How to capture natural moments shared amongst couples?”

“How do you pose couples so that you have the best candid couple portraits?”

“My couples always look like romantic actors from a movie who are trying to hug. What am I doing wrong that I am not able to capture the same essence in the photos?”

Well, that is just a small sample of questions that we get asked nearly every single day when it comes to capturing natural and candid couple portraits either on the wedding day or during an engagement photography session. Achieving candid and natural posing couple portraits is truly one of the biggest struggles that we see photographers dealing with on a daily basis. So, if you are also struggling with how to direct and pose your couples in an easy way that perfectly facilitates natural, beautiful, and unposed shots? Then, this is the blog for you all. This blog will give you some amazing tips for natural and candid couple portraits along with some real moments capturing opportunities.

Let’s dive in!

Think Like A Director- Not a Photographer

The biggest tip we can give to all professional photographers who are all set to capture natural and authentic couple portraits is to change your mindset from being a photographer to being a director. With this mindset, you can create more natural and candid moments in your professional photo session. The second thing that you need to consider while capturing natural and candid couple portraits is to just stop thinking of a list of “poses” to give to your couples and just switch to giving them different directions or can mention the thing that they should do actively. By doing so, the whole photography session will change in no time. In fact, you can also pretend that you are videographing them in place of photographing them and then just see what happens. The trick behind this is that if you are actually videoing someone and they will just stop moving and freeze in the pose, it would be awkward right? Here are a couple of directions that you can consider giving to your couples to facilitate natural emotions or reactions. These directions are not the actual thing that you want to photograph but trust us, they will lead to reactions that are nothing but priceless and also candid!

Mentioned below are certain points that you can keep in mind while documenting your couple for a natural and candid photography session-

  • Consider running towards or away from them.
  • In fact, you can have a few jokes up your sleeves to have the best reactions on their faces to capture.
  • Take turns leading each other by the hand to parallel to you – and play tug of war with your arms.
  • Ask if one of them is ticklish (the one who immediately says NO is the one who is…) and ask the other one to tickle them. Works every time for natural laughs and the best candid shots.
  • Consider taking any static pose and just add movement to it by having them rock back and forth.
  • Tell one of them to kiss up and down the other one’s face, neck, and arm as fast as possible to have the best of shots.
  • Ask them to trace each other’s faces with their noses to have the best romantic shots.
  • Lastly, ask them to walk around in the space like they are tipsy and flirting with each other to evoke the romance in the photos.

The Work Starts Way Before You Meet Your Couple For the Photoshoot Session

One of the major mistakes that we have witnessed that the majority of professional photographers are making is just assuming that it is all about ‘posing’ on the actual photoshoot day. Well, this is absolutely not true. About 80% of the work that we as photographers do to make our couples feel comfortable and relaxed happens long before we ever even meet our clients! It’s true. As per us, about 20% of the work actually happens during the shoot, whereas the rest of 80% happens during the couple’s communication leading up to the session. This communication basically includes our websites, social media, and especially our email communication. It is obvious that your client is going to have a lot of nerves, questions, and fears in the session. They will be completely unsure of what to expect, so, here are two of the biggest things that you must focus on if you want the best natural and candid portraits of your clients.

  • Setting Expectations
  • Reassuring Fears

All you have to do is to tell your clients exactly who you are, what the professional shoot with you is going to look like, and how they can be prepared without any fuss or hustle. Build a relationship with your couple long before you ever meet them in person.

Consider Putting Movement into Everything

This one goes hand in hand with the first. Movement in your professionally captured photographs is always going to be more interesting than two people just standing there and posing like mannequins. So, even if you are asking your couples to pose in more of a traditional pose, consider adding little things to facilitate movement in that pose as it will instantly bring life to all your captured photos in no time. You can ask your clients to have them rock back and forth, hop, sway, whisper into each other’s ear, or even crack a joke yourself just to get them laughing so that you can have the best of shots. In short, the possibilities are just endless. Whether it’s a big, crazy movement, or something as simple and intimate as asking your client’s partner to run his or her fingers through another person’s hair, no matter what, all you have to do is to keep them moving in order to have the best shots.

Make Sure To Know Your Couple Before You Even Click The First Shutter

Here is a tip that will definitely help you make a world of difference to treat your clients like your ‘BFFs’! All you have to do is just make sure that during your photography session, you are meeting up with your couple either in a coffee shop or at some place where they are comfortable just to know each other so that you can gracefully bring out their true personalities through your captured professional photos. Not only does this start your photography session off on a chill, relaxed note, but will also give you a chance to get to know who they ask! You can also ask them certain questions like how they met and fell in love. Who proposed whom? And, you can also tell your side of the story too so that they know who is photographing them. Well, this step can easily be overlooked or forgotten, but it is also important for you to build that relationship and trust your couple before you even click the first shutter in order to have the best candid and natural professional shots.

