I met this couple for the first time on Friday to discuss photographing their upcoming wedding. While they were in the area we decided to do some last minute engagement pictures on Monday at the state park in Myrtle Beach. I’ve said it a lot of times before, but doing engagement pictures is really the best way to get to know a couple, and for them to get to know you as the photographer. If they like what you do during the engagement portraits, they are going to like you at the wedding as well. Pictures of the couple after the wedding is pretty much the same thing, just a little more rushed and with a little more stress.
We are finally getting some good weather, it was a beautiful evening with a great sunset. I notice it seems to be a really popular thing to get some flare from the setting sun in the lens. You certainly wouldn’t want it in every picture because it washes it out, but it can be a cool look. The really expensive Nikon lenses have a special Nano Crystal coating on them to reduce flare because it’s not normally something you would want. If you get the sun over to the side but in the frame enough where it’s hitting the lens you will definitely still get it.
One other thing I thought of. Because of constantly looking into the sun I know I need to always wear sunglasses. However my current ones completely make the screen on the back of my camera not visible. I realized you have to get sunglasses that are not polarized. I ordered some nice Ray-Bans that should be really good without being polarized. I’m hoping that will make it so I don’t have to keep taking them off to see my screen. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, please comment if you do.
I’ve had a lot of really nice engagement portrait sessions this winter. The weather has been fantastic, I’ve noticed I had more work this winter then last year probably because of the nice weather. I actually don’t have anything scheduled this weekend, but I have a couple of engagement session for the next.
I’m getting a new portrait lens the Sigma 85mm f1.4. You might wonder why I’m not buying the Nikon version of this lens. I almost exclusively use Nikon, my go to lenses the 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 are fantastic. Ryan Brenizer, a photographer I really trust, reviewed the Sigma lens and really loved it. With the problems in Japan, Nikon lenses are so expensive and hard to get right now, I just decided to go with the Sigma instead. The reason I’m mentioning this, is this will probably be my new lens for engagement pictures, at least for many shots. For example the Bokeh, or out of focus sun coming through the trees in the first image, with the 85mm prime lens at f1.4 would be much creamier and and softer. It makes for a really amazing look. It’s harder to use a prime lens of course, because you have to zoom with your feet. Also accurate focus is critical when shooting at very wide apertures like f1.4. I’m going to give the lens a good try and I’ll probably write a review myself as well.
The couple featured below was a lot of fun. They haven’t set a date for the wedding yet, so I was just doing engagement pictures separately from the wedding. They were very happy and couldn’t stop smiling at each other, it made for a lot of fun candid shots. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below.
Engagement portrait in front of the oak trees - Myrtle Beach State Park
Couple sitting on the oak tree in black and white. - Myrtle Beach State Park
My wife and I are both terrible at smiling at the camera, most people really don’t look very natural when they try to smile, so I really feel for clients trying to get their pictures taken. I always try to shoot fast and joke about things to keep it relaxed, the worst type of picture is when someone makes you wait for the shot. Don’t you hate it when people pull out their point and shoot camera, count to three, then still wait a few second for the shot. That is a good recipe for getting the worst possible shot. Still, even with a fast DSLR, most of the time my favorite shots are when the couples are looking at each other or just catching natural smiles when they happen. This couple though just seemed to have naturally great smiles, that is why I picked to post below a number of pictures where they are looking at the camera. They were up for anything and seemed to really enjoy the pictures, I’m looking forward to doing their wedding next year. I hope you enjoy some of the shots below.