Photographing a single subject has its fair share challenges: posing, lighting, framing, composition, etc. Photographing couples can sometimes seem like double the work! Why? Well, you’ve got two people to work with for starters and then there are different body shapes, personalities, wardrobe, etc. Here’s a quick guide to help take your work with couples to the next level.
Find out what they want.
Only a small percentage of people love being photographed. With that fact in mind, consulting every couple prior to their engagement session and/or wedding can help overcome some of the anxiety of being photographed. It’s also a great time to nail down exactly how a couple would like to see themselves in their images.
Decide what you want.
Most people who hire a photographer expect the photographer to have some kind of creative vision for the shoot. Offering a variety of imagery creates a greater value to your subjects. Some of our studio’s favorite varieties would be silhouettes, sunset images, blue hour cityscapes, environmental portraits, candid & posed shots. Properly executed, a skilled photographer can move through each of these varieties in a one hour session. Pose like a pro. Some amazing images with perfect lighting, framing and composition are lost in the graveyard of rejected images because of poor posing. Here are just a few ways to begin to create a strong posing guide.
One chin per subject.
Double chins are 100% avoidable! How awesome is that? Just remember – extend the chin out toward the camera and bring it down a tiny bit (this also has a side effect of opening the eyes a bit to the camera). If it bends, bend it! For the ladies, bending knees and elbows not only creates curves but also offers a thinning effect. Our studio practices at least two triangles in each image. Arms squished against the body appear larger than an arm gently lifted off of the body.
Great candids come from moments of connection between a couple. Asking one of the partners to whisper to the other partner what they love about them, or something funny, or what they want most while photographing reactions can offer great opportunities to capture genuine emotion and connection.
Nearly every couple we consult with mentions that they would like candids of some sort. Some of the images that best represent the relationship of the couple will come from candid images. While most couples love the idea of candids, most still want to look amazing and not be caught in unflattering candid moments. In order to ensure that couples look amazing, we place our couples into a pose and then have them interact with one another within that pose.
What’s glass got to do with it? The shorter the focal length the more distortion will likely effect the subject. For most of our couple shoots we’re hooked on using lenses that offer more compression which can be very flattering. Those lenses are most of our longer focal distance lenses such as the Olympus 45mm Pro f/1.2, 75mm f/1.8 or the 40-150mm Pro f/2.8
***All Images shot by Olympus Visionary, Tracie Maglosky
Lens and body info:
1. OM-D E-M1 Mark 1 75mm f/1.8
2. OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 7-14mm Pro f/2.8
3. OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 45mm Pro f/1.2
4. OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 7-14mm Pro f/2.8
5. OM-D E-M1 Mark 1 12-40mm Pro f/2.8
6. OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 75mm f/1.8
7. OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 75mm f/1.8
8. OM-D E-M1 Mark 2 75mm f/1.8