Photographing couples can be an intimidating assignment to a new photographer, especially one that is used to working only with one client at a time. Instead of communicating directly with one person, the photographer now has to interact with the couple. It’s important for the photographer to learn how to manage the clients and keep them engaged with each other. If you are someone who is fearful to take on couples as clients, fear no longer! This guide will help you to work with couples to capture the best couple poses naturally.
In order for a couple to be themselves and act naturally (and as if there wasn’t a photographer pointing a camera at them), they have to feel safe. The couple needs to feel like they can express themselves without being judged or embarrassed by others. To do this, make sure the couple is prepared beforehand. Let them know where the location is, how much time we will be spending at the location, and let them know that you’ll cue them when it’s time for outfit changes. Before the photo shoot, try to schedule a time with them to sit down and let them ask you questions in person. This gives them a chance to get to know you as a person, as well as get any technicalities out of the way. It’s important that they get a chance to have a conversation with you in length, in order for them to feel safe around you. To a degree, it puts the subjects at a vulnerability when they are being photographed. Knowing the photographer does much to relieve this anxiety.
When it comes to couple poses, there are great collections and sets available online to look at for inspiration. Personally, I like to browse collections on Pinterest and save them before the day of a couples photo shoot. Then during the photo shoot if we run out of ideas, I’ll look up a few photos and have the couple try them out. Not every couple will like the same poses, so try out a lot of different poses and angles. You’ll be happy you did. One of my favorite poses is demonstrated in the photo above. Have the girl stand on her toes to stand up higher, and take a picture of the couple from the waist down. This pose is great because it works with most couples that are similar in height. Because the girl is standing on her the tips of her toes, it makes her legs seem longer and creates an attractive look.
For some couples, cliché poses are all they’ll want to do. For other couples, they won’t like any of the cliché poses and will want to do their own thing. Try out a few cliché poses, such as by taking a picture of them sitting together from behind as in the picture above. If the couples seems to like it, keep going. If you sense that they aren’t liking this method of copying other people’s poses, take a break and try something new. The most important thing is to feel out how the couple feel, and change up the pace accordingly. Couples photography is a very fluid type of photography, especially because there is one extra person involved. This makes it easier for the couple though, since there is one more person coming up with ideas. The couple is also mainly interacting with each other, which takes the pressure off of one single person.
A successful couples photographer is one that is not afraid to try new things. In the photo above, we see a new take on the tradition of capturing the engagement/wedding ring. Instead of capturing it from the front of the couple, the photographer decided to capture it from the angle of where the couples’ heads are. This creates a much more dramatic effect, and helps the viewer sense the bond between the couple. It also makes the photo unique, which is a key element in a great photo. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and soon you’ll be wishing all of your photo shoots were of couples!