A popular request I find in my inbox asks about couples photo shoots. Questions range from how to style a shoot to how I convince Matt to participate. Relationship photo shoots can be hard to pull off. Even Matt would admit he is a hard model to work with – from eating the props to talking during snaps – nothing is picture perfect behind the scenes.
After creating these shoots for years I’ve learned a thing or two about pulling off a couples photo shoot that’s Instagram worthy. Whether you’re a photographer looking for new content or a blogger dreaming of capturing your relationship in front of the camera – practice makes perfect!
Outfit Choices Should Tell A Color Story
Before heading into a shoot have a color story in mind. Dress to match or compliment your partner’s outfit and the mood of the shoot. A great example is how I dressed Matt and myself in nautical colors to compliment our backdrop of Nantucket. I wore a navy blue dress and he wore navy blue shorts with a pastel yellow. The looks added color and warmth to our images, which were shot on a rainy grey day.
By wearing complimentary outfits, we appear to be on the same team – not one of us looks to be trying to outdo or upstage the other.
Practice Poses & Pinterest Inspiration
I was never naturally good at being in front of the camera, Look back at one of our first couples shots here – it’s cringe-worthy – but, we were just starting out!
I quickly learned one of the best ways to improve a couples photoshoot is to practice posing before a shoot. On Pinterest, I save photos of couples that I admire and adore. If I’m stuck for ideas while on a shoot – I pull up my Pinterest board to share my inspirational picks with our photographer and Matt. The Pinterest visual helps bring everyone together while keeping you in control as creative director.
Incorporating props makes a couples photo shoot extra fun and action-packed!
Using props makes a shoot feel more natural and less staged. Throughout the years I’ve collected quite the array of props: binoculars, basket bikes, footballs, and even hedge clippers! Anything can be a prop, just use your creativity!
Take Photos Together & Apart
Whenever I walk into a couples photo shoot, I always want to capture the couple together – but alone too. Having the contrast of couples photos with individual snaps makes a session more special. The individual has a chance to express themselves outside the relationship. Whether it’s a goofy picture like Matt’s or an outfit detail shot like mine – separating the pair mid-shoot often keeps subjects on their toes.
Keep the photoshoot moving – don’t be afraid to be a leader and have the subjects try new things!
It might not show in our photos but, Matt is by far the most difficult model I’ve ever worked with. From temperature complaints to eating edible props, I used to get upset, but I’ve learned to welcome the chaos by cultivating a cheerful environment.
For example, if Matt begins to complain about something like the sun is in his eyes – I solve the problem by suggesting he turn around for the photo. For a pick-me-up, I’ll grab us coffees to use as props in-between sips. Sometimes if Matt is over getting photographed – I’ll turn on some music to reset the energy.
By no means does Matt enjoy each and every photoshoot. So, when you inquire how I’m able to convince Matt to participate in these photoshoots, just know most of the time I’m using full-on bribery in the form of an iced coffee or ice cream!
Couple photoshoots aren’t the easiest, even for us, but they’re certainly the most rewarding!
With photoshoots, Matt and I have documented many moments in our relationship. From our time in Dallas to the time I surprised Matt with Superbowl tickets – so much of our relationship is captured and I’m so thankful for that.
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