photographing with a "theme," but keeping it authentic

On Saturday afternoon I shared an image from my most recent engagement session...

I received an email that evening with the following question:

"HEY! I really liked that photograph you shared from the carnival -- question for you: how do you work with a "themed" location but still keep the photos looking like your style?" 

This question was great since I too have struggled with keeping my style authentic when faced with a location that can easily take over. My advice is fairly simple: stick to the foundation of what sets of your photos apart. 

My photos are intended to be bright, happy, and fun. And in general, I like to find beautiful light, and keep the photos based on the couple rather than the background. 

Here's an example:

It's not your typical ferris wheel shot. I mean, the ferris wheel is hardly in focus and the highlights are blown out quite a bit. But the couple is the focus. They look happy, they look in love. The bright colours of the ferris wheel help to set the feel of the session, without being overpowering.

Shooting with a wide aperture allowed me to make that distinction between the couple and the background. When shooting in crowds, this is critical!

My camera settings for this particular photo: 
50mm lens, f2.0, ISO 160, shutter 1/400

My other piece of advice would be to try and look at the location differently than most people would. In the photo below, they're standing in front of a huge ride, but what you're seeing isn't the sign with the neon lights or the hundreds of people standing around're seeing the adorable couple.

Sticking with the principles you would use to shoot in a park and applying them to a "themed" location will help keep the photos looking like your particular brand. Take it one step further by finding new and different places to shoot that steer away from the cheesy or obvious shots, and you're sure to get a collection of images that you you love!

Thanks again for your questions, my lovely readers :) 
You always brighten my day with your emails and fb messages!

I am SO excited to share Meaghan & Adam's blog post later this week -- it's gonna be a good one!!

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