Couple posing needs to capture two people in a way that embodies emotion. It takes a great deal of experience to pose couples correctly so that they look their best.
While many photographers nowadays are being creative when it comes to couple posing techniques, it’s good to know some classic rules of posing before doing something rather innovative.
It’s definitely not easy to say what makes a certain pose perfect and what doesn’t, taking into consideration the endless range of possibilities. However, what matters the most is that our models look comfortable – if something looks “off”, we know that we’re doing something wrong!
Simple tips for posing, that we’ll discuss here, can change your photos from being average to being flawless, but bear in mind that it takes time to properly pose your couple!
Also, different posing rules apply to different couples – you should always consider their personal style, age, aesthetic preferences and so on. The challenge with shooting couples is the fact that you have two subjects to instruct on proper posing – this is twice as hard as posing just one person!
9 General Posing Tips That Will Get You Started
Before we start analyzing some typical poses that work well, we’ll discuss some general tips that apply to all kinds of photo sessions with couples.
1. Notice the details
You don’t have to be a perfectionist, but you need to be able to notice if something is just not right. For instance, some couples tend to be very nervous in front of the camera and they may hug and touch each other awkwardly. If you notice this, you should help the couple loosen up a little bit. You should approach them, talk to them and use your sense of humor or compliment them in order to make them feel more comfortable.
2. Ask them to touch each other
A good couple posing or general posing tip is to note that lack of contact makes photographs of couples rather incomplete. They don’t have to hug or kiss – in fact, a subtle touch can convey emotions in a stronger way. For instance, she can lay her head on his chest, they can touch shoulders or he can put his arm around her waist. There are many ways to depict their emotional connection!
3. Don’t emphasize the differences
By putting two people side by side, you may end up accentuating some physical differences between them, such as their height or weight. These differences may not look good, so you should be prepared and have some solutions in order to make the differences less pronounced. For example, if she is of equal height to him or taller, you can ask them to sit. The same goes for weight – you can also have them sit to trick the camera. You should always use angles wisely!
4. Full-length shots matter
People who are being photographed usually spend a lot of time preparing their entire outfit and this always includes the careful choice of shoes. Because of this, you should have at least 2 or 3 full-length shots. Close-ups may be more important than full-length shots but never forget the big picture as well.
5. Ask them to dance
You don’t want your couple to look stiff and uncomfortable, so introducing some movement can be a great addition to those typical static poses. Some really great ideas include dancing or having the couple walk towards you. If you’re after something fun, you can also ask them to run towards each other or lift each other. Just make sure to avoid any awkward movements! The atmosphere and body language should be genuine, like something the couple would do naturally.
6. Look for spontaneous gestures
It’s not everything about posing! If you manage to capture some spontaneous moments, your models will be surprised in a good way. You should pay attention to the way they look at each other or talk to each other while you’re taking photos of them. These “between moments” can be really fun if you catch them, intentionally or accidentally.
7. Do some traditional shots that everybody likes
In the best case scenario, your photo session should be a great mix of classic and original shots. This means that you shouldn’t forget the traditional shot your couple will want to frame in their home – usually something where both of them are looking directly into the camera and smiling.
8. Introduce variations of the same pose
The same body posture will look somewhat different if the models change the position of their arms, hands or legs. Because of this, you should always take an additional shot a little differently posed. When it comes to couple posing, he can put his hand in his pockets or she can cross her legs differently. These differences may be small, but they can matter a lot!
9. Help them with their wardrobe choice
Wardrobe is truly important – just remember that it can easily make or break your photo session. If your clients are feeling a little bit unsure about their wardrobe choice, you should help them and give them some ideas in terms of colors, cuts, materials, and accessories such as jewelry.
16 Couple Posing Ideas To Help You Get Creative
Now the most important part – actual poses! The following list includes couple posing ideas that proved to be quite versatile in their style and a majority of couples will find them easy to follow. Of course, you don’t have to stick to these poses – what matters the most is that you capture natural and loving expressions in your portraits!
1. Great starting pose for your couple is standing face to face. She should be holding her arm on his chest – this pose evokes the emotions of love and belonging and it can help your couple loosen up.
2. Ask the couple to stand very close to each other in a near-kiss position. This is perfect for capturing intimate close-up portraits full of tension and anticipation. Some couples may start laughing while trying to do this pose, so be patient!
3. Easy yet sweet pose can be achieved with him holding her from behind. You can add a variation to this shot – they can look straight into the camera or at each other, whatever works better for them. You can also ask them to kiss – it will make it more emotional.
4. Another fun and easy pose is with her holding onto his back and shoulders. This pose looks very laid-back and natural and it can be a great choice for couples who seem to be a bit uneasy in front of the camera.
5. A similar pose can be done with her holding him from behind. To make this pose more affectionate, you can ask them to look at each other, talk, laugh and so on.
6. In case you want to create a truly romantic mood that doesn’t feel posed and artificial, you can shoot your couple outdoors while they are sitting or walking together. This works best if you shoot them slightly from behind as if you were a passer-by. However, remember that you should capture the eye contact or some other kind of interaction between your subjects. If you don’t do this, you might end up with a rather impersonal shot.
7. If you’re shooting outdoors, it’s always fun to find some elevation and shoot your subjects from above. This kind of shot from an unusual angle can look quite creative and artistic, so you should definitely give it a try. This works great for outdoor engagement photo shoots!
8. If your clients are after something romantic, make sure to capture a few of poses with their silhouettes against a bright background. It will look great if they are dancing while you're photographing them in this way. While these shots may seem cliché, they don’t have to be corny at all, especially if you find an interesting location.
9. Make him lift her up! These dynamic shots are always full of joy and they represent great memories – that’s why they often end up framed.
10. For couples who are more into urban settings than nature, a great way to show the affection is when meeting each other in crowded places. You can photograph them as they approach each other at a popular square or at a metro station. Such photos can look very natural and they are great for modern young couples who aren’t too much into romantic scenarios.
11. Take close-up shots of the couple walking hand in hand. If they are married or engaged and they wear rings, this kind of close-up can be truly meaningful to them. Just make sure that the lighting is adequate and that their rings look great!
12. For those who are into something endearing, warm and sweet, suggest that she sits or lies in his lap and take both close-up and full-length shots of the scene. This works best in informal environments, such as the couple’s home.
13. If you’re shooting at your couple’s home, this is the perfect occasion to include their pets in some shots! Ask them to play around with their pets, lift them up, hug them and so on. These shots will look very informal and candid. In case you want to add a formal twist to such shots, you can pose both the couple and their pets on their favorite sofa.
14. A couple lying close together on the ground makes a touching scene! You can shoot this pose from a very low angle or from above – the results will be very different, so make sure to try both options.
15. A great way to entertain your couple if they are feeling adventurous is to ask them to do something funny, such as chase after each other, jump together and so on. Of course, make sure that the final result looks good and makes sense in terms of composition – it shouldn't be just a random crazy photo!
16. Don’t forget to take humorous close-ups of your couple lying on their bellies with their feet up and crossed. This is a cordial pose that can be done on the bed or on the floor. If your clients have kids, they can join this easy pose!
We hope that this couple posing guide was really helpful and that it will make your photo sessions with couples much easier and less confusing!
No matter if you’re shooting weddings, engagements or maternity sessions, these tips will help you get started. Later on, you can develop your personal style when it comes to posing couples – it’s exciting to come up with some creative ideas on your own!
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