Five Tips for your next couple portraits session at home

Five Tips for your next couple portraits session at home

Lifestyle portraits are super popular now! If you have a photoshoot with your significant other coming up you may want to consider opting to do it at your own home or in a lived-in environment. Here are five tips for a successful shoot at home, with some examples from my own shoot with Dawn and Andrew. You may recognize Dawn as she has appeared many times in my feed or maybe you recognize her as a stand up comedian in Ottawa. She is a funny lady, you should check her out!

Tip #1: Add food and drinks to your portraits

Nothing says “comfort” like sitting on a comfy couch eating a light breakfast with your partner. Adding food and drinks to portraits makes posing easier. Instead of wondering what to do with your hands, grab a coffee mug or a plate with food. I like to have some snacks for my clients on set in case they get hungry or need a burst of energy. This time we actually used those snacks as props in our portraits. You can see how naturally relaxed both Dawn and Andrew appear in these photos. An added perk is that you get to eat and drink while posing.  Yum!

Tip #2: Find an uncluttered space

When finding a location in your home, pick a spot that isn’t busy. You don’t want the viewers’ eyes to be looking all over the photo at your knicknacks and clutter instead of focusing on you – the subject of the portrait. Instead you an environment that supports you, not distracts from you. I picked a spot in my living room for my shoot with Dawn and Andrew. I moved my couch in front of a large bay window dressed in sheers that let a lot of natural light in.  I planned to crop the width of the couch so I only had two green pillows and a small faux fur throw in the corner for decoration.

Tip #3 Think like a photographer

The easiest way to plan your shoot out is to view a room as if you are looking at it through a viewfinder. This allows you to focus only on the area you would like to capture in your composition and not anywhere else. Then you can add or take away decorations and furniture to make that small space pretty and ready for your photoshoot. Your photographer is sure to be impressed and it’s a great way to be prepared in advance.

Tip #4 Think about the colours in the photo

Now let’s talk colours. Take note of the colours of the walls in the room, the furniture, decorations, rugs/carpets, and your own clothing. All of these things should be complimentary to each other. A good way to go about matching colours is google interior colour schemes with the colour of your walls. This will show you a range of colours that go well with your wall colour and you can make adjustments as needed. For your clothing, you can be bold like Dawn and wear bright colours if the supporting colours allow it. Black clothing usually goes with all rooms except for black or really dark spaces. Be careful your clothing choices don’t blend in with the background or you may end up looking like a floating head!

Tip #5 Have multiple points of interaction with your posing

When posing with your significant other, it is good to be touching each other in different ways and sitting close to one other. Your photos should convey that you not only like your partner but that you really love them. Posing and expression are key to achieving this. The most awkward thing a couple can do in a photo is sit far apart from each other. Photos can exaggerate distances making them look further and in some cases you might end up looking like you don’t like the other person. The best couple portraits have multiple points of interaction or contact.  For example, one arm around the shoulders looks like you are posing with a family member but by adding a hand on one person’s cheek shows affection. Try pretending the photographer isn’t there and cuddle in like you normally would and then make adjustments as necessary.

I hope these tips have been useful for you.  A big thank you to Dawn and Andrew for being awesome models!

To check out Dawn’s comedy, click the link below:

Dawn – comedian –

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