5 ways to ensure authenticity in your photos

I recently had a client ask me how I ensure authenticity in my work and it was actually something I’ve never been asked before — certainly nothing I really put concrete words to! A few weeks ago, I asked my Instagram tribe to give me three words they thought best described my photography and authenticity was one of the words that came up over and over again.So I am showing authenticity but couldn’t put words to how exactly I do that. Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about that ever since she asked the question and I’ve come up with a few things I do. There are a lot of ways to capture authenticity but here are a few!

1. Pre-session questionnaire

I am big on communicating with my couples a lot, especially during the booking stage of the game. I love hearing the story of how each couple began and how their love grew into an engagement. Storytelling is what drives me to be a wedding photographer so getting all the details helps me show who you are as a couple during the engagement session and the wedding day.

2. Do an engagement session!

I recently wrote a blog post about why you should do an engagement session with your wedding photographer. I’ve noticed a huge difference with couples I’ve done an engagement session with and couples who I haven’t. There’s a stronger rapport and the couple usually trusts me more. They’re able to give me feedback on poses and images they really loved and want to recreate on the wedding day. I’m able to see how they interact with each other during the engagement session, a much more relaxed environment.  

3. Try a variety of different poses and moods during the engagement session

In that vein, during the engagement session, I like to do a variety of poses and moods to see what you like best. I’ll make you laugh, have you make each other laugh, and have you frolic happily through a field (just kidding — sort of!) I’ll also create some quieter moments where it looks like I’m just peeking in on an intimate moment between the two of you. Most couples love the variety. But if I get the sense that being serious and intimate just isn’t your thing, I’ll focus more on the happy, joyful images (and vice versa!)

4. Ask for feedback on engagement photos

I send all of my couples a pre-wedding questionnaire to help determine the timeline and family shot list, among many other things. This is where I ask for feedback on your engagement session and what’d you like to see more of on the wedding day!

5. Make ‘em laugh

I know how nerve-wracking it can be to be in front of a big ol’ camera. I was not a photographer when I got engaged so I remember it very vividly! Even as a photographer, I still get nervous in front of the camera. One of the best ways I’ve found to loosen people up and get them to look like themselves is to make them laugh. Whatever I have to do to get those smiles flowing I will do. I have no problem being a little goofy if it means we’ll get some beautiful, authentic images in the end. Totally worth it in my book!

I’d love to know: What are other ways I can make you more comfortable in front of the camera?

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