You’ll hear a lot of clients say they’re awkward and they don’t know how to pose. The reality is it’s not their job to know, it’s your job as their Photographer to guide them through the process, so you capture them authentically, focusing on flattery and the overall experience.
I don’t believe in just putting clients in a pose, clicking a button over and over again, despite the photos looking aesthetically good it’s just really stale and boring. I wanna create real connection, real intimacy and laughs throughout, that when they look back on their gallery, they not only see stunning images, but they are also transported but to the moments and memories behind them.
I do this by prompting my clients to undertake little tasks while they’re in their poses to take their mind off the lens and bring focus back into their connection. Whether it’s a couple's session or a rowdy family photoshoot having an array of different things to prompt eliminates those awkward moments and invokes real reactions within their relationship dynamic. 10-15 prompts can create a variety of different reactions and images that they have a huge gallery with a ton of unique images and a shitload of good vibes to look back on.
Four of my favourite prompts for couples are:
Get your partner to stand behind you and wrap their arms around your chest. Now I want you to draw a picture on their cheek with your nose while your partner tries to guess what it is.
Before they start, I’ll position their arms, making sure the partner in front is hugging on to them (floppy arms makes for an awkward look) fix any stray hairs, elevate their chins and potentially give them a bit more guidance if need be.
The start of this prompt is amazing because it allows for this really intimate interaction to capture. I can get a full body shot, a close up of their faces and a detail shot of their embrace. Then I’ll usually chime in and say “you’re drawing a penis aren’t you” which instantly makes them laugh and *click* the same prompt has given you multiple images. I’ll then get them to swap and change the pose completely by getting them to sit down and repeat the process. If you’re really loving the results, you can ask them to draw something in a specific category such as a “sea creature” or “draw a mode of transportation.”
DRUNK IN LOVE
This one tends to be a lot of couples' favourite images from their gallery. I tell my couples imagine you’ve been for a night out on the town, you’re sloppy drunk and you gotta walk to the kebab shop before it shuts. Hold hands walk towards me while bumping hips and laughing. The only rule is you must remain holding hands - no bumping your partner into another postcode!
This creates movement laughter and so many great moments getting a full body composition. Once they’ve walked past me, I get them to repeat it in the other direction to get a whole new perspective and backdrop, this time focusing on individual faces and their hands.
Pretty self-explanatory but with a slight twist. I ask my couples to buck like a bull and twerk to create more movement and laughter. This pose I tend to shoot from down low so I can get both faces in frame, making sure they are aligned and looking at each other as much as possible.
I love this shot, and I will usually showcase how it’s done before getting them into position. It gives that “follow me” travel vibe and I can get some amazing individual photos of them both. While holding hands one partner is going to run ahead stop and pull their partner ahead of them, repeating that process until you’re happy with the outcome. I get some great full body shots, then focus on one person as their partner pulls them, lots of laughter and smiles.
I hope these help you get some amazing shots on your next couples shoot! Another hot tip having your prompts as your phone screen background will help job your memory if you’re having a brain fart, which happens to us all! That’s how my Legendary Lovers Deck was born, so I could elevate my game and include my clients in the process.