How To Get The Most Out Of Your Portraits And Engagement Shoots // Washington D.C

Educate your clients on what to expect on the shoot. 

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer

*You need to tell your clients the process of the shoot from the beginning to the end.

*Tell them how you work and how to be during the session 

-For example: Tell them how you direct and how you don't do the cheesy prom posing.

Tell them how theyre going to turn into pro models at the end of the session. 



What I bring to the session

*I don't really bring to much gear since I feel it gets in the way of the session and could create an annoyance having to lug around a lot of gear. 

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer
  • My camera backpack

  • One camera

  • 24mm and 50mm

  • One flash and One video light (I don't carry them with me. I have a separate bag for lighting just incase.

  • Tiny bluetooth speaker (Thanks Ben Sasso for the tip!)

  • Prism

  • Copper tube (depending on the light)

How to begin the session

*Now that we have met and began the session I usually don't start off the bat shooting. I walk and talk with them to get them comfortable. 


Having fun and giving directions

*I hate the classical prom poses. I love seeing real smiles and reactions!

Here are some go-to directions I give to get the best reactions out of my couples. 

  • Have them face each other, hug each other and tell them to close their eyes. Now tell them to just be in the moment and to slowly go for a kiss. But to get as close as possible without touching lips. This usually gets them to smile and laugh because there's a fun tension between them.

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer
  • Let them practice their first dance. Or if they don't have one yet have them slow dance to an awesome song! I love the song "Put your head on my shoulder by Paul Anka" Its an amazing slow song that surely get your couple to get into their groove.

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer.
  • Ask one of them to hum a song that the other might know and they have to guess what the song might be. (Awesome little tip from the unposed field guide.)

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer
  • Have one of them hug the other from the back and have them snuggle to their cheek. Bonus tip to get some nice smiles. Tell the person in the back to whisper something sweet.

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer

Here's a really quick and fun one. Have her jump on his back and snuggle up to his cheek. Pro tip if she's wearing a skirt do this where there isn't anyone behind her. haha

Washington D.C Wedding Photographer

Finally the most used for me. Have them walk and talk. I usually mix it in between locations so it fill some of that empty space. 

The final delivery 

*At the end of the session ask them if they had any ideas for any shots that they wanted to add. If not, educate them on the process of receiving their images. 

I currently use PASS as my main online gallery providers. I loved their service because it's simple and straightforward. Plus since my print company is connected to the gallery it's really easy for clients to order prints. I send an email with a link to the gallery.

Bonus tips!!

Here are some more posing directions that are surely going to create some authentic reactions from your couples. 

  • Whisper something non dirty in a dirty voice in her ear. For example a grocery list, recipe, your day, etc.

  • Have them face each other and have on of them kiss the other in different places except the lips.

  • Hug the other from the back and snuggle against the other's cheek and take a big sniff of their hair.

  • Have them face each other and hug. let them be in the moment. Let them relax then tell one of them squeeze. It always creates laughter for me.

  • Have them hug each other face to face. Ask her to lay her head on his chest and relax. Then ask him to lightly lay on her head or kiss the top of her head. Let them be in the moment or tell him to him to say something sweet to her.