Do you always resort to the same poses time and time again during your couples shoots? Need new poses for your arsenal? Check out these five ideas for your next couples session.
My personal shooting style when working with couples is always to be as photo journalistic as possible. I love candid moments and trying to capture the couple in the most natural way possible. Sometimes clients love this idea and other times clients can be a bit awkward or shy in front of the lens, meaning more direction is needed. Here are five poses and directions that have worked for me in the past and hopefully can work for you in the future.
Whisper in the Ear
So this sounds super creepy and weird, but depending on your couple, it works. This is definitely a pose and direction that needs a bit of gauging before tossing it onto your couple as the first shot of the session. If the clients seem to be a bit of jokesters and like having fun, this is a great go-to. I ask one person to think of something funny or a potential inside joke between the couple. Then I ask him/her (ideally the taller person) to stand behind the other and whisper the joke — dirty or not — into the ear of his or her partner. This usually makes for fun portraits as you can capture great, natural reactions, and (hopefully) laughs.
So this one might seem obvious, but it's so simple it could often be overlooked. There's definitely a beauty in simplicity. Plus, it works. I have the couple stand side by side with their arms around each other. Most of my couples shoots tend to be outdoors, so there usually happens to be a nice view in the background. I like to utilize the landscape when having my clients stand side-by-side. I prompt them to put their arms around each other at the waist and enjoy the view. This pose is enjoyable and simple because you're essentially letting the landscape tell the story and do the work for you. Plus, if the light is right, the final image can be quite magical.
Eye contact between the individuals is crucial. Capturing the direct relationship between the couple makes for great photographs. In my opinion, if one person is captured with his or her eyes closed, the final image can still be cute and fun. Having the couples touch foreheads also helps initiate genuine intimacy that might be hard to capture at other times throughout the shoot.
Eye Contact With the Photographer
Having one person, or both people make eye contact with the camera is just as important as having the couple make eye contact with each other. I personally like it more when just one person makes eye contact with the camera as the moment feels more natural and less like a headshot. It's almost as if you and the person have a happy secret and are expressing mutual joy about his or her significant other, which can create beautiful images. To capture this moment I simply had the couple sit next to each other to enjoy the view, then asked the fiance to look back directly into the camera.
Hands Around an Arm
Creatively capturing the details in the shoot is just as important as capturing the couple together. Showing off the ring of an engaged couple or a couple just married is always a good idea. I like incorporating the ring as much as possible in the shoot when applicable. To do this, one idea is having one significant other wrap his/her arms or hands around the other's arm. To get this shot below, I asked the fiance to wrap her hands around her significant other's arm with the ring pointing toward me. I then asked them to look at each other in the eyes and was able to capture this moment. In Lightroom I used the brush tool to add light and increase the lightness of the shadow just on the ring to make it pop in the image.
These are just five ideas that I use when photographing couples. Do you have any other creative ideas and prompts you use during a couples shoot? Feel free to share photos and tips in the comments below!