Half the battle of taking amazing photos is posing your subjects. Whether they have never had a professional photoshoot before or are a little bit nervous in front of the camera, your clients will appreciate a little guidance from you.
In the first of our Posing Guide series, we’ve outlined our go-to poses for couples. We keep these in our back pockets any time we are photographing a couple – from engagement shoots to weddings. Having a set group of poses helps everything go smoothly during the shoot, and leaning on a tried and true set of prompts means less time experimenting (and maybe panicking when nothing seems to work) while on set.
Position your couple so that they’re facing each other directly. Instruct them to get super close together so that their noses are almost touching, then their foreheads, and finally so that they are almost kissing. While you’re snapping away, direct the couple where you want their arms to go – like around the waist of their partner or gently placed on the other’s face. Keep them moving and try different positions to get a variety of shots.
Prompt for your couple: Move in for a kiss really slowly – see who can wait longer before kissing the other person. Make sure you have your finger on the shutter to get the close-up pre-kiss shot!
Like the classic prom pose, have the taller person of the couple stand behind their partner and give them a big hug. To keep it from feeling too Titanic-inspired, have the person standing in the back hug over top of their partner’s arms. Instruct them to put their faces close together, so that they are close enough to give a kiss on the cheek.
Prompt for your couple: Have the taller person in the couple hold the other’s waist tightly, and have the person being hugged try to run toward the camera. You’re guaranteed to get some great laughing shots!
Lifting poses can be a lot of fun and give you some great photos – but make sure you talk to your couples beforehand to gauge their comfort-level with lifts.
Prompt whomever is comfortable being picked up to jump onto their partner’s back – encouraging them to get in close with their partner, hug them, and give them kisses on the cheek. Watch to make sure the lifter’s face remains relaxed and not strained, and instruct the couple to take a break to try a different pose if either person looks uncomfortable.
Prompt for your couple: Make it a wild piggyback ride – make your partner work a bit to stay on! (Without being too aggressive, of course).
Have one of the people stand facing the camera, and have the other partner stand 5-10 steps behind them. Tell the person standing in the back to run up to their partner, grab them around the waist to pick them up, and do a quick spin. Make sure you take photos throughout the whole time – some of our favorite photos from this pose are at the moment the person in front is hugged.
Prompt for your couple: Tell the person standing in the back to sneak up to their partner so there’s an element of surprise and a genuine reaction.
Walking and Dancing
Instructing your couple to move around during the shoot helps you get great candid shots. Have them dance together – whatever that means to them! Spinning, dips, and cuddly slow dances are all great. We also like to have our couples walk together towards the camera, but we’ll give different prompts on how to walk.
Prompt for your couple: Try the bumper car walk! Tell your couple to hold hands and bump into each other while they walk towards you – you’ll get lots of laughs.
Sitting on the Same Surface
If your couple is sitting on even ground, get them to sit beside each other, hip to hip, with their feet angled away from their partner. Instruct them to lean into each other and cuddle up – nose-to-nose works great in this pose.
Prompt for your couple: If either partner has their hair down, have the other person tuck their hair behind their ear a few times – occasionally moving close to kiss their cheek as well.
Sitting on Different Surfaces
With one partner sitting on a higher surface – like a step, chair, or rock – and have the other person sit below them, cuddled between their legs. Get the partner on the higher surface to really lean in, and prompt them to give their significant other a big hug.
Prompt for your couple: Have the person in the back grab their partner in a big bear hug and rock them gently side to side – this keeps the pose from being too stiff and rigid.
What are your go-to poses for couples?