Capturing Real Emotion in Engagement Sessions

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Now I have to be honest. Some of these photos were extremely easy to capture genuine surprise....because she was genuinely surprised! I had the honor to help out with my second surprise engagement session this year. I love these!

Meet Dominique and Stephanie: they are a wonderful couple who were celebrating their anniversary together with photos, but little did she know that he had contacted me without her knowing to request that I help him with this momentous occasion! They are so great together and a ton of fun to watch interact with each other. I love watching couples who so obviously enjoy each others company. Anyway, on to the photos!

When trying to capture real moments I have always found that it is most easy to start with a real one. See, most people are not very good at posing themselves (I include myself in that category). I like to pose a couple and then take a few shots so I have a posed photo for the set but then go fiddle in my bag or on the back of my camera so they are no longer paying attention to me. Now I am catching the couple in their natural state of reacting with each other. Another thing I like to do, it say I am just testing my light so these don't count and the couple forgets about me for a minute.

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Engagement Photos are the perfect story telling medium. You have a great romance to share with the viewer and you only have a certain amount of images to do it in. Sure you could take 5,000 photos but the amazing emotional content will be lost just because of sheer size. Like a high end restaurant, there are less things on the menu because after purging all the bad and mediocre, you are left with the best they have to offer. Thats why I wanted to tell this story in just 4 images:

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These types of photos are just invaluable because I, as a photographer am prepared to create images that are more natural and personal. If all I ever do are posed portraits, they could probably save money by just going to Olan Mills or Walmart. The reason clients choose more creative photography is for the CREATIVITY. I feel I have a romantic photojournalistic style to my engagement shoots and this definitely falls in the category. What is your style? What do you like? Comment Below!

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Remember that if you would like to book me for a photo session or you have something special in mind to surprise your loved one, please contact me at jarrett@jarretthucks.com or by phone: 843.446.4929

Thank you for reading!

Room to grow: Using my Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

So, many people have their favorite lenses that they own or have owned and many drool over certain pieces of glass that they feel will boost their photography to the next level. That piece for me was the 85mm 1.8. I had such of love affair with this lens and after getting it, I haven't really used it much. But still I was determined to continue my photographic journey to professional status so I started to use it and have really fallen in love with what I can produce with it, but I figured I needed to continue investing in to my equipment to take better photos. Well one day cruising around craigslist, I found a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 for sale just an hour away from me. I couldn't pass up the opportunity of at least inquiring about it. Well after a few emails, the seller informed me that she was parting with a bunch of her equipment. She knew what she had but was willing to make a deal. I ended up walking away with the 70-200mm Sigma. She also had a few other things that sparked my interest, like a 17-55mm 2.8 which I passed on but she did talk me in to coming home with the handy dandy Nikon 105mm 2.8g Micro. Both were in pristine condition but I still only paid around 60% less than retail which for such a big purchase is impressive.

Anyway, I used the 70-200 constantly on photo shoots, weddings, pretty much anything outdoors just because there is something commanding about a lens that size. I know that sounds ridiculous and a bit narcissistic, but every photographer starting out has issues with being taken seriously. This lens was my ticket to the "not to be taken lightly" glances by those around who thought of me as a just another kid who thinks he knows what he's doing.

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Well all this time goes by, probably six months, and I haven't even touched the 105 macro. This is ridiculous because it is by far the most impressive lens I own but I can never make anything work right with it. It always produced blurry and soft images. Most would get annoyed, blame the equipment and sell it off; but I keep it. Why do I keep it?

Maybe it's because I suck at letting things go. I'm great at finding deals but I am awful at selling off things that I can't or don't use. I usually hold on to them for way to long and then it bites me in the butt when I finally decide to sell something and its three generations behind and.worth half of what I think it is. I have been burned like this plenty of times.

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But.... this is not one of those times. See, I realized shortly after I bought it, that this lens was too much for me, I couldn't make it work because I didn't know how to yet. I was still stuck in the "I must shoot wide open all the time" phase and didn't understand how to use it to its potential.

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To tell you the truth, I still don't yet, but I'm learning and I am shooting with it at my level now. I am gaining an eye for it and I can see where this lens could be a permanent fixture in my lineup to come. More than just a few nice shots of engagement rings, this lens is great for all types of shots. One use I have found, is babies. Having my first encounter with baby portraits just recently, I learned how to make the distance and depth of field and all the magic inside this lens work for me.

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-Jarrett