Couples photography is such a fun part of my job: whether it’s photography for an engagement, a wedding, or a ‘just because’ couples session… every couple wants a photographer who’s going to capture their relationship in a way they’ve never seen before.
As a couples photographer, I want to share a few tips that truly help me succeed when I’m capturing couples. Keep in mind, every one starts somewhere & we’ve all struggled shooting couples in some way / shape / form. There’s always going to things to improve on, but here are some practical tips to help you succeed when shooting couples!
Tip #1: Comfortability is KEY
Every couple is different, but one thing will always be the same: a couple won’t feel comfortable unless you are!
Make sure you’re properly prepared for a couples session; talk to them about their dream photos & have a vision in mind for how you’re going to accomplish this thing!
You can come prepared by doing these things:
-be prepared with your locations.
-have prompts in mind beforehand.
-get to know them on social media, so you have some background when you first meet each other!
-check the weather & bring necessary props (a.k.a. an umbrella) if neccessary.
While you, as the photographer, should feel comfortable… so should your couple! Read on to see the best ways to get a couple to open up in front of the camera.
Tip #2: Encourage The Couple
Everyone likes when positivity is shown towards them, and shooting a couple is no exception. Let them know what they’re doing that looks great & keep encouraging them throughout the session.
If they do something that looks funny or uncomfortable, instead of telling them they look weird, give them something else to do / say in the photo.
I typically shy away from showing them the back of camera, so while you can encourage them, try to avoid this! When you show a client a photo that isn’t in its final form (a nice edit, cropping, photoshop touch ups, etc.), it might make the couple even MORE self conscious during the session.
So instead, use your words & it’ll show them just how good they’re doing!
Remember, a lot of people have only been in front of a professional photographer a few times in their life…so you’re words and actions are going to make a huge impact on their impression of you!
Tip #3: Know Their Vision For the Photos
It’s always important to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to expectations, so make sure you talk about all of their expectations before the session!
Some things you should go over beforehand is location, colors, outfits, overall vibe of the photos, and what emotions they want portrayed in the photos.
Tip #4: Prompt, prompt, & PROMPT
When you prompt a couple (rather than using stiff poses), this allows room for the couple to be themselves and show their relationship in the photos.
Prompting involves MOVEMENT and interactions between the couple that bring out true emotion! For example: I would tell a couple to “whisper in her ear something you love about her.” This prompt leads the couple to focus on their relationship, and they’re more focused on each other than on the gigantic camera pointed at them (unless you have a Sony, then your camera is much smaller ;).
Plus, who is better at getting someone to laugh: you, or the person they’re madly in love with?! Kind of a no brainer. The reality is that they know each other a lot better than you know them, so use that to your advantage!
There’s so many more things I could say, so maybe I should write a novel? If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s this: couples photography is all about capturing the relationship between the couple. These tips are to help you capture the personality of the couple & to document the love they share for each other. Period.
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