In preparing for how to photograph a couple during an engagement session I’ll ask if they have a shared hobby or interest we can build their session around. Some couples are into a particular show or movie, so we’ll draw inspiration from that in deciding where to have their session, and it will give me ideas for posing and lighting.
When talking with Samantha and Eric they said they have a shared interest in firearms. They told me they wanted to have a collection of “nice” engagement session photographs, but then change outfits and make some portraits with a sort of post-apocalyptic movie feel that included their guns.
Not having a filmmaking budget we had to think a little smaller and work with what’s available to us. We put our heads together and thought that since firearms are involved we should have their session on private property away from people. They have friends who own land with a farm and woods that would suit out needs perfectly.
Not personally knowing much about firearms I discussed with Samantha and Eric their involvement with and relationship to them. In seeing photographs other photographers have posted that include guns I was aware that keeping fingers off triggers was a must, having them pointed away from people was necessary, and their being unloaded was most important.
In conversation with Samantha and Eric prior to their session they said that was all correct and would have adhered to those safety protocols anyway. Given their background and experience I felt everyone was as respectful about safety and their use during the session as possible.
They both shoot competitively, though Eric is more involved with with the sport. He takes part in competitively shooting stationary targets and skeet shooting, with guns both small and large, and for their session Eric and Samantha each brought their favorite. All told we spent about 90 minutes on their friend’s land, and after a viewing session to select their favorites I then retouched those for this collection of photographs.