Have you ever felt anxious about photographing a couple? Scared of not being able to make them comfortable? Saving photos to your phone of poses you want to try to reproduce? Wondering how to get your couple to act as if there isn’t a camera pointed at them?

Well, this one's for YOU!

In the constant pressure to get the perfect Instagram photos that will impress the world, we often forget about capturing authentic connection and moments. Here, we have compiled our guide to creating an authentic connection between your couples so you can rock your next session!

Connect With Your Couples

Connect With Your Couples

So you want your couples to display a true connection together in front of your lens? Well the first thing you’ll need to do is to connect with them. What does that mean? It means getting to know them, understanding their story, and opening your story to them as well. You should be ready to share a part of yourself with them for them, for them to be able to do the same with you.

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It’s about creating a bound of trust.

Now, imagine you just booked a session by clicking on a button and paying online. You barely had any exchange and suddenly you meet and are suppose to get somewhat intimate in front of that person. Would you be comfortable? So before your clients book, talk to them on the phone or send by email a bit about yourself. Ask them questions about their story.

For exemple, one great way to know a bit more about your couple is to send them a questionnaire. Then respond to that questionnaire in a personal way, not a simple “Thanks for filling this out! This is great!” but an actual response. You also don’t have to photograph them the second you meet. We usually like to either car pool with our couples or hang out with them a bit before starting to photograph. This allows them to ease into the session and get more connected to you. It might seem like a small thing, but we guarantee that it plays a great deal into being able to capture authentic connection and emotions.

Capture your couple having a good experience

It's All About The Experience

While we feel safe hidden behind our camera, our clients are feeling vulnerable. They are the center of attention. Although some couples are more comfortable with that than others, it’s important to consider that and make sure they are having a great time. It’s important to remember that these are real people in front of you, they aren’t models.

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Above all: You are there for THEM and for THEIR story.

Your job is to capture them. To be part of their story and give them a tangible memory of their love for each other. It is not about the perfect Instagram photo, the perfectly composed shot or the perfectly laid out dress. Because guess what? They won’t care about that! Yes it will be the icing on the cake if you also nail all the above. But what they care about is how these photos will make them feel, and the memory behind it.

If they are freezing, feeling uncomfortable, feeling insecure, or what not, that is what they will remember when seeing these photos. (PS: For tips on helping your couple in cold weather check this post.) Therefore, you want them to look at the photos and remember the awesome time they had together. Remember how they met their new photographer friend and how great it all was. Above all, you should want them to look at the images and see themselves having authentic loving and fun moments; In other words, being themselves. To do so, you need to make sure they are having a good time. You want to make them feel settled, guide them, have water if they get thirsty, a blanket for them to sit on… You get my point: go above and beyond for them.

Don't Pose, DIRECT!

If you don’t want your photos to look to staged and posed: Don’t pose your couples!

Start by picturing a movie scene of a couple going for a walk and discovering a new place. What scenes unfold in your head? Are they running around together, rolling in the grass, sitting down cuddling or reading together? Or Are they peacefully enjoying the breathtaking view in front of them? Maybe they are they teasing each other, laughing, kissing? To make these scenes happen, the director of a movie would describe the situation to the actors. He would guide them, give them actions, moving prompts to create an action and therefore a moment.

Your role is exactly the same.

You need to make them forget they are posing for photos, you need to make them actually laugh, have fun and connect to each other.

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Think of yourself as a very particular couple’s therapist doing a retreat for your clients. You want them to focus on each other, think about their feelings for each other and get connected.

We would sometimes ask our couples to just look into each others eyes for a minute, just sink into each others gaze. Or we would ask them to share about a specific moment of their story or whisper three things they love the most about their partner in their partner’s ear. Sometimes we ask them to dance, run, tickle each other. Anything that is action oriented. This is key for natural looking shots.

So we recommend that you look at the photos that inspire you, or maybe even that “posing” board you have on Pinterest and imagine what could have been said to this couple to result in this specific position and photo. Think about it and write them down. Read them regularly, especially before a shoot and suddenly you will have your own list of action prompts to capture authentic connection and moments that work with your vibe and personality.

use music to relax your couple and capture authentic connection

Imagine being the one in front of a camera, there is an awkward silence and the noise of the shutter constantly reminding you that you are being photographed. Wouldn’t some music help to make that all go away?

Music is a great way to make your couple at ease and it really helps in setting a tone. If you want some very romantic soft and intimate photos go more towards slow love songs. If you want them dancing, laughing and running change the playlist to something more upbeat.

We always bring our speakers with us for a session, sometimes we might choose not to use them if the area is busy and it would disturb a lot of people. However, more often than not we are able to use them and it makes such a difference and will always make our couples more relaxed and open. Which is key to capture authentic connection!

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Be a cheerleader to capture connection

Be A Chearleader

I know sometimes when I’m being photographed, I can get self conscious and worry that I’m not doing it right.

It’s always reassuring and empowering to have a photographer there to cheer you on, telling you that you are doing great, that there is no reason to worry and that the session is going perfectly well.

Therefore, we think it’s really important to keep encouraging your couples, to remind them they are beautiful together.

We also love to show them some photos off the back of the camera to prove to them the results are beautiful. Make sure you get a kick ass shot, show it to them and we guarantee that it will boost their confidence and instantly get them even more excited about the rest of the shoot!

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Last Recommendations

We hope by following our recommendations you will rock your next session and be able to capture authentic connection like you dreamed about! And we also hope this will help you improve the experience of your clients and therefore get ragging reviews!

Lastly, we would like to add two more recommendations before you implement our guidelines. First, never EVER force your couple doing something they aren’t comfortable doing. We always suggest things and remind them that if it’s not ok for them and they don’t feel comfortable, that it’s totally fine and they can simply say so. Second, we recommend putting yourself in the shoes of your clients, by getting yourself photographed by a fellow photographer. (proof that we did our part: HERE & HERE)This will help you relate to your couple even more and be a better guide for them! It will be a wonderful learning experience and you will get great photos for your website and social media.

That’s all for today, we hope these guidelines will help you improve your photography. Remember that it also takes a bit of practice to implement all of these into a seamless flow without having to think about it so consciously, so be easy with yourself and give yourself some grace and time.

XoXo

Alison & Lance

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