Whether you’re ready to plan a vacation to Newfoundland and Labrador with your love and you want to plan a travel photo shoot during your trip to St. John’s, or you just want some great photos of your partner and yourself, a romantic photo shoot is a very sweet way to capture a little snippet of this time in your life. Not only can you use the photos to create some pretty epic artwork for your walls (and let’s be honest, some awesome instagram posts) years from now you can look back and appreciate a slice of life. I’ve put together my top responses to the most frequently-asked questions I get about couples photo shoots. If you have questions to add please leave a comment below, or send me a message!
how do we make this fun and not awful?
So many couples are nervous about doing a shoot but end up finding it a really fun experience. You’re not going to wal-mart’s photo studio – you’re going for a walk with your best friend somewhere really cool. After a couple of minutes of hanging out it’s easy to forget that you’re doing a photo shoot. I’m a laid-back person, and we won’t do anything that feels uncomfy. After getting to know each other over a coffee or beer, we’ll go on a hike or a walk downtown. As we mosey along, you’ll hear me say things like:
- walk in that direction and enjoy the view… ok, cool, come back this way!
- hug! so big you feel squat!
- go over on that rock and drink your beers
- oh look, some blueberries – let’s pick them together’.
There’s no awkward posing or modelling – it’s all very chill and will feel normal once we get into it.
It’s a great idea to plan your shoot as part of a date night. Get your hair and makeup done or get a fresh cut and shave, bring a backpack with some drinks from Quidi Vidi Brewery or a picnic from Rocket Bakery, and make reservations at a restaurant you’ve been meaning to go to (Mallard Cottage or Yellowbelly are two of my favourites!) You’ll look and feel amazing – and it’s a great time to celebrate and enjoy an evening out after getting pampered. If you can, plan for a little bit of time in between your photo shoot and your reservation to give yourself time to go back to your hotel to freshen up – the wind in Newfoundland is no joke and you’ll probably want to do a really quick touch-up of your hair before heading out to George Street for the night.
planning your outfits: should we match?
For clothing, it’s ideal to bring two outfits; one a little more casual, and one a little more formal. If you don’t want to fully change, you can just bring a sweater, scarf, or jacket to mix it up to give your images some variety.
Ideally, for women-identifying folks a flowey dress or skirt that will sway in the wind is perfect, or a simple dress-shirt, jeans, and long dress coat for colder weather.
For male-identifying folks a sharp button-down shirt, jeans or khakis, and a wool sweater to change into are great, or a casual blazer if you’re feeling fancy.
Simple and classic t-shirt and jeans is always in style for any gender with a casual jacket or simple cable-knit sweater. You can also keep it easy and wear your most comfortable everyday outfit so it’s truly a slice of who you are right now.
You look your best when you feel comfortable in your skin, and that should always be priority.
If you have a great sense of personal style, show it off and wear the outfits that make you feel the most fabulous, regardless of whether it’s trendy or not.
You don’t need to perfectly match your partner, but you should look like you’re going to the same party. If one of you is wearing a ball cap and gym shorts and the other is in a floor-length gown, the simple truth is that your friends are going to make fun of you. Consider yourself warned!
can you edit me out, and edit in a model?
Before we go any further – you don’t need to change who you are or what you look like to fit society’s standards of beauty. We are constantly bombarded with all sorts of messed up views of what makes a person attractive, and a lot of us are entrenched in media that perpetuates a damaging image of self-worth. I’m beyond happy that as a whole we are finally veering in another direction and agreeing that all bodies are beautiful, encouraging diversity, and loving imperfections.
So with that in mind. I’m human too, and I also get nervous being my fullest, most wonderful self in front of the camera. For those who are insecure about receding hairlines, scars, acne, or other normal human things; this is a common request. If you let me know beforehand that you’re a little self-conscious about something and you don’t want to display it to the world, I really don’t mind doing the teeniest bit of editing so that you feel a little more confident.
Editing isn’t always an option, so make sure your clothes fit your body well, you’re well-groomed, and you feel as good as you possibly can when you leave the house. Take a look at yourself from all angles, and take turns walking in your outfit in front of your partner so they can tell you if it’s ill-fitting from other angles. It’s near-impossible to edit out bra lines, hat hair, or chipped nail polish; if you have long hair, it’s likely going to be pretty wind-swept and that’s not something you can really edit back to it’s original state. Keep in mind!
I won’t use photoshop to make you to look like a different person, but small enhancements like removing pimples or acne scars and touching up receding hairlines are pretty easy, so you don’t have to worry if you wake up with a break-out the morning of the shoot.
I’m also more than happy to show you the back of the camera as we go to make sure we’re getting your best side. My goal is to make sure you look like you – the best, most happy and full and glowing version of you.
picking a location: where do we go?
Picking a location for your shoot is my jam. We’ll start by figuring out what sort of look you’re going for, and maybe an activity you’d like to plan your shoot around. From that starting point, I’ll recommend some places that I think would be a perfect setting.
A lot of couples love to go for a hike on a gorgeous cliffside, or do a little tour of some of the more scenic, colourful gems of Newfoundland. We can also go for a casual stroll through downtown, stopping at your favourite cafes and watering holes, or plan for a fire on a secluded beach just outside of town or in the woods. Once we’ve got an idea of the direction you want to go, we can focus on narrowing down the locations. I’ve got dozens of spots that meet every activity or vision and location. We’ll also take into consideration whether you have a car and can travel out of town, or need to get a taxi or are walking, in which case we’ll keep it close to the downtown area.
I usually send a few samples of images that you can choose from once we’ve decided on the general feel of the shoot so you can okay it before we go. Oftentimes the locations are a little off the beaten path – I’ll give you an address where we’ll meet, and then we’ll either walk the rest of the way together or I’ll have you follow my car. Generally I never plan a shoot at a location that’s longer than a 15-20 minute walk to get to, unless you’ve chosen the location yourself. We can always keep it simple and stay close to town if you’re unsure about hiking or taking your car on the back roads – thankfully we live in an extremely photogenic city!
Picking the location is the most fun part for me – I spend almost all of my days off searching for new photo shoot locations, so you don’t have to stress about this part. I love finding new gems and sharing them with you. 🙂 If you have a location in mind that’s special to you, I’d love to hear about it and we can plan around that place.
And that’s it! To recap on planning your travel photo shoot in St. John’s:
- Have fun and make it a date night
- Wear clothes that make you feel good
- Don’t stress about how you look
- Go somewhere really cool
Do you have anything to add? Please comment below – I’d love to hear from you.