If a couple puts faith in you to take their photos, it’s up to you to capture images that produce a powerful impact.
If you’re new to photographing couples, you may find it difficult to get all the emotion and dynamics of a relationship into one shot. But, when you do get it right, it becomes a timeless reference point of your client’s love during that time of their relationship. Something they’ll continue to look back upon for years to come.
To ensure your success for your next couple photo shoot, below are some beginner tips to make sure you get the best shot possible.
By the way, if you’re a couple who has stumbled upon this article and are looking for your own professional couples photograph, go to Venture Photography for examples and information.
If you’re a photographer, keep reading…
Photo by Ryan G. Smith
1) Have a preliminary talk about what they want
Sit down with the couple and take some time to figure out what they’re trying to get from the photo.
Some will want a very traditional smiley portrait, while other will want actions shots.
They may also want to convey a particular type of emotion, too, like funny habits such as the woman playing with her hair in a certain way, or maybe the man does that too! They will want to get these things into the shot, or at least to try them, to make it more personal.
2) Research their wants and needs
In the preliminary chat, they may say they want to show their love of a hobby, TV show or sport.
Make sure you research whatever that interest is so that you can adjust the photo or set accordingly, and don’t look silly by saying something wrong about their favorite thing.
3) Ask them to bring their stuff!
So, they like Star Wars: ask them to wear their Vader sweaters! (You know they have these because of that research you did earlier).
Remember that you have three stories to tell in this photo, one for each person, and another for their relationship, so you want as much of them as you can get into the shot.
Photo by Nathan Rupert
4) Make friends
You don’t have to be best buds with them, but be friendly and make an effort to get to know them. It will make things way less awkward when it comes to taking the photos, which is definitely what you want.
5) Keep talking, keep shooting
When it comes time to taking the photograph, take loads of photos, as many as you can fit on your memory card.
While you’re doing that, make sure you stay chatty. You’ve already got to know them, so it shouldn’t be too difficult – it will really help to prevent any tension or awkward poses building up if you make sure the atmosphere stays chatty and relaxed.
6) Take their advice
While they know you’re the professional photographer, they also know themselves pretty well.
They may have an idea for a shot which, if you can make look good, they will be extra enthusiastic about as they will have had some contribution to its making (rather than just being in it, obviously).
7) Use a variety of equipment
Not too complex an idea. Experiment with lenses, angles, distance and lighting beyond what you instinctively think will work. You might surprise yourself.
8) Get the right time of day
Think about the fabled ‘golden time’ around dawn and dusk.
Schedule a day that has a good weather forecast and you’ll decrease the risk of having to do it all again. This still matters if you’re taking shots indoors, as a cloudy day will show inside, too.
Photo by Ryan G. Smith
9) Don’t force anything
The couples’ relationship dynamic will work exactly as it did before you tried to take a photo of them.
If they aren’t a cuddly and cute couple, don’t try and force them to be for the purpose of the photo. It will probably show, and even if you’re a photography prodigy that can make anything look good, they might be embarrassed to put it on their wall where friends and family can see if they’re normally the practical type.
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