Lessons Learned: Jenny and Ben’s Engagement

I’ve said it many times before and I will say it again: I learn so much more while editing my own photos than I do while shooting them. During a shoot I have way too many things on my mind and I never have all the time I want. My thought process changes entirely when I put down the camera and reach for my mouse. Below are some of the things I noticed and learned while editing Jenny and Ben’s engagement photos.

For couples, have the dude put his arm around her back underneath her arm. It’s far more intimate than if he puts his hand on the outside of her arm. The former is how I might pose with my girlfriend, but the latter is how I pose with my sisters.

JennyBen-8174-2   JennyBen-7637

It’s amazing how much difference a simple camera angle can make. In the first image the bright background draws too much attention to the pedestrian. By shifting my angle slightly I am able to hide the white wall, show more of the glass background and less of the floor, and I didn’t cut off Ben’s knee this time. Also note that a person in the background doesn’t pull your attention as much if you can’t see their face.

JennyBen-7955 JennyBen-7957

Use telephoto compression (more about this in a later post) to exaggerate the size of something in the background. Note that Jenny and Ben did not move between shots –count the floor tiles if you don’t believe me. The only difference is that I backed up and zoomed in.

JennyBen-8112 JennyBen-8113

When using an external light source/flash around sunset, place the light 180 degrees from the sun so that your subject is sandwiched between the two. The external light will function more like a reflector rather than an obvious catchlight. This produces much more flattering results. Note the harsh shadows on their faces when I put the flash to the right of my camera.

JennyBen-8177 JennyBen-8179

“One-handed” half dip kiss is a really sexy pose. Her right hand around his neck, left hand hangs freely. I should use this pose more often.


Don’t always assume that f/2.8 is the best aperture. Sometimes it’s better to stop it down so you can get a little more depth; bring the background into focus a little more. This image was shot at f/2.8, but I have a feeling that I would like it better if I shot it at f/5.6.


Having the dude sit facing forward instead of sideways is a great solution to the cheesy, gay back-to-back pose.


When doing a lower body shot make sure they are holding hands. It creates a stronger connection between them.


I missed an opportunity for a cool shot here. Next time I’ll try a profile shot of him kissing her hand, but he should be kissing her left hand with the ring on it. Try a close-up one with his eyes closed, and maybe a medium shot with him looking at her while kissing her hand.


3 thoughts on “Lessons Learned: Jenny and Ben’s Engagement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s