In a sea of wedding and couple photographers, going above and beyond simply pressing your shutter is crucial. Taking a few extra steps goes a long way – what this looks like will vary depending on the client, but that’s the point! Spending the extra effort to get to know them will help make the shoot go more smoothly for you because they’ll be more comfortable, and it will also help make the whole experience more memorable and enjoyable for them.
Here are our best tips to help make your couples feel extra special.
Get to know the couple beforehand
We like to dedicate time to learning about the couple and getting to know them before the shoot. Usually, this starts during the initial meeting, when the couple has decided that they want to book us. We’ll ask questions like how they met, how long they’ve been together, or who made the first move. The answers are important for you to know, but how they answer might be even more important. Watch their body language and the way they interact together – it’ll give you a good sense of the relationship dynamic you’ll be capturing on camera.
Before the shoot, we also like to send out a questionnaire to the couple to find out their comfort level with things like kissing on camera, being picked up, or getting their clothes a little dirty. Knowing those specifics before picking up your camera means that you’ll be able to plan ahead accordingly. Is the couple uncomfortable kissing on camera? Prepare alternate poses to have in your back pocket.
Find out what kind of music they like, and make a playlist
It’s not uncommon for people to get stiff and awkward as soon as you point your camera at them. To help the couple you’re photographing loosen up, play some music! We like to include a few questions about music preference in our pre-shoot questionnaire, so that we make sure we’re playing music that the couple actually likes.
Want to go really above and beyond? Share the playlist with the couple when you send over some sample photos or the full gallery to help them relive the day.
Coach the couple
Leading up to the shoot, we like to send a little guide to our couples with advice on what to wear and what to bring. If they haven’t had a professional photographer take their photo before, they may not know which sort of colors and patterns look best on camera, so it’s your job to let them know. When shooting locally, or in a place we’re really familiar with, we also often recommend locations too – especially if the couple doesn’t have any specific or sentimental spots in mind.
During the shoot, we’re quick to coach the couple on posing, body positioning, and facial expressions to make sure we get the best photos possible. As the photographer, you’re responsible for making sure the client will love the photos. Of course, there will be times where you catch them blinking or between poses, but you need to make sure that they are in poses that are flattering and comfortable for the majority of the shoot.
Bring a Polaroid Camera (if you have one)
Snap a couple Polaroid pictures of the couple to give to them on the spot so that they go home with something from the shoot. If you don’t have a Polaroid camera, take a few behind the scenes videos to send to them after the shoot wraps. It doesn’t add much time or effort for you, but is a really sweet touch.
Encourage the couple to incorporate personal elements
Tell the couple to bring their favorite food or drink, board games, guitar, pets, or anything else that’s important to them. Not only will this add a more personal touch to the photos, it also will make the couple feel more relaxed and give them something else to engage with.
If the couple is bringing a pet, we also recommend bringing a friend or family member along to help wrangle the furry friend. That way, the couple doesn’t need to stress about keeping their puppy entertained while you shoot, and neither do you.
How do you go the extra mile for your couples?