Tom and Linda in Carmel, California

October 02, 2014  •  12 Comments

In engagement photography, composition is one of many key elements in creating a picture. For my shutterbugs, that’s the constant search in all genres of photography but more so when doing portraiture photography.  With each of my clients, I take as much time in getting to know them and getting a good vibe so I can clearly define the composition as their key element.  Tom and Linda were nice to meet me on a couple occasions.  They came as a customer referral so I knew they liked me from the start.  We shared drinks and as my aunties would say, “talk stories”.  I told them how much I love photography and my excitement of making beautiful images.  Linda shared how she likes wine as she’s from northern California and Tom likes to drink wine.  It was great sharing an evening over drinks at Zeph’s.  So when came to their engagement and photographs, I had a good idea in where to be creative. 

One thing I mention in one way or another to clients is about how I compose a photograph.  The eye incoherently pays attention to the rule of thirds, a measure of composition.  When photographing Tom and Linda, it was easy to apply the rule of thirds as they were my key elements and understanding how depth of field changes one’s perspective on a scene.  I have various lenses as tools so I may change perspectives and create my favorite kinds of portraiture.  This couple was great in front of the camera.  We got to talking a lot and more so they eventually forgot I was taking pictures at the same time.  It was great to get their “guard down” as the honesty of a photograph is now prevalent. 

Another composition strategy I use with couples is the 180-degree rule.  Shutterbugs, take notes as this isn’t always mentioned in those novice photography books.  If you have taken an entry-level cinematography class then you can identify these scenes in television and movies.  In most scenes it involves two people talking or kissing and the composition may be similar to the photographs in this blog.  If the composition is spot on, it helps the viewer understand the relationship between the two.  Basically the 180-degree rule is aligning subjects or objects along an imaginary axis.  It was fun to have Tom and Linda in a picture perfect position and just have them settle in their places and have fun with it. 

Overall, the engagement shoot went off without a hitch.  As I showed them photos from my camera, it was great to see the smiles on their faces while getting a sneak peak.  My trusty assistant and daughter Kayla also was there lending more moral support but had fun hold a large reflector.  Thank you Tom and Linda for a fun time and I can’t wait to shoot your Summer wedding in Carmel Valley.  All the best and see you very soon. 


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