One of the hardest aspects of photography for me was learning how to direct couples in a fun yet natural looking way. Since I had a hard time with learning couples poses for photography sessions I thought I would share what helped me find inspiration today.
I am a business minded person, so originally I studied poses for the first year of my business. Sadly studying them and copying an exact picture from Pinterest often looked staged and usually did not feel natural to the couple. The second and third year I of my business I really researched how the pros found their inspiration and took classes from them to learn how to naturally pose couples. Let me let you in on a little secret…education pays off! I learned so much! I learned to have my couples play games together, make them laugh and always encourage movement in pictures. I learned to examine movies, music videos and even Eli and I in order to find inspiration for my sessions. I even learned to create a mood board in my room to visually be able to see what I wanted to create. I did all of these things and so much more. This made my couples sessions turn out amazing and that is when my business started to expand a year ago. Now I am going on my fourth year in business and loving every single couples session I shoot!
How I prep for sessions: I always listen to music and prep for the shoot the morning of the session day. I have the couple send me their outfit pictures and I type out a timeline of how long I shoot with each outfit and what exact directions I want to give them for each outfit. If I know the location I will even write out where we will be shooting it. This gives me a game plan so we make the most of every second we have shooting. It also helps guide the mood of each set. For example, I usually start with movement pictures to loosen them up then make my way into fun flirting pictures and then end with the intimate poses, once they are comfortable enough being in front of the camera.
I took amazing classes from Ben Sasso online and attended Phil Chester and Annie Grahmn’s workshops (Alpine Northwest workshop) this past couple of years. I highly recommend taking their online classes or attending one of their workshops. They all helped me to grow so much on this subject and so much more.
1. Hold each other close and go forehead to forehead
Sometimes they take an intimate spin on it and other times they choose to smile big and laugh a little.
2. Walk to me then run to me!
Start with telling them to walk to you and then randomly when they are halfway to you yell now run to me! It’s a fun one and usually, they are always laughing and smiling in this one. I sometimes tell my couples you are great walkers or runners and they almost always respond we do it every day and we all get a laugh out of it.
3. Wrap your arms around her and entangle your arms and fingers together.
Do not tell them exactly where to put their hands or try to copy a picture on this one. I let my couples know that I want it to be natural for them so whatever that looks like for them works for me. If for some reason it looks slightly akward (it rarely does but once in a while, it can) I will just slightly move their arms around for them.
4. Run up and jump on him.
I love this one because every couple does it differently. Some guys choose to stay in that moment and make it intimate and others choose to laugh and spin her around. I love this pose because it shows me a little insight into the couple’s personality.
5. Dance together the crazier the better!
This one is just so much fun. It loosens them up and makes for some great laughs. I try to always bring a Bluetooth speaker to my shoots to play music and I try to blast a fun song for this.
1. Tug of war on the bed (or in a van) and see who can win
This is fun because it brings out a little competition in your couples and that always makes for some fun laughter shots with big smiles!
2. Pillow fight or tickle fight
I love a good pillow or tickle fight. I just love the shots that are fun, flirty and silly. I feel like when couples have fun on a shoot they treasure it more. I love that they can almost feel like kids with this one and get back to just being a little silly with each other since life can often time be so serious.
3. Sit like you are kids playing spider and get cozy with each other (usually leads to a kiss)
This is one that can be so intimate. I tell them to keep moving how they want and just guide them to get close and entangle their legs together.
4. Rest your head on his chest and close your eyes.
This one is by far my favorite pose for an in-home shoot. I often put my head on Eli’s chest and find comfort in his arms. I think most couples feel this is one of the more intimate shots that truly show a glimpse of their love for each other.
5. Snuggle on the bed together
I love to snuggle with my hubby. We snuggle most nights as we watch either Freinds or Chuck. Its one of my favorite little things we do in this life together. I love capturing couples get cozy and cuddle on the bed together. I think its one pose that best tells the story of them together.
Bonus in-home session cue: Have them get really close and go forehead and forehead. They often times kiss with this one!