Lighting, Location, Posing
If you just started as a photographer, you might experience this: you get good pictures by chance. You have to shots multiple and later found one successful photo. Through learning from Katelyn James, I knew that photography is mostly about lighting, location, and posing. When doing a photoshoot you have to be aware of all three and manage it well.
There is this beautiful fountain located in Glenora and it is called the "Alexander Circle". I chose this place for two couples, knowing that the weather will be nice on the photoshoot day. However, I was concerned with the surroundings: it has trees with changing colors but not enough vibrancy. I then bought a bouquet of flowers and a couple of balloons.
It is a good practice to arrive early. Give yourself 15 to 30 minutes to choose locations you like. You can also use the opportunity to set up your equipment. Set up your tripod, speedlite, or even reflectors. In my case, I focused on utilizing natural lighting and therefore, my timeframe was limited until sunset.
Get to know your clients beforehand. Ask where they meet, where they are from, whether they have done this kind of photoshoot before or not. This is to build rapport and trust. The first few shots you take will be the 'warm-up' ones. If the couple is comfortable with directions, give them some. If they prefer to do natural poses, such as talking to each other, then respect and allow them to do so.
The other location I chose was Manchester Square. This time around, there are beautiful details. The buildings are made of bricks and there is a huge floral mural. Understanding this, I asked my clients to wear simple one-colored dress and didn't expense on props.
My challenge was to work with strong lighting. With the lovely couple, I had to work with sunset. Meanwhile, with the beautiful model, it was harsh light. To be safe, you can find spots with shades. Next, you can try backlighting as well. This way your clients don't have to face the sun and have their eyes squinted all the time.
One of my weaknesses is in composing the picture. I often get caught up with lighting, angle, and posing. However, I recommend taking a few deep breaths and timed breaks (for example, every 10 shots you would ask the model to relax while you change your lens). Encourage your clients to do their favorite pose and try fake laughter to relax them as well.