In the previous articles in this posing guide series we looked individually at posing female subjects, posing male subjects and posing children (there are links to the full series of posing guides below). In those individual person portraits the main subject was a single person and her or his personality. In comparison, couple photography is more about connection, interaction and above all – feelings between two people. And most probably those are very deep and passionate feelings, which makes couple photography so delightful and positive.
Generally a couple should be easy to engage in a photo shoot. If they are initially a bit shy or feeling uncomfortable, just ask them to show you how they felt and looked when they met for the first time. You will invoke them on an emotional level, providing you with natural and loving expressions in their portraits
1. Easy starting pose standing face to face (but looking to the camera) and her holding an arm on his chest. Take both close-up as well as vertical shots.
2. Ask the couple to stand very close to each other to catch intimate close-up portraits. Don’t be afraid to zoom in and crop real tight!
3. Very easy and cordial pose with him holding her from behind. The couple may look straight into the camera or at each other. They might even kiss for a more emotive shot.
4. Fun and loving pose with her holding onto his back and shoulders. Pay attention to hand positioning: It should be simple and natural.
5. Just a variant with her holding him from behind. Remember that the couple doesn’t necessarily have to look in the camera. For better results, make them interact with each other by talking, flirtatious looks, laughing etc.
6. Creates a very romantic mood. Works best outdoors with some open space in the background. Shoot only slightly from a back. Remember that you have to be far enough to the couples side to be able to capture each person’s closest eye, otherwise you will create an impersonal, “empty” shot.
7. Find some elevation and shoot your subjects from above. A common pose shot from an unusual angle is always creative and will often reward you with surprisingly good results.
8. Another romantic pose. Works best outdoors with some open space in the background. Works also very well as a silhouette against a bright background, in front of a sunset, for example.
9. Easy to realize pose for a full height shot. Creates a calm and affectionate mood.
10. A fun pose. Don’t presume this to be appropriate only with younger people. If an older couple feels fine with it, this pose will work absolutely superb with them as well. Try different framings, take full height shots, half height ones and close-ups.
11. Very nice way to show the affection when meeting each other. Works very well in crowded places, such as a famous meeting point in a city, trains or metro stations etc.
12. A pose with a little bit of fun. The crucial part is her leg positioning, each leg should be bent in different angles. While he is still lifting her, take a close-up portrait shot as well.
13. Take shots of the couple walking hand in hand approaching from a distance. Shoot in burst mode only! However, the majority of your shots will look awkward because of the leg movement. Therefore, the second part of your job is to select the photos with the best leg movement and positioning afterwards.
14. Another variant with a walking couple. This time couple walks close together and holds onto each other. Again, take several shots and choose those with the most elegant leg positioning.
15. Never forget that there often are good opportunities simply shooting from the back.
16. A couple lying close together on the ground. Make them lift their upper bodies a bit by using their arms as supports. He might embrace her gently. Shoot from a very low angle.
17. Another variant with a couple lying on the ground. This time with a little interspace.
18. A good example to show that two persons can very well be positioned asymmetrically.
19. Informal and fun way to pose for a couple lying on their backs.
20. A cordial pose, ask the couple to sit comfortably on their favorite sofa.
21. Sometimes shooting a couple may mean maternity photography. Some poses from this couples series work also pretty well for such an occasion. Simply adjust a posing accordingly to show the couple’s feelings about and interactions with the unborn new life.
Allow me to repeat the previously stated – look at these sample poses as a starting point only. That’s the reason why they are rough sketches instead of real photos. You can’t and should not repeat the pose exactly, instead adjust the pose creatively according to your shooting environment and scenario.