Connection versus Location for a Portrait Session

June 24, 2021

As photographers, we often put emphasis on nudging the couple to choose a beautiful location for their engagement session. Shelly and Steven told me exactly what they wanted; “something simple to show that we’re in love.” We didn’t travel far from their home in Southern Louisiana. We pulled over to the side of the road in Thibodaux and did their engagement session underneath some beautiful oak trees. They wanted their session to be more focused on connection versus location, and I think it showed through effortlessly.

A simple truth: the connection of a couple is what makes engagement photos great. In the hustle and bustle of finding the right location and wanting to have that perfect, shareable image, it’s easy to fall prey to the thought pattern that prioritizes location. Showing me your connection is what is truly important. It doesn’t have to be lots of physical affection. Sometimes it’s a certain look or touch that tells me so much about who you are as a couple. Don’t get me wrong I love a beautiful location, but without a connection between the couple, the final images tend to feel lackluster.  

I count myself lucky to spend time with a couple who isn’t afraid to show their unique selves. They were open and vulnerable and allowed me to see their true connection. That is the epitome of great couples sessions. Shelly and Steven never showed these great gestures of affection. It was the way she brushed his hair to the side for him, or how Steven made sure Shelly watched her step as we walked over the large roots of the oak trees. My main goal is for you to feel comfortable enough to show me who you are. It may take a little while to feel at ease. But when you receive your images back I want you to feel a level of familiarity because you are seeing yourselves exactly as you are.  

When you feel stressed that you can’t find the perfect location or you’re worried about your outfit or makeup, remember that your session is about the bond between two human beings. Whether you’re stopped on side the road in New Orleans or on the top of a breathtaking mountain in Colorado, what is truly important is the connection between you. Focus on that and I will take care of the rest.

Interact with your partner how you normally would. You will get back photos that you will enjoy forever. Shelly and Steven showed me and all of us that if you feel like you are on top of the world when you are with your partner, then we could have an engagement session anywhere. So Connection versus Location. Which do you think matters more?

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