While the official month of love may be behind us, there is no reason why you and your partner, lover, wife, husband, fiancé, or significant other shouldn’t take a photoshoot together. I’m sure some of you are thinking “I have plenty of photos with my boyfriend. Why should I get professional ones taken?” Sure, you may have photos a friend took of you two at a barbecue or maybe someone even followed you around during date night to capture some images. However, hiring a professional photographer allows you the opportunity to get photos that will last a lifetime.
For those of you who are married to your high school sweetheart, think of how different you two looked and acted when you were 18 versus 30. Wouldn’t you love to peek back at how vulnerable and pure you were while falling in love? That is my job. To capture a moment in time and gift this period of your life back to you in picture form. Taking couple photos doesn’t have to be intimidating, anxiety-ridden, or full of pressure. Think of it as a date night with a third wheel (me!). You can choose an activity to do or try something new. Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, engagement, or simply being in love and want to celebrate the small moments, I couldn’t recommend a photoshoot enough!
So, you’re sold and you want to book a couple’s session. Great! I’m sharing 8 tips to help prepare you for the big day!
Tip #1: First and foremost, be yourself.
I can pinpoint my favorite couples photos over the years because they all have one thing in common: they are laughing! When you are taking photos with your partner, don’t suppress your laughter! I want to see you two dancing, laughing, changing into PJs and watching Netflix if that’s what makes you comfortable. Being your natural and authentic selves will be portrayed in your photos instead of feeling forced and out of your element. Taking photos with one another should be an easy process. If show up simply as yourself, I will do the rest.
Tip #2: Coordinate simple outfits and bring two options just in case!
No matter the occasion, I always tell my clients to make sure you wear comfortable clothes that flatter your body. You want to look your absolute best so you can use these photos over and over again. Now is not the time to try out a new trend or a style you’ve never tried before. Stick to what you know you are most comfortable in. When coordinating colors, I have a little tip for you! Since I never recommend matching perfectly, I would go onto Canva and look at their color wheels! If you think you want to wear a burgundy shirt, see on the wheel which color would compliment that best. You can never go wrong with solids, neutrals, pastels, or earthy tones as these are timeless looks! P.S. If you wear heels, bring some comfy shoes to change into!
Two outfits are also a great idea in case anything were to happen beforehand or you’d like to do an outfit change in between the shoot. Some of my couples have started in a casual outfit and have changed into a more formal outfit when we change up the scenery. Plus, it adds more variety to your finished shots. No matter what, if you stick to complimentary colors, non-matching outfits, layers, and accessories – you’ll be good to go! You can always match your outfit to your surrounding location as well!
Tip #3: Consider the season, weather, and location you’d like to shoot at ahead of time!
Did your hubby propose at the gazebo in your local park? Did you go on a first date to the movie theater? Incorporating special places into your photoshoot is always recommended! I like to hear my couples tell me about where they met, where he proposed, where they got married, etc. However, I totally understand this isn’t always possible, especially if you have moved over the years. In this case, having a vision of what type of scenery surrounds you is a great place to start. Some areas to consider are: your home, the lake, the beach, forests, grassy areas, parks, and (if you don’t live in Michigan) the mountains! If you do live in Michigan, check out this post for some of my favorite places!
If you have a session outdoors, factor in the weather. What time of year do you want photos? Would your perfect photo be the two of you standing with snow falling all around you? Then you’ll want to opt in for a winter shoot. Keep in mind, if you choose me as your photographer, I typically will not shoot midday as the lighting outdoors tend to be overbearing and harsh. If you want a golden hour shoot, I am your girl! Once we sit down together, we can factor in the theme, vibe, and story we are wanting to tell with your photos. Once we know where you are, what time of day it is and what you’ll be wearing, I’ll take it from there!
Tip #4: Think about taking your couples photos where you are most comfortable
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to snap photos for many couples. There is something magical about the ones that choose to have their photos taken in their homes. The photo backdrop makes for a cozy, intimate and private session. Couples tend to be more comfortable and we’re able to capture the couples’ style and personality perfectly. I would recommend choosing 2-3 rooms in the house that have plenty of natural light. Before your photographer comes over, tidy up those spaces and get ready to go! Some photo ideas for home shots include: cuddling in bed, watching TV, cooking in the kitchen, baking cookies, relaxing in the backyard, around your fire pit, or having a glass of wine on your patio. The options are sincerely endless.
Tip #5: Think about accessories or props you many like to incorporate in the shoot
After you’ve factored in the activities you’d like to capture in the shoot (baking, hiking, drinking coffee, etc.), we can start to think about specific props or accessories we’d like to incorporate in the shoot. I love shots that feel like a lazy Saturday morning. Maybe the perfect day for you two is sitting around sipping tea and having a deep conversation. Let’s capture that! There are so many “wifey” and “hubby” mugs we can bring into this shoot. Or maybe you like playing checkers or another board game. So fun! Other prop ideas could be: outdoor sparklers, items needed to complete an activity, champagne, flowers, and/or food.
Not only props, but significant possessions can be incorporated in your photos too. Perhaps you still have the car you two went on your first date in. Or you have a record or CD that means a lot to you. For some, this is an engagement ring. Being surrounded by your favorite items and memorable items will bring intimacy into the shots and allow for everyone involved to be more comfortable. But don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be super sentimental or serious – there is still free rein to laugh and have a blast!
Tip #6: Allow yourself to splurge on best self care practices
You have your location ready, accessories lined up, and are days away from snapping the perfect photos! It is always a good idea to practice some self-care as your photoshoot day approaches. If you plan to show off an engagement or wedding ring, it may be a good idea to get it cleaned so it shines extra in the photos. If you do plan to show off a ring, painting your own nails or splurging on a manicure will photograph great! Some of my clients will even hire out hair and makeup services to ensure they look their absolute best. If you choose to go this route, I highly advise my ladies to do a trial run beforehand. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to look like yourself when you’re taking these photos! Again, don’t try something entirely new for the first time. Practicing self care to pamper before your shoot will leave you feeling beautiful and relaxed.
Tip #7: Stay away from Pinterest
Now I know what you may think, “whoa Vickie! Pinterest is where I get my inspiration!” I totally get that. In fact, I totally advise you to browse through Pinterest to get some photo inspo. But, once you find yourself taking note of every pose, every candid photo you’d like to recreate, or exact outfits you want to copy – it’s time to step away. Pinterest can bring about unrealistic expectations and the last thing I want is for you to be in your head during your photoshoot. Don’t get me wrong, we love the typical hugging from behind photos, but if that doesn’t feel natural for you and your partner, we don’t have to do it! If you have a good photographer, they will be able to capture real moments without recreating every single pose you’ve pinned or you’ve seen your favorite Instagram Influencer post. I promise to use prompts to keep things real and candid between the two of you, because my end goal is to make you two look amazing together while capturing your true, authentic selves. I want you to show up excited and be prepared for an intimate shoot with no phones or distractions.
Tip #8: Have fun
Taking photos with your favorite person should not be stressful or complicated. We are simply hitting pause on your relationship to capture real moments in real time! This is a wonderful opportunity for you two to spend an hour of uninterrupted time together doing something you love or trying something new. Maybe you’ve had it on your couple bucket list to take a picnic at the beach but you just haven’t made it a priority. A couples photo session at the beach is a perfect idea! These photos should exude excitement and showcase how you two feel about one another.
If you are looking to book your couples photoshoot and are located in Michigan, I would love to assist you! I am a pro at the sneak attack photos, the piggy back ride, and the spinning and dancing shots! With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to take some photos together. Plus, they make phenomenal gifts for you, your partner, and your respective family members!