How to Take Great Couples Photos
Taking great couples photos requires that your couples be comfortable. Across the board, if your subject in a photo isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to take the best possible photo. If someone is hiring you for photos, you want to provide the best result that you can. So how can you take great couples photos with comfortable couples?
Chat ahead of time, if possible
If it’s possible, meet or chat with your couple ahead of time. Whether it’s a quick phone call or a little coffee, it’s good to meet with your couples before you shoot. This will allow them to familiarize themselves with you. Plus, creating a bit of a rapport makes for a great client experience. In the past, I’ve connected with couples on social media and been a bit of a “hype person” for them. It all depends on your comfortability, and the vibes you get from your couple.
Ask them about their story
Ask the couple to tell you a bit about their story. How did they meet? How long have they been together? What do they like to do on a typical weeknight? Get to know a little more about their story to help you tell their story a little better. If you want to take great couples photos, you have to tell a story.
Take them back to their first date, engagement, etc.
Bring them back to some of the happier moments of their relationship. Whether it’s their engagement story, or simply their first date, dig into their story a little further. Bringing happy memories back from the memory bank will also help to put them in a more peaceful place for taking photos.
Share a bit about yourself
Would you rather have a total stranger take your photo, or your friend? Let your couples get to know a little bit more about who you are and what your story is. Share a funny anecdote, and let them see a little bit of your personality. This is also why meeting ahead of time, if possible, is beneficial to taking great couples photos. I typically share Kenneth and I’s engagement story or a story along those lines to give a little window into my life.
Show them example poses
Showing examples of poses on your phone or tablet will help your couples understand what they’re supposed to do. They’ve probably taken selfies or casual photos together before, but posing for photos is different. The more instructional you can be, the more helpful to many of your couples you will be. Not every couple needs heavy amounts of direction, but it’s better to come prepared in case they do need direction. Also explain to your couples why some poses might not work. An example of this is that I always ask my couples to come in slowly for a kiss. This way you’re not squishing your noses together, and the photo becomes a lot more romantic.
Shake it out
Sometimes you’ve just got to shake it out! Get your couples to literally shake it out and wiggle their limbs. This might release some of the tension they’re holding in their body. Sometimes couples will dance it out or shake it off together, and it can make for some really fun photos too!
If something doesn’t look good, leave it be
If something your couple is doing in a photo doesn’t look good, don’t tell them. Just leave it be and ask them to do something else. It’s best for everyone’s confidence to just keep on shooting and move forward. No one likes seeing bad photos of themselves, and knowing that they might not be taking the most flattering images will make your couple way more uncomfortable.
The vegetable trick
This is going to sound ridiculous, but I promise it works. To get some natural smiles, sometimes you’ve got to be a little silly. Get your couples to say their favorite vegetable to each other in their slowest, sexiest voice. Almost 100% of the time I get major laughs out of couples who are doing this simple trick. Try it yourself! You’re going to feel totally silly, but it’s going to create some big smiles.
Prepare resources for couples
Give your couples some resources ahead of time to prepare them. Whether this is a PDF, a blog post, or whatever kind of materials you prefer, preparing some resources is really helpful. Some ideas for resources are “engagement shoot locations” in your city, “what to wear to an engagement shoot”, etc.