best poses for couples pictures

7 best poses for couples pictures | natural candid and connected

Many of our couples come to us with the concern that they aren’t photogenic or that they are awkward in front of a camera. I am never worried about it when a couple says that, instead I’m excited to change their perception and help them feel beautiful. Today I’ll share the 7 best poses for couples pictures.

You don’t have to be a model to photograph well and you don’t have to love the camera for the camera to love you.

As photographers, it’s our job to make our couples feel comfortable in their pictures. We can create an experience that helps them look natural and position everything in the frame so that they look good. All it requires is a little attention to the right things.

I’m going to talk through why poses for couples pictures don’t have to be complicated. Then I’ll address a few simple tweaks to help any and all poses shine. And finally I’ll give you my favorite poses for couples pictures that are natural, candid, and connected.

Rule 1: Poses for couples pictures don’t have to be complicated

The first thing you need to know is that poses for couples pictures don’t have to be complicated. It’s less about how tangled in a technical yoga pose you can get with precise arm placement and more about how comfortable and connected the couple feels. It’s actually more about a comfortable experience than modeling expertise.

The more complicated the pose, the less I like it. When I see weirdly complicated poses that are completely unnatural, I cringe. When I see a pose that looks like it could have happened naturally, I swoon. It’s less about fabricating something complicated and more about making little tweaks.

Poses for couples pictures should focus on the connection between the couple. That’s what makes them dynamic and romantic and it’s also what makes posing couples easier. Focus on the connection and the rest will follow.

If you get the couple feeling comfortable and focusing on each other rather than your camera, they will naturally fall into a more connected post. Then you can make any necessary tweaks. If you get them having real moments, then you won’t have to fake candid pictures.

Most importantly, if you allow them to be themselves you will shoot photos where they look like themselves. Add in some good light and composition and suddenly they look like themselves but the best version of themselves. Photographs of couples are better if there’s a focus on the couple.

Reality: The best poses for couples pictures are natural candid and connected 

My goal is to have a couple thinking, wow we’re beautiful. Compare that to, wow that doesn’t even look like me. They are going to value pictures where they look like themselves and like how they look.

Therefore, before we get to the 7 best poses for couples we’re going to rethink how we look at posing. Instead of picturing a model in a studio staring down the camera with fire in her eyes, we’re going to think about the goals of the pictures for couples.

What’s the story? It’s a love story. So can we use our pictures to tell a story of natural, true, real, genuine, connected, unbreakable, unstoppable love?

Find your light, framing, and composition and then make the experience a good one. You’ll get real smiles, laughs, or be able to highlight whatever sort of personality the couple has. 

Start with seeing how the couple normally interacts and touches. You want them to be comfortable so take your cues from how they interact and build from there.

Then, you can make tweaks to improve the natural poses.

7 Simple tweaks to make poses for couples pictures shine

So what are the simple tweaks you might make? You tell a couple to stand over there in front of the beautiful background in some romantic light and then what?

1. Have them get closer

Most couples can benefit from getting closer in their pictures. Even if we feel like we are standing super close together, it won’t look that way in the picture. You want them closer, touching.

2. Add movement

If your couple photos looks stale, consider adding movement. Have them walk, dance, sway, or twirl. Not only will the movement help them feel like they’re doing something, it will add something to the image.

3. Shift weight

Sometimes you need them standing still in the perfect light or on a certain spot. That doesn’t mean you want your couple standing flat-footed. Their body shape might benefit from leaning towards each other or putting one foot behind them.

4. Adjust posture

Similarly to having them shift their weight, sometimes a pose can be improved by a simple posture adjustment. Maybe you need them to open their shoulders towards you or put their arm lower on their fiance. Maybe it’s a simple tilt of their chin to bring out their jaw line.

5. Where are the hands

Sometimes all you need to do is look at the hands. Do something with the hands. They can hold hands or hold flowers or touch each others shoulders but if their hands are doing nothing they won’t look connected.

6. Work with what they’ve got

Look at your couple and what their best features are. It can be anything so look at the hair, smile, laugh, style, serious face, or sparkly eyes. If they’re romantic, capitalize on that but if they’re silly embrace that and bring out their best rather than trying to create something that isn’t working.

