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  • Vlad Kolesnikov

Engagement Session Tips #1 - Candid Moments


A while back I had a friend reach out to me about a potential engagement session and specifically mentioned he wanted a heavy emphasis on "candid moments." In writing my response I thought this would make a great subject for a blog post from a New York City an Hudson Valley photographer such as myself so hear is what I wrote.




Many clients will frequently say they want candid or unposed moments followed with a pinterest board filled with very heavily staged photos. Furthermore, I will say that many people, don't photograph very well candidly, so I wanted to elaborate on how I try to create seemingly natural, authentic and candid moments while maintaining creative control to insure that the photos come out looking their best. So here’s the lowdown on engagement sessions/couples photos.













"Generally speaking the candid natural moments all happen from genuine interaction between the couple as they share feelings of excitement, joy, surprise, laughs, etc.


The job of the photographer is to 1. capture the moments when those feelings are seen and 2. To create situations where those moments can happen naturally. So the way I approach couples sessions is as follows. With one/two general locat


ions in mind, I like to do some very clearly posed pictures to showcase the couple in the location and ensure that there are at least a few photos that the couple can use for their save the date and celebrate their engagement.





The magic really takes place after when the couple can loosen up from their pose and relax a little bit, then I try to capture the dynamic of the couple as we walk from one location to the next.




This insures a good mixture of posed photos and candid moments while building up the visual story for the engagement session.


As far as posing goes, I usually just put couples into a starting position that works for the photo


then try to create natural interactions between the couple from there. This creates natural looking moments in a visually pleasing way.




In my experience the best natural moments almost feel posed and the best posed pictures feel natural.


So, If you as a client want to make your photos look more natural, with visually pleasing moments you should do the following.


As you go through the session, you want to have visual points of contact (eg. holding hands, eye contact, leaning heads in, hands on shoulders/waist) Lastly, those happy couple moments come from spontaneity so just doing something affectionate as a surprise like a lil pinch or tickle or whispering a good memory together or a joke can make those moments come about and bring out the happiness for the photos.


Hope the words and shots give some inspo. Cheers


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