Chicago Engagement Session: Joanne & Dan

Joanne Kim, soon to be (Joanne Lo aka JLo) was a freshmen in college and Dan Lo was that good looking Jersey Boy Sophomore. They met at a church gathering when Joanne introduced herself to him. They have been inseparable since then and she is now a teacher and he an accountant. They are now moving on to the next stage in life by tying the knot this summer. I had the privilege of knowing these two guys since the beginning so I am honored to be their wedding photographer. I want to share another lesson about shooting an engagement session after sharing some photos with you. We spent the afternoon going to various places around Chicago area including: the Fulton Market, Millenium Park, Kinzie Bridge, etc. We had a blast catching up on the past and talking about the details of their wedding day (which sounds awesome by the way). If you visit my facebook page, you will find more from this session. For the sake of blogging, I only posted 12 images:


Lesson to share: Often times I see so many photographers (including myself) talking to our clients during the shoot using “photography lingo”. Because we as photographers constantly talk about it, I think we easily make the assumption that others (including our clients) understand the same terms. Often times they might be just too nice to ask what we exactly mean. Other times they just brush it off as it is no big deal. But a good way to communicate to your clients during a shoot is to show by example. Rather than shouting out “hold out that arm!”, show them which arm and how to do it. Ask them to mirror your movement and let them know that you would not make them do things that you would not do yourself.

When I did my engagement session in Italy with Italian models I had the difficulty of overcoming the language barrier. It was frustrating not being able to explain to them in words what I wanted them to do. So I had to resort to communicating by example. Using eye contact and body language, I was able to get them to do the things I want them to do.

Another example is the use of words. Make sure that your words are clear so that anyone can understand it. During the photoshoot with Dan & Joanne, I kept asking Dan to “Squeeze!” What I really wanted Dan to do was the embrace Joanne tightly because usually that lets out a laughter and/or a fun reaction from the girl. Every time said “squeeze!” Dan just smiled at Joanne resulting in some fun moments captured. But half way into our shoot, when I yelled “Squeeze!” again he stopped, looked at me and said: “Kenny, what do you mean by squeeze?” We both laughed as I realized that I did not communicate with him properly. Once I explained to him my concept, he understood the concept and did it without even me saying it to him!

So next time you communicate with your clients, be sure to show by example and to use words that everyone can understand. Happy shooting!

Finally Joanne & Dan, thanks so much for spending the day together. And how can I forget the Alaskan crab dinner? Wow! I can’t wait for your wedding in Chicago! Ci vediamo! (See you soon!)

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8 Responses to “Chicago Engagement Session: Joanne & Dan”

  1. amy b says:

    Thanks Kenny! Those are great tips. Beautiful couple and fun locations you just don’t see much here in OC.

  2. Irene says:

    great photos again, Kenny! I learned a photography tip from you today–thanks for sharing. SQUEEZE! question: is there a discount if we ask you to do an e-session as well as the wedding photos?

  3. Julie Renee says:

    Great tips, Kenny! You’re right, we are totally guilty of expecting our clients to read our minds, or somehow intrinsically know what we want them to do. It’s important to be reminded to show by example. Love this shoot, btw!

  4. KK – Love these images. Great work!
    It’s fun developing a unique language with each couple you work with… It’s another way to get personal with your clients and help them trust you.

  5. Christy says:

    Really like the pool table shot.

    I’m loving the tips for photogs!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing..I really like your site 🙂

  7. […] the way, here are some images from their engagement session that we did couple months back in […]

  8. Nice location shoots. Beautiful couple as well.

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