full advantage of the location we were at. Sam and I made a plan to go to the lake, but I was also familiar with a few of the trails she and Marshall were not, so after feeling confident that I had enough shots to satisfy their needs, I asked if they were up checking out on other spot, the bridge seen above. As we walked, we chatted about their lives, how they met, the proposal, which lightened the mood as well as wound down the day. We made a few different stops along the way, when I saw trees or logs that I liked, and thankfully they were up for it!


Those are the three things that any engagement shoot should include:

1. Meet beforehand to talk about expectations

2. Suggest ideas

3. Take time to see whats around





About definitelynotapoet

View my work in Skirt Quarterly, Untethered, Vagabond Citylit, the Quilliad and Tracer Publishing.
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One Response to Engagement Photos: Sam & Marshall

  1. Kim says:

    I love this. Great, great shoot! You have such an eye. 🙂

    The care you put in to ensuring you take Exactly The Right photos makes me happy. You are so considerate of your clients, their feelings and wishes, and your work. (Folks, I know this from personal experience. She’s a joy to work with – if a little bossy…. 😉 ) Next time I am engaged (to Nathan Fillion, of course), you will take the pictures!

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