There’s no prerequisite for a couples photography session, apart from being a loving couple. You don’t need modelling experience, or the latest designer clothes to look amazing in your photos – you just need to come into the experience with an open mind, and a willingness to show your love. Of course, couples love each other in all different ways and that’s part of what makes telling your story so special.
I won’t say there’s a special recipe for the perfect couples photography session, because it can take many forms, but here are six tips that will lay the foundation for creating knockout images of the two of you. Read on to see what you can do to help tell your incredible and unique love story.
1. Be in the moment with each other
As a documentary photographer, I love capturing organic, candid moments. When couples just start to do their own thing and almost forget I’m there amazing things can happen. You’re busy being you, and that will always look good on you. You’re just vibing with your person, and that vibe will mean vibes pics! Being present and in the moment with each other will make the experience memorable and intimate.
2. Don’t forget to relax for your couples photography session
Relax! This couples photography session isn’t a big production where you have to “know what to do” or have experience as a model or being in front of the camera. We can always loosen up over a coffee or a glass (see also: bottle) of wine before we jump into the photo session.
Keep your gestures soft – relax your hands, loosen up, do a little dance – all of these things will take your photos from “Oooh, I like that!” to “That’s so fucking stunning! I can’t believe that’s us!” This idea is related to my previous point about being in the moment and really you can't have one without the other.
3. Communicate with each other
Communication is key! Of course, I’ll be talking you through what we’re doing throughout the entire process, but it’s also super important to communicate with each other. Make sure you’re sharing how you’re feeling.
Talk, laugh, sing, touch… The majority of how we communicate is non-verbal, so make sure you’re sharing with each other through touch. Let the touch and intimacy be part of your experience throughout the photoshoot. It becomes something more than just a couples photography session for you too. Throughout the photoshoot, you’re constantly connecting. Let yourselves get lost in the moment together.
You should also make sure to communicate with your photographer before the shoot. Ask any questions you might have about what to wear, the experience, the location – anything you have a doubt about, just ask! As your photographer I want to make sure you’re having the best time, keeping it stress-free and making sure you’re comfortable. And that applies to your experience before, during, and after the photoshoot.
4. Be spontaneous during your couples photography session
Despite the best-laid plans for a shoot, there are times when a situation will bring unexpected surprises. I’m always on the lookout for things that are unexpected, situations that can inspire us to create something different and visually striking. In fact, sometimes it’s when we run into challenges that I can create my best work. It pushes me to think about a scene differently and create something exciting, and beautiful.
I always encourage my couples to embrace those moments with me, to experiment, and try something wild… Of course, if that’s not your bag that’s cool. We will still create stunning photos and memories for you, but I find there’s beauty in chaos and in stepping outside of your comfort zone to see what we find!
5. Don’t be afraid to get intimate
We already touched on this one, but it’s true. Couples photography sessions look so awesome when you let yourself get more intimate. It’s better when there’s a bit of PDA.
It might feel awkward at first, but as you start to let go and get into it, the shyness will fade away and you’ll just be in the moment with your partner. And if you’re going to do a couples photography session you may as well do it right!
Intimacy can mean something different to everyone. It’s not all about having to kiss throughout the session. Sometimes you don’t even need to kiss at all. I find the most intimate moments are when you get close… really close. You presumably like each other (at least a little bit 😉) so make sure you show it!
6. Trust your photographer
Really, trust me. If you’ve chosen to work with me, it’s probably because you love my work, and you need to trust me and my vision to give you a gallery of images you’re going to love and hold on to for years to come.
I may ask you to do some things that seem weird, whacky, or just plain awkward during our couples photography session, but trust me when I say that the weirdness you feel is not how it will look in photos. A lot of the time these weird poses are about creating interesting compositions, capturing motion, or getting amazing reactions out of you. I might make some funny suggestions as prompts to get a reaction for a good shot. Just go with it.
Trusting me doesn’t mean you absolutely have to do what I’m suggesting though! If something feels like it's too far outside your comfort zone just tell me and we can make something that works for you!
I always love getting suggestions and ideas from couples, so if you have an idea you want to try, let’s do it! But there may be times when, for a number of reasons, that idea may not work – and you need to trust that my vision, guidance, and experience will get you the best results.
As we’ve touched on already, communication is everything for your couples photography session. I’ll make sure to communicate and give you the best experience and photos possible, and you need to make sure you’re communicating with me, and with each other. Come into the experience with an open mind and an open heart. Don't be afraid to get intimate and show your sensual, loving side. Intimacy is the best! And of course, don't forget to have fun.
If you want to try out any of these tips for a couples photography session with me give me a shout and let's set something up. I can't wait to help bring your story to life.