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  • Manon Douard

Couple photo session in Nancy

Hello there,

The 2024 season has officially opened for me, and it didn't start with a wedding but with a photo shoot with Yuka and Ryu, a tokyioite couple visiting France for an "early honeymoon" (a brilliant idea I should have had, here's to the honeymoon I never had because of covid).

This shoot turned out to be challenging for many reasons:

  • Culture shock. Working for the first time for a Japanese couple made me to rethink my approach of a couple session, as I was afraid of making them feel uncomfortable by suggesting poses that wouldn't correspond to their expectations or what they are ued to. I did a lot of research to prepare myself for this session.

  • Language. For the first time, I photographed a couple with whom I couldn't communicate directly, as they didn't speak French or English, and I didn't speak Japanese. A friend of theirs who was present at the shoot acted as translator. Under these conditions, it's hard to create the light-hearted atmosphere I always aim for in my work, because the presence of a third party and the need for simultaneous translation inevitably lead to a loss of spontaneity.

  • The happy couple had no idea what they were looking for in terms of atmosphere and posing. Nor did they have any idea of where they wanted their photos taken. They only wanted something representative of France. It was my first time leading a couple session so much, from the location to every pose and photo suggestions.

  • Their shoes. Having spent the morning wandering the streets of Lorraine, Yuka and Ryu were wearing large walking shoes that were impossible to miss in the photos (and which, despite their undeniable comfort, were not the most aesthetically pleasing). So I opted for framing and poses that hid them, or even asked them to take them off!

In short, this session was full of challenges for me, but it was also an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and work with new constraints.

Easy to say once the shoot is done and the couple is happy, but I was quite stressed out before the couple session, which is why I did so much research. I searched on Pinterest using keywords typed in Japanese to find inspirations closer to the couple's culture and therefore - at least I hoped so - to their expectations. I prepared a moodboard of poses compatible with the chosen decor and with the mood I imagined for this session. My main goal was above all to give the impression that I knew where I was going, so that Yuka and Ryu would remain relaxed and confident, given that I couldn't easily joke or talk to them between poses to reassure them.

Here are a few images of the final result!

Although I found the session more posed than my usual work, and I tend to go for more spontaneity when I get the chance, I'm really pleased with the result considering the challenges I was faced with for this session! And sincethe couple was thrilled with the result, this couple session turned out to be a success!

I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with couples who didn't speak French, to complement the experience I'd gained working on Destination Weddings. Creating an atmosphere of trust and relaxation is a must as a wedding photographer, whether you're lucky enough to work in your native language or not. This session pushed the difficulties even further, as we even had a translator, for lack of a common language.

Obviously the stress was greater than when I can just speak French or English, communicating directly with the couple, but it was a great experience and I was lucky enough to photograph a particularly kind and patient couple!

If you'd like to see more of the weddings I've photographed, please have a look at my portfolio. If you'd like to chat with me, please use my contact form!

See you soon for a new article!


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