I know, I know! There can be a lot of factors that go into planning these photos. Everything from what to wear, where to do them and how to pose! Ahhh! So many variables! But my goal with this blog post is to give you some tips that will help to make the whole experience as stress-free as possible! Whether you are celebrating your anniversary, your recent engagement, or even just getting some “Just because we love each other so much” photos, I want to make sure that your couples session is full of love, joy, and a stronger bond between you and your partner. We don’t have time for any of that stress nonsense! Below are 6 tips that I know will help you to nail your couples session photos!
While sunrise beach photos sound like the epitome of a perfect couples session, if you two are more city dwellers than beach-goers, it might not be the best option for you. You want to choose an environment that you are familiar with and that is a place where you are comfortable. Ain’t no one got time to get sand all over their sweaty limbs if you’d honestly prefer some cool architecture in the background of your photos. And yes…mountain top photos with epic views all around you may sound amazing, but if you prefer heels over hiking boots, and you aren’t ready for that steep 2-mile climb up the side of the mountain, you are going to be miserable by the time you make it to the top…and not feeling so much into those photos.
So take a moment and think about locations that really fit into your personalities. Where do you love to spend time together? Are there any locations that have special meaning to you? Would you prefer to be in the comfort of your home or at a lavish, ritzy hotel? Finding a location that suits your personalities will lead to you feeling more comfortable during your session.
If there’s one thing I can’t preach enough it’s feeling comfortable and confident in your skin! For example, if you were to put me in a slinky formal dress with 3-inch stiletto heels…yeah, I might look super elegant, but I know I will also be super self-conscious and will likely trip over my own damn feet! Lol. For you guys, I will definitely give you some direction with outfit ideas and suggestions and tips on how to complement your attire with each other within my couples session prep guide, but first and foremost, you need to pick out something that makes you feel amazing and confident! We don’t want you tugging uncomfortably on your clothing during the session…we want you focused on loving on each other and having a hell of a good time!
Whether it be the time of day or the time of year, it can make all the difference in the mood set for your photos. If you do a look back through my couples sessions on the blog, you’ll notice a trend that most of my sessions tend to be around or near the time of the sun rising or sun setting. Not that this is a make or break with a session, but I personally adore the warmth that it provides to my photos and the lighting will be a lot less harsh than in the middle of the day. But if you really love the vibe of the bright midday light with lots of contrast, then I am totally down for that kind of session too. And midday can be great for in-home couples sessions as well. I would just be sure to have a look through photos that really inspire you to see if you notice a trend with the time of day that they are being taken and make sure you keep that in mind for your images and when you want your session.
And while we are talking time of day, the time of year can be equally as important. If you are in love with those fall foliage type photos with all the olives, burnt oranges, and burgundy tones…planning your session for mid-summer is probably not the wisest idea! You are going to be sweating up a storm in that grey cardie, riding boots and jeans! Plan your session for the time of year that reflects you and the style you are after! One of my favorite engagement sessions was one that was very atypical…this session was in the dead of winter in Ohio! But it was probably the most fun I’ve had with a session and it was perfect for this couple! Snowball fights, and lots of snuggling to stay warm!
When a couple can just relax and have fun with their session, the resulting images always are so much more fun! I know that can be easier said than done but just sit and think about it. Which would you prefer…super stiff and canned type poses or those that are relaxed and more free-flowing? I know I would choose the later for sure! To demonstrate this fact, if you look at the photos above, there may have been some goofy faces made, but look what happened immediately after that one in the images below…pure amazingness with genuine expressions!
As I’ve mentioned before, this session is a time to document who the two of you are as a couple and give you images to bring you back to “those days”. There’s no need to be formal or posed a specific way. Just be yourself! If you aren’t big PDA people, there’s no need to go into full “makeout mode” for this shoot. Keep it genuine to your personalities. I will definitely be there to provide you with direction to get you going, but I want you two to know it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to open up and JUST BE YOU! These are when we get the most amazing images!
Last but not least, focus on each other. This session is for you and all about you…so honestly, I kind of want you to forget that I’m even there! Haha. Try whispering silly(or sexy) sweet-nothings into each other’s ear. Nuzzle one another’s necks. Tickle each other or tell bad jokes. Give each other the biggest bear hug possible and don’t let go. Do whatever it is that is a true testament of the story of your love. Don’t feel like you are doing this session for me. It’s definitely not about impressing me with your modelesque skills, it’s about you two lovebirds connecting. You’re not there for me, I’m there for YOU to document your amazing love story.