Engagement photography wasn’t always so popular, but with the rise of social media, more couples are looking to celebrate this exciting milestone in their lives. Mobile engagement photography does just that less formally. As an engagement photographer, you have the chance to capture each couple’s unique personality.
Modern-day smartphones are more than capable of taking great engagement photos that will capture that special connection between your lucky couple too. In fact, the newest offerings on the market feature phone cameras good enough for wedding photography. If you’re ready to try your hand at smartphone engagement photography, we’ve got the tools and techniques to help you set up the perfect photoshoot.
Mobile Engagement Photography
Essential Gear for Mobile Engagement Photography
A smartphone tripod is a fundamental tool that every smartphone photographer should have in their gear bag, but it can be especially helpful in mobile engagement photography. Tripods enable you to take as many photos as you want without having to worry about your arm getting tired from holding your phone. No more camera shake and blurry photos!
Still not convinced? Then check out this guide about why you need a phone tripod to make it as a mobile content creator.
Depending on the type of photoshoot you’re doing, you may want to consider different sizes of tripods. Smaller, flexible tripods are great for photographing in various locations as they’re easy to carry and can get set up anywhere. However, if you’re shooting in a studio or need a little extra height, a taller tripod might be just the one for you. This guide to the nine best options on the market in 2020 will help you make your decision.
Once you’ve invested in a tripod, don’t forget to grab a remote camera shutter. These pocket-sized Bluetooth devices allow you to take photos without having to touch your smartphone and risk the vibration from tapping the shutter button. Since you don’t need to be behind the camera, you’re free to be your own assistant and adjust hair, accessories, or surroundings as needed.
Dark photos won’t capture the love between two wonderful people, so make sure your images are well lit. An external light source, such as a ring light, is a great way to add a touch more light, without the awkward glare of your camera’s flash. Once your lighting is taken care of, you can focus on the more critical details of the photoshoot. If you have to shoot in low-light, then consider checking out this guide to doing so on your smartphone.
Depending on the type of phone you’re using, you may have a few different lenses from which to choose. This variety shouldn’t stop you from considering a clip-on lens. There are many great brands out there, but Moment offers a variety of different professional-quality lenses. Read our review of Moment lenses here.
Finally, if you’re not already using a third-party camera app, you might want to download one. Depending on the type of phone you’re using, you might already be happy with your camera app, but many third-party apps allow for greater control of your settings. That control means your phone camera is adjustable like a DSLR. Try shooting RAW files too for increasing control when photo editing.
How to Pose Subjects For Engagement Photography
When posing your happy couple, it’s important that you have a few poses in mind before you begin shooting. You want your subjects to be comfortable so that their happiness is visible in the photos, so save those daring poses for a different shoot.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re engaging in pleasant conversation with your subjects to help put them at ease. Barking orders at them to stand the way you want them to will result in awkward poses and uncomfortable expressions. A conversation will also allow you to get to know the couple better, so you can tailor your shoot to their individual needs. It’s worth noting that mobile engagement photography is supposed to be less stressful than doing it with a big DSLR, so make it such.
Encourage the couple to be affectionate during the photoshoot. Holding hands, embracing, or even just sitting closely can capture that intimate connection between two people. Unless you’re attempting something creative, your subjects should be touching at all times. This connection will also help you frame your photo just right.
Whether you’re shooting up close or from a distance, you’ll want to make sure that your couple’s poses aren’t interacting with the background negatively. You don’t want to take the perfect photo only to realize later it looks like a tree is sprouting from the future bride’s head. Check out this video for some composition tips.
Don’t forget to photograph the engagement ring, especially if you’re shooting up close and personal. Be sure to angle your couple’s body position, as well as your own, in a way that shows off that beautiful ring. A refresher on mobile product photography may be in order to help you do it.
If you need a little posing inspiration, it can be helpful to search for engagement photography on social media. Most engagement photography is done with the couple lovingly holding each other, but there are plenty of ways to get creative.
Mobile Engagement Photography Tips
While you should experiment with different poses, it’s important to remember that the background of your photos can have as much of an impact, if not more, than the way the couple is posed. You can use a basic set of poses, but changing the background, or even adding a few props, can really take your images to the next level.
Though too many props can take the focus away from the couple, they are a great way to add a unique touch to your photos. Props such as giant letters that spell L-O-V-E, soft blankets, or a flower in the bride’s hair are perfect for adding personality to engagement photos.
Be aware of your lighting and consider scheduling your shoot around “golden hour,” which is the time just after sunrise and just before sunset. The light tends to be softer at this time compared to the harsh lighting of the midday sun. Remember, a little fill light might be needed to ensure your images aren’t too dark.
Try photographing your couple in different locations. The location of your photoshoot is an ideal way of incorporating your subjects’ personalities and preferences. For an outdoorsy couple, you might photograph them in a forest or near their favorite camping or hiking spot. If your couple met at a coffee shop, that might be the perfect place to photograph them.
As always, be sure to edit your photos with your favorite editing app. Mobile engagement photography is either won or lost in this step. Even if your photos are nearly perfect already, editing gives you the chance to add those final touches. Whether it’s brightening your couple’s faces or removing that stray hair from someone’s clothing, editing will get your photos ready to be shared on social media.