We love photos that look like they were taken from real life. So when we talk about natural posing, we mean just that. Imagine walking around town and across the street you see a couple in love. The two have forgotten the world around them, only have eyes for each other, hug each other and laugh a lot. That is exactly what we want to capture. In terms of classic posing, these moments are often not perfect, yet absolutely perfect for capturing emotions. This leads us to a simple understanding: As soon as we look at a photo and see that the photographer has intervened, chances are we don’t like the photo.
Every couple and every person is unique. We all laugh at different things and we find different things romantic or cheesy. Almost every product on amazon is rated with different stars online because we see the same things but draw different conclusions from them. The point is this: We are all different and unique. The question is, how can we use this individuality and convey it with the help of our camera? Imagine going to a workshop and photographing a very pretty couple who models on a regular basis. Nobody will say that the photos won’t turn out beautiful. But it is impossible for you to apply the same instructions to all future couples. The couple at the workshop might have been extroverted, enjoyed moving around and laughing a lot. Your next wedding couple can be more introverted and shy. If you were to treat both couples equally, it wouldn’t work at all.
So it’s more about being able to read people and being able to react to different types of people. As photographers, we should naturally be good at getting along with a range of people. Communication is key. Be interested, not interesting. Your couple should set the mood for the photoshoot. If they like to be silly, go for it. If they’re calm and introverted, let them sink further into it. Whatever makes the two of them, let it be and don’t try to force anything. In this blog post we would like to give you some tips for your next shoot.
For natural photos, the couple should feel comfortable and open up around you. It helps us to get to know them personally before the photoshoot. Normally, we try to have a coffee together or arrange a Skype call. We have only had good experiences with this. Once a certain trust is established, everything becomes easier. You learn what is important to both of them, you can draw conclusions from it and thus respond to both of them way better. These conversations are never about us, the camera or the shoot. It’s just about learning more about them. This trust is essential if you want to capture honest and intimate moments.
2. Time and Location
Don’t expect your couples to set the date and location for the shoot. You know best when and where the light will be good, or where there might be wanted or unwanted reflections. Think of yourself as a director and give them a frame in which they can move. You can use the first meeting to establish a plan for the shoot. Ask the couple about things they enjoy doing together. What is it that makes you a couple? When and where do you feel particularly comfortable? Not everyone feels equally comfortable in the forest or in the city. This fact affects your photos a lot.
The following applies to our couples when choosing an outfit: They should wear things that they feel comfortable in. It can be everyday clothing that fits well. It will probably not make sense to get new clothes, put them on on the day of the shoot and then realize that they feel disguised or have to constantly tug on the new shirt. We recommend wearing basics. When it comes to shoes, we recommend that you take care not to choose models with a conspicuous logo or high heels. The two should avoid flashy clothes in bright colors, as the people and not the clothes should be in the foreground. You can also use platforms like Pinterest and create a mood board to inspire them. It is important that the couple’s outfits harmonize and are color-coordinated. After all, they create a common picture and too many different patterns and colors can seem disturbing.
4. Room for interpretation
It makes a difference whether you dictate a pose or stay as daring as possible in your instructions. Of course, sometimes you have to help out as a photographer if for example the position of the feet looks strange. However, we try to use the most vague instructions possible. These are more open and give people more room for interpretation. Such an instruction could be for the couple to hug or walk in a certain direction. We don’t tell the couple how exactly this hug should look like, but let the two interpret our instructions freely. The advantage is that it makes both of them move more naturally and possibly do things that you would not have thought of. This way you avoid taking the same photos over and over again and that makes your portfolio more individual on the long run.
5. Sensitivity and learn to read people
Over time, you will gain experience in couple photography. This also includes becoming more and more sensitive and developing a feeling for people. What pictures does your couple want? Do you want very romantic photos or do you have a couple in front of you who can’t do much with romance? You have to develop a feeling for what the other person wants and how you can react to it. If you try to realize our advice you will likely develop that sense naturally.