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The engagement portrait is usually the first time a photographer gets to work with a prospective bridal couple. It is an opportunity for each to get to know each other, and for the photographer, it's a good time to get a sense of how the couple photographs best together.

In this lesson, contributing instructor Steve Kurtz shows various approaches to photographing two engaged couples using a portable lighting kit.

The first couple in this lesson was photographed in an urban setting, while the second couple was photographed in a natural environment. In both cases the natural light was not photographically ideal, but the lighting kit made it possible to achieve high quality results that each of the couples loved.

(Most images can be clicked for an enlarged view.)

Topics Covered:

  • Choosing an outdoor portrait location.
  • Setting up the OctoDomes for proper lighting ratios
  • Getting your light reading/white balance
  • Posing the couple
  • Lens choice and camera position

Equipment Used:


  • Compact Flash Card
  • Digital SLR camera
  • two Canon 580EX II Speedlites,
  • set of Pocket Wizard radio slaves.
  • Canon 5D
  • 24-105 f4 L lens
  • 70-200 f2.8 L lens
  • Bogen tripod with a Gitzo G1376M ball


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