Couple Photography Tips
With the high demands of couple photo sessions around Valentine’s Day, you might wonder what are the top couple photography tips to create beautiful imagery.
You want to create stunning shots that go deeper beyond the look. You want to capture the feelings, the candid moments, and the interaction between the couple. Are advanced techniques required to create beautiful couple photos?
The answer is no. You might be surprised to find that a quick adjustment on your camera settings and a few simple techniques can make a big difference.
So to help you, we’ve done some homework and come up with foolproof couple photography tips. Just in time to learn and practice before Valentine’s Day!
10 super-easy tips for stunning couple photos
Let’s start with the technical bits first.
Taking great couple photos is not hard if you’ve got the right gear and settings, coupled with ample amount of knowledge and practice when it comes to lighting.
Before doing your session, make sure you know these things by heart so you can create beautiful imagery that’s worth displaying, whether it’s with photo frames on the wall or any high-quality photo prints.
1. Focal point – pick one
Picking the autofocus option that allows the camera to select focus points is a huge mistake when it comes to clicking portraits of couples. This camera feature is designed to pick whatever is closest to the lens and focus there. Using one focus point gives you the ultimate power to pick your photo.
2. Focus on the eyes
Capturing the love in the eyes of the couple is very important and should be the focal point of any good portrait. Eyes are the sharpest element on the face and when you’re shooting with a wide aperture value focused on the eyes, the lens will aid in softening the skin, giving the whole photo a glow. Focusing on the eyes is also the key to capture all the genuine feelings and emotions.
3. Depth of field – shallow!
Invest in a fast lens capable of wide aperture values; the most common is for shallow depth of field. Now that you can shoot at ƒ/2.8 or ƒ/4 you should use it. The most fantastic natural light portraits were taken with wide aperture values and it is all because of the wonderful smooth background blur we call “bokeh”. A shallow depth of field also allows you to isolate the subject from cluttered backgrounds and surroundings, which will help in focusing on their interaction and facial expressions.
4. Avoid 50mm lens for closeup shots taken from a short distance
Heads can look swelled and distorted when shot with 50mm from a short distance. Any focal length below 70mm can distort your subject, however, it doesn’t become very noticeable until you are below 50 mm, so pay heed to your focal length.
5. Go RAW
RAW is an unmodified compilation of your sensors data during the time of exposure and is your digital negative. With RAW, you can make a vast range of edits before creating the JPG.
So how can this make you portrait better?
Think about the last time your white balance was set incorrectly, and you tried for hours to remove the colour cast, only to destroy the image with every attempt. RAW would have saved you by allowing you to fix the color before opening the image for retouching.
6. Set your aperture/F-Stop
Check your basic aperture settings; lower the f-stop, wider aperture, shallower the depth of field. The higher the f-stop, the smaller the aperture, the deeper the depth of field and your ideal couple portrait mode is set.
When you shoot portraits, setting a wide aperture is ideal. A shallow depth of field makes the subject stand out in the image. Their eye and hair color will stand out, and the background essentially serves as a curtain backdrop.
7. Shoot in the shade when the light is too harsh
Direct sunlight is harsh, makes your subject squint, and creates hard directional shadows and unpredictable white balance conditions. When shooting in the shade, there are no more harsh shadows, only smooth milky shadows created by your subject’s natural features. With proper exposure and white balance, you can make these shots look amazing.
8. Shoot carefully on an overcast day
The weather in February can be moody and unpredictable. What happens if clouds appear and the shoot is at risk of being ruined? You’re in luck, because this is a good setting for photos. A good heavy blanket of cloud cover can help you enrich your colours, and make some very smooth and pleasing shadows.
If needs be, you can use artificial lighting. Try your best to control the direction by using some kind of reflector, and you can imitate a studio light. Putting the sun directly behind your subject isn’t a good idea, unless you are trying to make a silhouette. If the sun is at your back, have the subject look off camera (away from the sun) and you will get great results. Wait for a cloud to move in front of the sun for better photos, because this can give a strong contrast.
9. Go candid!
You can try a few couple photography poses, but usually the best images are the ones taken in their most candid moments; when you catch one looking at the other in a moment of fleeting affection, when you catch them laughing at an inside joke, when you see them steal kisses at the bar, etc. These are photos that they will look and laugh at, in joy, of course.
These creative couple photography ideas can also give you an inspiration on poses and interactions that look genuine.
10. Adopt the Sunny ƒ/16 Rule
Get a baseline for proper exposure in your mind to work with if no other tools work. The Sunny ƒ/16 Rule says that, on a sunny day, with your aperture value set to ƒ/16, your shutter speed will be the inverse of the current ISO speed. Eg: if your camera is set to ISO 100, and your aperture value is ƒ/16, then the shutter speed will be 1/100th of a second. On a cloudy day, you can use ƒ/8 instead.
The simple ways to do creative couple photography, for you!
Photographers need to have their own photos with their loved ones too, especially on Valentine’s day.
Now that you’ve got these tips under your belt, it’s time to dip into the creative aspects. How can you make a memorable Valentine with photos for you and your partner?
Pick a theme
This may make a few couples blush in obvious colours, but sometimes, picking a theme works wonders. We’re not talking matching outfits, but a setting that looks staged but not cringe-worthy. Pick your favourite eateries, parks, your favourite clothes or what you like each other best in, and join them together to get photos shot on Valentine’s day. Doing this, you can make interesting photo books, and also have some memories besides the amazing presents you get one another.
Keep the distractions away
Roadblocks, big signboards, and other glaring distractions must be kept out of the photo you take of the couple. This may hamper the focus and give it a blurred or loud and noisy look.
Display the love, get it printed
This Valentine’s day, get your loved one a beautiful reminder that you are in love with them, remind them in simple words that they are your world, through a series of your favourite images in a photo album or wall photo frames. Get the photos printed in time-lapse order and have a special message on it.
What are your top couple photography tips?