February 23, 2022
one of the problems i’ve run into over the years of shooting weddings and engagements is that our shooting location is not always a big spot. we have a small area of shade to work with, or maybe it’s a crowded location and it’s the only spot where the view of people in the background is blocked! the important thing is that even if you have a little 4×4 area to work with…you know how to work it!
one of the best investments i have ever made in my business was taking a posing course. i struggled with posing and ideas in the beginning of my career and i knew that was something i needed to have down if i was going to be successful in capturing love stories. after investing a lot of money and time into a posing course and educating myself on maximizing my locations, i feel confident walking into any situation with a couple. i know i can get what i need in ONE spot and in 10 minutes.
so how do you photograph a couple in a 4×4 area? i have a few tips that can make it easier if you run into this problem on a wedding day or at an engagement session.
one} use a longer focal length to photograph the couple with. by using a longer focal length (70-200 is great for this!), you can get a more intimate feel to your image without having to have complete privacy to shoot it! you can also get a little more creative with where you are standing in relation to your couple. i also really love my 85mm lens for this. it is a better option if i don’t have a lot of room to stand while shooting.
two} find one spot that works for a pretty backdrop as well as pretty light. if you don’t have pretty light there…just go ahead and skip that spot. it isn’t worth your time or the frustration you will have when you go back to edit the images! pretty light is 110% the foundation of a pretty picture 🙂
three} get creative! if you have a 4×4 area to work with, use your arsenal of lenses to get different types of shots! take some vertical with your 35mm, then go horizontal with your 85mm. you will have a big variety with a small amount of work involved in changing your lenses. don’t forget to also take some macro shots (detail images) to include for your blog post and the album spreads!
four} add some foreground! you can instantly change the look of your location by adding some foreground bokeh to your images. hold a branch down at the corner of your lens and catch those pretty flower petals in the image or position yourself so part of a fence or wall is in the corner of your image…it adds the sense of privacy and intimacy to that portrait when you do it. but be careful not to go overboard! you want it to look natural and like it was already there before you placed your camera there!
five} be mindful of distractions. it is really easy to get caught up in positioning your couple that you may forget about certain things in the background. like signs on a stairway, a dumpster that might just be out of sight with that 85mm on, but very visible when you put on your 35mm! also…graffiti may seem neat in shots…but be careful what it might say. you never know!
six} be patient with your couple and explain that you’re maximizing your area of pretty light before you move somewhere else. try to position your couple in 3-4 different poses before moving, and for each pose use at least two different focal lengths of lenses to photograph them. this gives you variety and it also shows them how professional you are in using just one small space to create such a diverse feel to their final gallery!
the image at the top of this blog post was taken on a 2×3 area on a staircase in a crowded area downtown with tons of people going up and down the stairs