It’s no surprise being photographed can sometimes be an uncomfortable process. I have been photographing people for over a decade and even I get a little flustered when I’m put on the other side of the lens! And do you know why I think that is? It’s because we’re focusing too much on the fact we’re in front of the camera and what to do while we’re there, and too little on being ourselves and enjoying the moment. The greatest photos are not a result of the perfect pose and a big, toothy smile.. The greatest photos come from the story you tell together.
“focus more on being in love and the connection you have”
My number one greatest tip I can offer any couple is to focus more on being in love and the connection you have with your partner, and less on what pose you’re in. Talk a walk together, tell corny jokes and laugh your heads off, feel her hair, trace his lines.. It’s the moments in between that tell the best tales.
So in this article, I will address two separate points:
- 6 tips on how to pose for couple photos
- 6 more BONUS tips on what you can do as an individual to improve posing
Posing… without really posing
1. Talk to each other
The best way to get into the swing of things at the beginning of a shoot is to have a conversation! Whether it’s about something hilarious that happened that day, reminiscing about an awesome date you had, or simply basking in one another’s quirks and mannerisms. Tell them about how much you love the way their nose crinkles when they’re about to laugh, or think back to a time when they made you the most proud. By now you’re probably laughing, crying, or at least getting real cuddly. You’ve probably forgotten all about your photographer (until you hear them say, “AWWWWW!”)
While kisses are nice, I love photographs of couples hugging most of all. There is something so intimate about putting your arms around the person you love most and sinking into theirs. It’s a moment that can make some of the most powerful photos.
3. ALMOST kiss
Not quite! But aaaaalmost. Sometimes the almost can be the most beautiful part. Get close, nuzzle noses, and get lost in each other’s eyes.
4. Movement is key
Move around! Break out into dance, start spinning in circles, go for a walk (or a run!), or see who can jump the highest.. A bit of movement can go a long way when it comes to capturing those perfect, spontaneous moments.
Don’t just smile, laugh! Laughter is the best most genuine form of happy, and that’s what we’re hoping to capture!
6. Bring an activity
What do you LOVE to do? Maybe you’re both into brewing coffee together, often seen camping in the woods, or even ZIP-LINING! Revolving your session around an activity both tells a story about you as a couple and calms the nerves.
Posing as an individual
Most of us can probably agree that we have a good and a bad side, or that we tend to look stiff sometimes. Working with high school seniors and fashion over the years has taught me a couple of pretty nifty tips and tricks we can keep in mind while we’re in front of the lens. The best part? You can apply these not only in a couple’s session, but in life in general!
1. “Breathe Out”
Or just breathe in general! One of the most important tips I have ever learned was taught to me years ago by my friend Teela. When you exhale, you appear to be the most relaxed. And I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to hold my breath when I’m nervous! Remembering to just breathe can go miles.
2. Accentuate your jawline – tongue on the roof of your mouth
I’ve found that putting my tongue on the roof of my mouth does wonders for my jawline! And thank god, too. Seriously, go try it in the mirror right now. It definitely works.
3. Interact with yourself, your clothing, your environment
Playing with your hair, skipping stones in the water, climb something, etc. are great solutions to adding a bit of movement.
4. Relax your lips and mouth
A tense mouth can mean a tense face.
5. Avoid “typical” poses
Hands on your hips, arms crossed, etc. tend to look a bit forced and tense. Avoid posing in any unnatural ways you wouldn’t be caught doing in everyday life.
6. Tilt your head
A bit of head-tilting brings a lot of movement into a photo. It makes you look calm and relaxed, accentuates your features, and can catch the light beautifully.
Live your story
Whether this is your first time in front of the camera, or your 100th time, being yourself and letting the moments come to you will always bring the best results. Remember, this is a story about a connection between you and the love of your life. You don’t need to rewrite it for your photo session, you only need to live it to tell it. This is exactly what documentary style photography is about, and why I love it so dearly.
Are you ready to do some storytelling together? Let’s gooooo!