There’s nothing more satisfying than having your love story captured through the lens of a camera. While smartphones, Facebook, Snapchat and a whole raft of picture-snapping opportunities have given us wonderful opportunities to record and share special moments, there’s still nothing quite like the professional couples photo shoot to capture the ultimate romantic photograph.
Engagements and weddings are the usual time we think of capturing the romance in our lives professionally on camera. Beyond those occasions, the couples’ photo shoot is becoming increasingly popular. Many couples are getting married later, or not getting married at all, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have romantic photographs taking the same pride of place in the home as those with a wedding behind them. Capturing the connection you have with your partner is a wonderful idea. To get the best out of your couple photo shoot, take a look at this handy guide for some insider tips.
Ditch formal, stilted shots
Many couples will find the prospect of a photo shoot somewhat unnerving. No one wants a selection of stilted shots with forced smiles. Couples photography should be about capturing what binds a couple together. Formal, unnatural looking photographs belong to a bygone era.
If you haven’t worked with a professional photographer before, get to know the person who will be taking the shots. This is after all a reasonably intimate affair. After a quick chat with your photographer, you’ll soon know whether or not you have a good rapport. If you don’t, find someone you do have a rapport with. This is extremely important. If you don’t have a rapport you are less likely to feel relaxed, and that is key to capturing natural pictures.
Forget bossy photographers
A good couples photographer won’t demand poses, or heavily instruct. They’ll get to know you and engineer situations where they can act like a fly on the wall to capture the genuine and natural chemistry between you. Bossy photographers may be suited to the fashion industry or big corporate gigs, but they are generally not the best choice for situations requiring gentle encouragement and subtlety.
Be open to the location
You don’t have to be in a studio to get the best professional photographs. Out on location, the backdrop can add to the romance of the occasion and help create an atmosphere where you both shine. A lot of professional photographers will have a keen eye for locations that work, so don’t be shy to ask them for some recommendations.
Stunning architecture, beautiful parks, everyday scenes, train stations, and even urban wasteland can bring a creative element to natural couples photography. Privacy may be a factor you want to consider. There’s always the option of choosing a usually busy location at its least peak time. Be mindful that if you are having your photographs taken in the early hours or in the evening, the quality of light may affect the outcome. A good photographer won’t find this a problem and will still have the equipment and the expertise to capture great photos.
Photos don’t have to be face-on
Often, the best and most surprisingly romantic photographs don’t even show the couples’ faces. Faces don’t necessarily need to be in the frame to capture a sense of connection between you and your partner. Snaps of couples facing each other almost always work. When couples look into each other’s eyes they can’t help but feel the connection they share. A glance at each other while walking away from the camera arm in arm can be equally as powerful as a shared kiss in a romantically staged shot.
I can always remember the photographer at my first-born’s photo shoot, insisting on stripping the little fella down to his nappy. At the time I was a little peeved that I’d spent hours deciding what cute little baby-grow to put him in. But now (he’s a strapping 6-foot tall seventeen year old), I can totally see my cute baby-grow choice was a poor choice indeed!
Clothing can be a quirky addition to a couples photo shoot and certainly you should wear what you feel comfortable in. But, bear in mind that high fashion clothing may have you loving your romantic photo less in years to come. You may also want to dress appropriately for the location.
Well-fitted, flattering clothing that makes you feel great is what you should aim for. Natural-looking, minimal make-up is best, but a professional make-up artist can help you and will understand what looks great in front of the camera. If you are wearing clothes and make-up that show you at your best and make you feel confident, that will shine through in the photographs. If you really want to look at your best, it’s a good idea to get your hair done professionally prior to the shoot too.
Also, while it’s a tad twee to have matching outfits, do choose clothing that complements each other’s. You want to blend beautifully, not look like opposites.
Be sure to check out accessibility and permits
If you have your heart set on a remote location, you’ll have to think about how easy it is for you and the photographer to get there. There will also be additional cost involved if your photographer has to travel a long way. In some grounds and at some venues you may need a permit to take photographs. Always check out the requirements for you to be able to take photographs at a private venue.
Ask your photographer for tips
Ask your preferred photographer for tips. They are experts in the field of couples photography so will be able to advise and give guidance on everything from location, suitable clothing, and make-up, to how to feel relaxed in front of the camera.
Good luck! I hope you get your love story captured in photographs you can cherish for years to come.