Last weekend I was soo fortunate to be able to shoot my first ever engagement session for a very dear childhood friend and her fiance! To Richmond, IL I traveled and we had a blast during the shoot. They are both so fun to be around and it was wonderful to finally be able to meet them as a couple. I've known Grace since we were both in diapers, but this was the first time I met Nate. They are so incredibly in love and I am honored to share just a few moments of the time we spent together. There was a lot of laughter involved and I can't wait for the wedding in May 2015!!
As I continue my journey of learning and becoming a more confident photographer, I'm used this trip and session as a very important learning opportunity. I was a bit nervous when we first started, but we worked together to figure out what poses to do and they were so patient with me! I have a few crucial take aways from this session that either reaffirmed the things I already knew OR opened my eyes a bit wider to some aspects of portrait photography that I hadn't given a lot of attention.
1) Affirmation #1: LIGHTING LIGHTING LIGHTING!! Lighting is the key to photography - you always need it and sometimes there is too much!
Lesson #1: I still have a lot of work to do to fully understand my camera and how to adjust with the changing light. Planning for inadequate light is super important (having an external flash, reflectors, etc), but understanding what to do with too much (direct sunlight) is just as important. We started with overcast skies for this session, but by about the half way point we were dealing with major sun and watering eyes! (No good)
2) Eye Opener #1: Posing doesn't just happen! Do your homework!
Lesson #2: I, as the photographer, need to be comfortable directing clients and they will most likely be looking for my direction. Being open to client opinions and suggestions is huge, but I need to have an arsenal of go-to poses in my head. Without a bank of poses, I had to do a lot of thinking on my feet, which felt stressful and in the end I feel like I could have used a wider variety throughout the session. This will come with more practice!
3) Affirmation #2: Move your feet!
Lesson #3: It is possible to turn one pose into several different unique images if I remember to move, change the angle, and get closer (or further away). This goes hand in hand with posing!
4) Affirmation #3: PRACTICE!!
Lession #4: I've always known that practice would be the most important part of my learning process over the next year, but again, this session totally reaffirmed that belief for me. I won't know what I don't know until I do!