With everyone sharing snapshots of their lives online these days, couple photoshoots are more popular than ever. That’s great news for photographers: couple portrait photography is an awesome revenue generator, and will give you some great portrait shots to round out your online photography portfolio. If you have a good handle on couple photoshoot poses, you can help make your subjects feel like the very best version of themselves. This is, of course, what will have them coming back for future shoots. Think about it: there are so many opportunities for repeat business when it comes to couple photography. You’ve got pet portraits when they decide to add a furry friend into the mix; engagement and wedding shoots when the time comes to tie the knot; maternity shoots and newborn shoots if they decide to grow their family; and, of course, family photos (where you might even meet new clients while shooting the extended family).
Needless to say, mastering fun, flattering couple photography poses is a career-boosting skill that’s totally worth learning. That’s why we’ve created this guide that will give you tons of tips and couple photoshoot ideas, and help make your next couple portrait sessions a major success!
Couple Photoshoot Pose #1: Walking Toward You
A couple pose that involves your subjects moving in a natural way is always a good place to start. Most people aren’t going to feel super-comfortable immediately when they see a big portrait lens pointed at them, especially if they haven’t been in a professional photoshoot before. To avoid having the couple freeze up and feel self-conscious, take the first few shots from a bit of a distance and have them walk towards you. They can be holding hands, gazing at each other, or looking ahead together. Feel free to chat with them a bit during this process! Never underestimate the power of keeping your subjects engaged in some light conversation—it’s disarming and helps people feel way more in the moment.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #2: Walking Away
You can also start with having the couple walk away. Since their faces aren’t even in the shot, this is another easy and non-intimidating couple photography pose that you can work into the beginning of your couple photoshoot. You can either take the photo cropped in closely on their heads or upper bodies, or do more of a wide shot. What works best will depend on your photoshoot location, too: if you’re shooting on a beach or in a beautiful park, capturing surroundings might add a lot of romance to your image. Shooting from a closer range or zoomed in can make for a more intimate couple photo. Play around with this, and you’re sure to end up with some awesome results.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #3: Sitting
A lot of people feel more comfortable sitting down rather than standing, especially at the start of a shoot before they’ve let loose. There is a lot of variation within sitting couple shoot poses. You can have one partner rest their head on the other’s shoulder, or you can have them talk a little and see if you can get them laughing. Or they can be gazing into the camera or at each other. The great news is that sitting couple photography poses make people feel a bit less self-aware of their bodies or what they’re doing with their hands, so you’re likely to get some beautiful, authentic moments with these couple poses.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #4: Talking
While it’s true that we all make some silly and unflattering faces when we’re captured mid-conversation, getting the couple to just chat with each other can result can result in some really special pictures that they’re sure to love. You can even try prompting them by getting them to talk about something meaningful to them, like their first date. Just keep shooting and look for those moments where they forget about the camera. You’re bound to get some couple photos that don’t look posed at all! A great portrait camera will also help you here, since your images will look as gorgeous as possible even before you start editing.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #5: Hugging
Some of the best couple photography poses involve creating some intimacy between the pair. Having them embrace will help them feel like they’re in this together, and it’s also something that will feel completely natural to them. You can take quite a few shots in this cute couple pose; whether it’s the two of them smiling, sharing a kiss, or just looking at peace with their eyes closed, hugging couple poses are tried and true for a reason.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #6: Details
Adding some close-ups of little details, such as their intertwined hands, will really delight your clients. Close-up images will also give them a little welcome break from having to strike all those couple poses, so this is a nice thing to work into your shoot when you feel it’s the right time.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #7: Kissing
What’s more intimate than a kissing couple photoshoot pose? Once the couple of is at ease and you’ve taken a few more casual, relaxed images, you can ask them to share a few smooches. Sometimes the kissing couple poses turn out great, but sometimes you’ll be surprised to find that the moments just before or after end up being some of your favorite cute couple photos. It’s those little in-between moments that often look the most natural, so getting the couple to kiss occasionally throughout your shoot is a killer couple photography idea that you’ll keep coming back to.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #8: Leaning
A great couple photo idea is to make sure you take advantage of whatever your chosen location is. If you’re in an open field, you might not have anything the couple can lean against. But if you’re shooting in an urban area or somewhere with trees, for example, you can capture some awesome couple poses by having your subjects lean against something side by side. Play around with how you want to do this. For example, having just one partner leaning can make the scene look less posed and more like something you just happened to capture. Throwing some leaning couple shoot poses into the mix will add some variation to your images that will look great in their photo album (and in that online portfolio of yours!).
