The way I describe my approach to photo shoots, is: moment of opportunity. I realize that might not make sense grammatically, but please bare with me.
I love to get an idea from my couples as to what their interests are, where they like to go together, things they like to do together, and where they envision their engagement photos to take place.
Based on this information, I'll make suggestions for places / themes / outfits or other ideas we can use as a guideline for our shoot. But when it comes down to it - the best photographs are the ones that come up unexpectedly and unplanned.
We had decided to go to the 5th Ward in Milwaukee, as opposed to the popular 3rd Ward. This already would give us a unique opportunity for some different photos. I had driven through and found a wall mural with a rainbow painted on it, among other colorful depictions. There were also a few cool looking buildings, and so I suggested we start in that area - my boys agreed.
The mural didn't exactly pan out as I had imagined. There was a lot going on in the photo, and I couldn't exactly position myself to highlight the rainbow like I wanted. I took a few shots, and we moved on. Sometimes it doesn't work out the way you hoped - and that's okay!
As we rounded a corner, we found ourselves walking down a barren street next to this super long building with clean, repetitive brick pattern. This was a moment of opportunity - for a few different shots.
I used a long lens - this gives my clients the feeling of privacy, and allows them to talk to each other without me listening in to whatever they're saying. I find that this sometimes allows for them to emit some genuine emotion and provides me with a better chance of capturing it. I crossed the street, and yelled over for them to "just be cute" I fired off a few shots, but I knew I needed something a little more. I pulled out my prism - and BAM. The rainbow photo that I wanted, arrived a thousand times better than I could have ever imagined.
Trusting your photographer to capture the essence of who you are as a couple and what you mean to each other is truly a gift. One that I do not take lightly. I hope to be able to deliver moments of opportunity in a way my clients will love and appreciate for many years.