Don’t Tell Your Clients To Do Things Two Humans In Love Would Never Naturally Do

The ultimate key to capturing natural couple portraits that are authentic and candid is simply to avoid telling your couple to do things that are not natural for two people who are in love. Well, that may seem like a no-brainer, but here is a perfect example of a pose that a majority of professional photographers would ask to do in order to get the best of candid and natural professional couple portraits. Asking your couples to pose in ways that are not something they would naturally do is indeed a surefire way to make a photograph look more stage and fake, like the ones where couples are asked to stand back to back with each other. The reason these photos will look fake even in photos is mainly that you told them to pose like this, they actually did not do that naturally. So, it is always a great way to let couples do their own things and then you find the moment to capture that perfect shot.

Make Sure You Are Not Touching Them

Do you know what happens the second you go up to a couple and start modeling their bodies into a pose that you want to capture for their wedding or engagement portfolio? Well, the couple kind of shut down. Without doing anything intentionally you are just simply telling them what they were naturally doing was not good enough, so much so that you had to physically put them in the position that you want. Going up and touching any of them might also interrupt their bubble as a couple, which might make them uncomfortable for a while. If you want your couple to feel comfortable and relaxed enough, then use their intimacy in the best possible way while documenting them as it will make all your captured professional shots look extremely good and stunning. And, if you pop that bubble by making your couple pose them physically, it will surely ruin their moment. So, an alternative way to show them that you want them to do something without actually touching them is simply by acting it out all by yourself. You can simply just show them what you are looking for and this way they will feel more empowered. Therefore, it will be a win-win for everyone!

You Definitely Need To Give a Lot To Get A Lot

Well, it is true that most people just see the end result of photography, mainly the photographs or the photo portfolio. They actually don’t see what goes on behind the scenes, and when it comes to the best couples photography, it is often a quite involved experience for both parties.

Our approach to photography is always an attempt to represent the people that we are photographing in an accurate but stunning, professional, and beautiful way. This means that there are a lot of decisions to do things that reflect who they are as a couple. The result of this is always to focus on them and then on the outdoor setting. In short, this means that we make great photos no matter where we are shooting our couples.

But, this simply does not mean that the ambiance setting is not important. On the contrary, the setting actually adds a serious layer to the professional shots that are completely unexpected. While photographs of couples up close can be actually beautiful, especially for the couple themselves, the shots that often stand out the most are those that meld the couple with a stunning, surreal, and powerful landscape in the background.

So, always be prepared to give a lot to get the most from the couple you are shooting, but trust us, the end result will totally be worth it!

Feed Their Flame For the Best of Candid Shots

When you are planning to capture candid and natural photos of your couple, then you just need to stop thinking about “that epic Insta shoot” you saw last week. Just stop trying to make your clients into the people they are not. All you have to do is to read them and know them and their relationship. Find the spark that makes them completely unique, and different, and then feed the fire to showcase the same in your professional shots. If they are more reserved, cater your directions to more tender, quiet, cozy prompts. And if you think they are all cheerful and playful, then you need to cater your direction to that. Don’t just put your couples in a box, as each and every person, and relationship is unique, therefore, every couple’s shot is also distinct. So, just embrace the fact and shoot the best natural and candid shots of your couple.

A bonus photography tip that perfectly goes with this is to make sure to take breaks! Regardless of what your brain might be screaming at you, it is surely not a bad idea to give and also take some breaks in between the shoot. Well, taking small breaks can actually help your clients breathe and give them some time to think of all the new poses that they can try for their further photos. So, don’t just go go-go with the entire shoot! Give them breathers, it is needed. You also put your camera down and ask them a follow-up question about their story!

So, summing everything up, all we want to say is that there is absolutely no denying that posing is so much more than cute positions. It is the entire mood that you set during your professional couple shoot sessions. All you have to do is to remember that it starts long before you ever meet them in person. You should be setting expectations and soothing the nerves of your clients the minute they step a cyber foot on the website or even send an email inquiring about a couple of photography sessions. And, once you have perfectly squeezed the stuffing out of them in person, let your professional camera stay in the bag for a little while longer. Just keep on continuing to reassure those nerves to make your couple completely comfortable and extremely at ease. Just open yourself up, ask them questions, and build that trust to have an amazing photography experience.

Doing this will surely change the game! Well, there is another thing that you can do to level up the natural and candid couple photography session. Well, there is another thing that you can do is to stop trying to be a perfectly polished pro. Your couple will or will not be able to match that mood. So, all you have to do is to relax and just be yourself. Set your couple with your kind and cheerful words and actions, and lastly, don’t forget it’s all about your couple, not you! Just read them, understand them, take breaks, show them that you care, and then put your all into serving them, not yourself!

We hope that this blog has helped spark some ideas in your head when it comes to approaching your sessions and interacting with your clients in order to capture natural and candid couple portraits.

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