How to make the perfect couples portrait

Want to surprise your other half with a perfect couples portrait of the two of you? Although it would definitely be fun, there is no need to pay for an expensive photographer if you are a little handy with your camera or are willing to learn a few tricks. Where to learn said tricks, you ask? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Couples portrait tip 1: Use a tripod

Although I usually dread packing my tripod and carrying it around with, I have to be honest: some shots can’t be made without one. A tripod is a lifesaver when you’re making portraits with your partner. You can always hope to find a rock, table or other surface to place your camera on, but I wouldn’t count on it being the perfect height, and I would not risk damaging your camera. A tripod doesn’t have to be very expensive. Just make sure it is adjustable and compatible with your camera (check out the connection system and the weight limits). If you don’t have a camera, you can also use a tripod (adapter) for your smartphone.

Couples portrait tip 2: Use your camera’s timer

Even smartphones have timers nowadays. Find out how to use it and set it to five or ten seconds, depending on the circumstances. If you will shoot from afar, you’ll obviously need more time to get in position. Once the timer is set, click the shutter button like you normally do, get in position and you’ll probably hear the timer countdown and the shutter when the photo is taken. Make sure to have one of you in place, so the other can test and correct focus settings etc.

Couples portrait tip 3: Choose a good location

Choose a location for your shoot, that suits you as a couple. This can be during a holiday, in your backyard or sitting on the sofa. Whatever makes you both comfortable is good for your shoot. Take into account lighting conditions when you opt for an outdoor shoot. Make use of the golden hour, or at the very least avoid unwelcome harsh shadows when shooting midday. Protect your gear from (changing) weather conditions. Whatever you do, make sure you aren’t disturbed too much, or disturb others during the shoot.

Tip 4: Match outfits

No, you don’t need to wear the same outfit, but your outfit does influence your photo’s success. Especially when you’re wearing busy prints that don’t match, or if you wear the same color as your background. Sandy or blue shades in your outfit may look really confusing in a beach shoot. It might look like you are missing bodyparts, because you can’t distinguish your shirt from the sand, for example. Make sure you and your partner’s outfits look good next to each other.

Tip 5: Wireless remotes are the best!

You can find them in a photography shop, and of course there are many cheap knock-offs to be found online. A wireless remote helps to maintain spontaneity in your photo, as there is no need to keep walking towards your camera and back. They usually work with bluetooth or infrared. During the shoot, you will hold the remote in your hand. You could try to operate it with your feet, but this might damage the remote.

Tip 6: Check out some examples

Get inspired by the many, many couples portraits you can find online or offline. Use your Instagram, stock photo sites, Facebook, magazines or even your favorite movies as sources of inspiration. Below are a couple of photos that I like! Click a photo to expand.

Tip 7: Last but not least: Have fun!

As you can see in some of the couples portrait examples above, a photo is fun to look at, when the models are relaxed and enjoying themselves. So just make it a fun day and relax. Do you best, but don’t take it too seriously and your couples portrait will turn out great!