How to Take Great Engagement Photos

Whether it's for invitations, a Web site, or a rehearsal dinner slideshow, great engagement photos start with the right camera and a few simple photography guidelines.

Pick Your Place and Time

You and your spouse-to-be aren't the only objects people will see in your photos; you have to think about the surroundings. The setting will play a key role in your pictures, so consider the impression to convey. Are you an outdoorsy couple? Shots on the beach, in the mountains, or near the woods may be appropriate. Homebodies may prefer indoor shots instead. When in doubt, major landmarks are a safe bet.

No matter where you snap your pictures, avoid shooting in the midday sun. Early-morning or late-afternoon lighting will minimize harsh shadows and squinting eyes.

Set Your Camera Properly

Most cameras have an automatic mode that produces fine pictures. But don't be afraid to go manual—with a digital camera, there's no expensive film or developing cost. Experiment with different settings; play with aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings as you shoot. You can review your pictures afterwards to see which settings worked the best. If a shot doesn't work, simply delete it.

Here are a few points to help you master your camera's controls:

  • Setting Up Shots. The key here is variety. Your photo album will have greater impact if it includes a range of approaches, from close-ups to long shots that let the surroundings do some of the work. Experiment with angles and different backgrounds. Here are a few other points to keep in mind before you click the shutter.
  • No Camera Man? Use a tripod and the camera’s built-in timer to capture self-portraits. It's more time consuming but easy with a little advance planning.
  • Be a Big Help. An assistant can change lenses and hold a reflector to bounce light in different directions to help eliminate ugly shadows. A large piece of white cardboard works fine for this purpose.
  • Keep the Sun to the Side. Positioning the camera directly in front of the sun will cause squinting and glare. Backlit scenes will be lost in shadow. Whenever possible, make sure the sun is to the side of the camera.
  • Don't Get Carried Away by the Surroundings. Overly dramatic locations can distract from the real subject: The happy couple.

Photo Credits: Samsung

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