These awesome tips for capturing beautiful couples’ photos are brought to you by our lovely ambassador, Jessica Diedrich of Yeah She Snaps Photography.
Hi, everyone! I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!
Love is in the air, so I was really excited when I was asked to write an article on couples. While children and family have always been my biggest client base, couples are by far some of my favorite sessions to shoot. I am all about capturing connection, and what better scenario for that than two people in love?
A lot of people in the industry shy away from these type of shoots, citing ‘awkwardness’ or difficulty as their main reason. I’m here to smash that for y’all today! How you ask??
Well here are a few simple tips and tricks for a fantastic, emotive, and connective couple’s session:
TIP NO. 1 – “WELL, THIS IS AWKARD.”
Sure, sometimes it gets awkward. So the first thing I do? I tell them that. I joke around and say “now, the first thing I’m going to do is tell you to pretend I’m not here. Which, is absurd, because I am, with a huge lens in your face. Other than that, let’s go!” hahaha. Usually they laugh, and instantly get more comfortable. It may not be instant, but encourage them to stay close to one another vs. further apart. Encourage them to focus on each other instead of the camera. Even if it means that one of them or neither of them is looking at the camera. Honestly, those are the shots I prefer!
TIP NO. 2 – A LITTLE HUMOR GOES A LONG WAY.
“What is the most embarrassing thing the other one has ever done?” “Tell her something dirty.” “Your parents aren’t watching! Come on!” I’ve come up with several random phrases such as this that usually break the ice and then some. Once your couple feels safe with you, the guard starts to go down and the true connection can be captured. Sure, it depends on your couple. If I was shooting my church pastor and his wife, I might refrain from the 2nd sentence, haha ; ) Define your couple, and make sure you are defining yourself to them, letting them know they can be themselves and that you’re all for it!
TIP NO. 3 – GIVE THE KIDS A BREAK.
Just because the kids are with a couple for a family shoot, doesn’t mean you forget that they started as a couple first! Let the kids take 5 and focus on Mom and Dad. Put the baby in the stroller, have the oldest help w/ the younger ones… even let the toddler sit right under your feet and you’d never even know with the finished photo. These are some of my favorite shots to take. It’s a gift most parents don’t even know they want; to be reminded that it all started with two. <3
TIP NO. 4 – IT’S ALL in the DETAILS.
It doesn’t have to be an engagement shoot to focus on her beautiful ring, the way his hands fit on her back, how cute it is when he reaches for her chin, her ringlets of hair or her nose being his favorite feature, etc. Be sure to include detail shots from creative angles to really make the most of your session.
TIP NO 5 – GIVE CUES THAT DON’T INVOLVE SMILING AND SAYING CHEESE.
This isn’t American Gothic, y’all. No stiff bodies need apply! Watch the magic happen when a little kiss turns into a movie kiss. Don’t be afraid to encourage it from behind the lens, but don’t put your camera down as to not miss a moment. If the kiss has fire in it, a little ‘there ya go!” never hurt anyone. They might laugh, but that’s ok. Capture the laughs in between! They WANT to know they’re doing something that looks good/natural in front of the camera. “I mean, if you were to pick her up and twirl her around I wouldn’t be sorry about it!” I’ve been known to say things like this that lets your clients know it’s ok to have a little fun.
And last but not least…
TIP NO. 6 – KEEP IT MOVING.
There’s nothing more awkward than staying put in the same spot, knowing the attention is solely on you. Whether you’re in a huge field in the middle of nowhere or in a fun, urban setting, keep them moving. For example, in this urban setting, the door was literally 20 feet from the flower truck, but it made for a great change of mood and location. Keep it interesting for you couples, and they’ll keep it fresh for you!
Thanks for spending some time with me today! I hope these simple cues, tips, and approaches will take your couples session to the next level. Last but not least, encourage CONNECTION. I can’t stress that enough. Some people won’t even suggest a couple’s session because they simply don’t know how to transfer what they feel for each other into photos. It’s our job as photographers to remind them how important it is to capture those memories, and to make them as comfortable as possible in doing so.
Now get out there and celebrate CONNECTION! And please feel free to shoot me a message on my Facebook page and let me know how you did. I’d love to hear from you!
Jessica Diedrich is a full-time photographer specializing in environmental portraiture, lifestyle photography, and stylized/themed sessions for talent and modeling. She resides just 15 minutes east of Nashville, TN with her husband, five children, four dogs, and a generous amount of coffee. She has been featured on various blogs and was named one of the Looks Like Film‘s 2015 Artists of the Year. She has been published in the October 2015 issue of Beyond the Wanderlust magazine and enjoys submitting work to National Geographic’s “Your Shot” when time allows. When Jessica isn’t holding her Nikon D750 in hand, she can usually be found holding her 3-year-old, a taco, or a Sonic Unsweet Peach tea at happy hour.