Couple Photoshoot Pose #9: Lying Down
Some of the best couple photos out there involve the couple lying down. The nicest results usually come from shooting overhead. They can be looking at the camera or at each other, and they can be laying side by side or even in opposite directions with their faces next to each other. Outdoors or at home, these images can turn out looking really playful. Every couple likes to look back and remember fun moments like these. There are some great portrait photo accessories out there that will make this type of shot even easier to capture, such as tethering equipment.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #10: Close Together
If you really want to create some dramatic, intimate tension between the couple, ask them to get really close to each other as though they’re about to kiss, without actually kissing. Having them lock eyes and suspend that moment of tension before a kiss will result in some really moving couple portraits that they’re guaranteed to cherish in the future. The best couple photoshoots deliver a range of different types of emotions in their images, so trying to work in some more intimate couple poses in between the fun and playful ones will help them feel like they really got their money’s worth.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #11: Hobbies
If your couple has a hobby that they love engaging in together, what better way to celebrate their love than by capturing them while they’re doing that thing? Maybe it’s a sport, cooking together, or hiking—whatever it is, try working it into your couple photoshoot. Chances are, when they’re doing that thing, they’ll forget all about the shoot and get totally in the moment. That’s a recipe for a perfect couple photo!
Couple Photoshoot Pose #12: Eating
Sharing meals together is a bonding experience in all relationships. You can try working this into your couple photoshoot poses. If you’re shooting in their home, you can capture them in their own environment; if you’re shooting outdoors, you can arrange to have a picnic as part of your shoot. As long as you keep the foods relatively mess-free, you should get some seriously cute couple photos out of the set-up.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #13: Candid
Make sure you keep that camera on your subjects even when you’re not really directing them. Some of the best images from your couple photoshoot might be the ones that they didn’t even realize they were posing for, since that’s when you caught them just being themselves and enjoying the moment. You’re more likely to get these awesome candids later on in your shoot, since your subjects will usually get more and more relaxed as the day goes on. You’ll also find that these are some of the best images to include in your portfolio, since other couples will be drawn to shooting with photographers who can capture high-quality candids rather than cheesy, overly stiff images.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #14: Laughing
Don’t be afraid to bust out some of your corny jokes and be playful with the couple. It’s hard not to look at cute couple photos of people laughing and not smile yourself, so these are sure to be favorites for years to come. If you want to take better portraits, mastering the candid is a great place to start.
Couple Photoshoot Pose #15: Dancing
Ask the couple to do a few dance moves! They might feel silly doing this, but the movement can result in really beautiful images. Basic things like a spin can look dynamic and fun on camera, and remember: capturing the candid moments between these cute couple poses is the key to a super successful couple photoshoot, so just keep snapping away!
Now that you know how to get your subjects to pose, we have a few bonus tips that will really make your couple photoshoot a success.
Bonus Couple Photography Idea #16: Have Them Dress Appropriately
Taking into account the location of your shoot, time of year, and personality of your subjects, make sure you have them dress comfortably and in non-clashing and camera friendly outfits. If it helps, have them run their choices by you so that you can give them the okay, and they can feel totally confident about this part of the experience from the jump, and just focus on nailing those couple poses.
Bonus Couple Photography Idea #17: Create Confidence
Let the couple know that you’re on their side, and you want to make them look as great as possible. Tell them not to worry about things like stray hairs or awkward couple shoot poses and angles, because you’re there to notice those things and direct them (and can fix errant bangs in post!). This will go a long way in helping to put them at ease.
Bonus Couple Photography Idea #18: Bring Visuals
Carry some reference photos from your couple portrait photography portfolio to give them an idea of what you’re going for with each couple pose. This way, you can also gauge their excitement about different couple poses and get a sense of their personal taste, so that you can shoot with that in mind.
Share your Best Couple Poses!
Make sure you upload all your stunning couple portraits to your portrait photography website. If you don’t have one yet, don’t sweat it. Just look for a website builder that allows you to create a website that reflects your brand identity in minutes. There are lots of choices out there, so look out for a website builder that has features you really need already built into it.
If you’re a portrait photographer, a built-in store is a huge asset. That way, your clients can order digitals or prints right from your site, and you don’t have to worry about shaky integrations with other e-commerce platforms. Another good one to look out for is client proofing, which allows your clients to check out proofs from their shoot and select their favorites, all in one place. Want more tips on how to promote your couple photoshoots? Check out our guide to promoting and marketing your portrait photography business!
Don’t forget to share those cute couple photos—we can’t wait to see your clients rocking those couple poses!