7. Help them relax or laugh or connect

Lastly, your couple might be in the perfect pose and it all looks great but you need that extra oomph. They need a moment of connection or laughter. Some photographers tell jokes, others have their couples talk to each other, become friends, whatever works for you to get a moment captured in your images.

7 best poses for couples photos

Ok, so all that is fine and good but sometimes you still want to give your couples a little more direction. Some couples do better when they’re getting more direction because again, they feel like they’re doing something. So, below are the best poses for couples photos.

You’ll notice that the best poses for couples photos all have one main element, natural connection. How can we use posing to bring out connection?

1. Looking at each other

Grandma wants a shot of the couple looking at the camera. The artsy part of you wants the couple gazing off into the future. But you can’t go wrong with a couple in love looking at each other. Just remember bodies close, noses almost touching.

2. Holding hands and walking towards the camera

Next, I’m a fan of movement and one of the easiest ways to get a couple comfortable is to have them hold hands and walk toward the camera. The main thing is to try to have them look at each other while they’re walking so that you get a connection between them.

Sometimes for the candid photo pose couple so that they look natural but having them do something simple like walking. And remind them not to look at the camera.

3. Holding hands and walking across the frame

Alternatively, sometimes the movement should move across the frame. One of our favorite poses is the couple holding hands and walking across the frame. You simply have to instruct one of them to lead the other with their bodies open toward the camera. Bonus points if they can look at each other while they walk.

4. A dynamic kiss on tip toes or with a little dip back

The kiss shot is great, a classic, a must have. Sometimes you can make that kiss a little more dynamic and romantic with a weight shift. A bride on the tiptoes or dipped back adds that extra drama and sizzle.

5. A real laugh that’s the result of connecting

Is a laugh a pose? Ok, stand there like that and then give me a ha ha ha. This “pose” is why creating an experience for your couples is important when it comes to your poses for couples pictures. Don’t just get the smile or laugh, get the real smile and the real laugh.

6. Silhouette profile or perfect amount of space

I love a good silhouette and for this one sometimes the face profile creates the perfect silhouette. It’s also a time when you want just the right amount of space between the couple to tell the story.

7. Standing together on something that breaks the frame

Finally, this pose is more about framing than posing. It’s about where the couple is in the frame. Sometimes you want them elevated and breaking the horizon or standing on a rock. You can combine this with any of the other poses.

Picture using this idea in your beach couple photos and have your couples break the horizon. Couples photo poses are often about how the couple is in the environment. The same goes for group photos and posing in a way where you can tell the group is having so much fun out in nature.

Framing practices for photos for couples pictures

Just as a quick final note, it’s not just about the poses. It’s about using the right pose in the right place in the frame. 

The pose itself is only part of your composition. For example, if you have a picture where the couple is small and they’re super close together you might not be able to tell that it’s a couple. Therefore, you might want them further apart so you can see what’s going on.

Sometimes you want to highlight the bride’s eyes but you want her to appear to be looking at her partner rather than the camera so you have to pick your framing to make that happen. When you move beyond the pose to the whole picture you’re telling the rest of the story. What’s the setting, what’s the mood, what just happened or is about to happen?

Summary of the best poses for pictures for couples

In conclusion, posing couples isn’t just about where the arm is, it’s about telling a story about the couple. Are they having fun or being romantic? How connected are they and what can we tell about them and their love from your picture?

Remember who these poses are for, who these pictures are for. They are for couples.

Couples need no props. Couples have a built in prop, their significant other. They can hold, gaze at, and connect with this built in prop and that makes posing easy and dynamic and natural and candid. One time you might need to be more intentional about posing is maternity photos, in that case by all means look up all the pregnancy pictures ideas you need to help make that mama feel beautiful.

If you let it. If you don’t interfere by trying to get too fancy.

When you think about poses as a storytelling technique, you’ll end up with more natural candid and connected couples. Make it easy on yourself and take advantage of their love by letting them be themselves. Then make the necessary tweaks.

What are your thoughts? Do you have favorite wedding photography poses I missed? Let me know your favorite couple photoshoot poses.

Stay tuned for some upcoming blog posts on photography gear, creativity, wedding advice, and more.

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We are Marc and Brenda Bergreen, a husband and wife photography team specializing in Colorado wedding photographyvideography, and other adventures.

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