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Tailoring a Photo Session to Your Client
by XPose Photos

 

Our ultimate compliment is to have a client look at their photos and say, “This is TOTALLY us!” We strive to create images that are bold, energetic, moving and real. But, more importantly, we feel it is our job to bring out the individual connection between each couple, because, really, this is what makes them different from every other couple.

We are emotional photographers. We shoot the moments that make us feel something. And we expect to become friends with our clients. We ask them millions of personal questions and share our time and our lives with them because it is the only way we feel we can shoot moments that will make THEM feel something as well.

So, this may sound just fine and dandy. But how does one actually go about BUILDING these types of shots? Every photographer is unique in his/her approach. But these are the steps that WE take to do it:

1. We meet our clients face to face without our cameras.

Because the connection with our clients is SO important, this is the first step in our process with them. We chat on the phone and agree on a place that is comfortable and cozy. Sometimes they come to our office for coffee, chocolate (A MUST!) and cookies and we play music and have them sit on a small loveseat (it helps to see how they interact!). Sometimes we meet for dinner (wine always helps everyone relax!). Either way, it is a no pressure situation and we laugh and talk about life (really, we hardly talk about photography at all during this initial meeting).

2. We return home and recount all the stories from that initial meeting right away.

It makes us feel more connected to them to do this. Hearing the stories again makes them easier to remember. And it makes us miss them.

3. Before scheduling a photo shoot, we send our couples a questionnaire.

We ask them to tell us about meaningful locations or traditions (and, don’t worry, EVERYONE has these!). We ask them what they love about each other. We ask them to describe their relationship in one word.

4. We talk through their answers and pick obvious themes and props for each shoot.

Sometimes this part is easy. If a couple says, “Our first kiss was at ________ Park,” we take them back there. If a couple says, “We started dating on June 14, which is Flag Day,” we bring a flag as a prop. If a couple says, “We write music together” we have them bring their guitar and make them sing to us.

Sometimes this part takes a little bit of thought. Sometimes we think through their comments and picture how we would visually represent an intangible emotion. For example, if we can tell that the guy in the relationship is an initiator and “strength” in the relationship and the girl ADORES this about him, we might pose them in a way that reflects his lead (touching her face and pulling her in, etc.).

Either way, we go into each shoot prepared for what we’re going for visually.

5. During the session, we explain to the couple what we’ve heard from them and how we’re visually translating those things into images.

This puts them at ease because they trust our vision and know that it is also THEIR connection we’re asking them to bring. We’re also talking to them throughout the shoot and continuing to build a personal relationship. This helps build trust and builds comfort and makes the shoot a blast.

Sometimes, during a shoot, we’ll pose the couple and one of them will say, “Oh! He does this all the time!” This makes us feel like we’ve hit the mark.

6. Telling their story (in a post, for example) becomes easy now because the pictures already speak it and we’ve developed a friendship with the couple along the way.

Our clients tend to tell us they’ve never had a shoot so interactive before. Or sometimes they tell us that it was easier to get through because they were just interacting with the person they love (which feels natural) instead of posing for a camera.

7. By wedding time, we know the couple.
 
They’re our friends. They’re comfortable with us. And they trust us. Which makes for an ideal combination!
 

Brian BraunHi! We are Tina and Suzi. We’re a sister wedding and lifestyle photography team based out of South Bend, Indiana. We love weddings but think marriage is even better. We laugh a lot. We are inspired by couples who’ve been married 50+ years. We think life was made for relationships and connections. We think life would be miserable without art. We can’t remember a time without the other. And we love our job.

Website: www.xposephotos.com
Blog: www.xposephotos.com/blog

 
Arlington Camera © 2018. All rights reserved.

Arlington Camera, Inc.    544 W. Randol Mill Road    Arlington, Texas 76011
Metro 817.261.8131    Toll Free 800.313.6748
www.arlingtoncamera.com