Before any shoots, I always let people know that I will direct them 100% of the way so they don’t have to worry about what they need to do with their hands or how they should smile. I just ask that they show up ready to have some fun with their loved ones and I’m like the third wheel on their date that just so happened to be taking photos of them.
Throughout these poses, I give couples a prompt to get the reaction I want. Getting them to talk about their relationship is easy and fun for them to reflect on. This helps them relax and not feel (or look) so awkward in front of the camera.
Again, depending on what reaction I’m looking for (smile, laugh, relax, etc.), I like to ask clients things such as: whisper in your partner’s ear what chores you hate doing the most. In a funny voice, tell your partner what you want to eat for dinner. What do you love most about your partner? Think about a time your partner brought you unexpected joy. Things like this allows my clients to have genuine reactions that allow them to have a good time and look amazing in the photos.
These eight poses are a few of my “go-to” poses that make couples feel comfortable, simple to do, and capture their love.
Hold Hands & Go For A Walk (Away From Me & Back)
This can be done at any point during the photoshoot (again and again). The classic hand-holding might be a little cliché, but never gets old.
To get a candid look, ask the couple to walk away from you (give them an exact point to walk to so they don’t go too far) and back towards you. As the couple walks, they might have a conversation, laugh, look/point at something around them and you have an authentic photo.
Just like going for a walk you can have one partner “take the lead” when walking.
The "Drunken Walk"
Simple and fun thing to do with couples that gets them to relax a little. Just have the couple walk towards you as they bump their hips together.
Couples usually think this is super weird and looks a little crazy, but it gets the perfect laugh and genuine smiles that I love.
Slightly Turn Around
During one of the times the couple is walking away from you, ask one of them to turn around and look at the camera.
Ask them to face each other, put their foreheads together, look down and think about a romantic gesture your partner did for you.
Kiss on the Forehead
A forehead kiss is a simple and sweet gesture for couples to do. Simply ask one partner to give the other one a kiss on the forehead, it creates a romantic space in the photograph.
Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Dancing is a really awkward activity for most people, but ensure them that they don't have to do anything crazy.
Getting them to dance brings out a nice smile, they have some fun and relax a bit. Ask them to just move side to side, spin a few times and of course, dip like a Disney princess!
Stretch Your Arms & Hold Hands
In 2012, travel photographer, Murad Osmann, made this portrait pose very popular in his series “Follow Me To”. It’s often used in smartphone photography, but can be done in your next couple photoshoot.
Hug from the Back
Who doesn’t like a good hug? It just makes you feel loved and appreciated. People hug in different ways, but ask one partner to hug the other from behind.
This allows you to photograph both of their faces and adds a romantic element.
I’m excited for you to use these poses for inspiration during your next photoshoot. Remember to guide your couples during the poses through easy instructions and allow them space to be by themselves.
These poses will let them have a good time and you will get really beautiful candid photos!
I added a few more of my favorite photos from this session. Enjoy!