When we hear the word romantic, what comes to our mind is a dreamy, poetic, passionate, and full of unspoken affection and sometimes, a touch of mystery. However, when it comes to romantic couple portraits, I would want something a little bit more artistic than the usual but with a touch of the natural side.
We at Infinity A Media Store photograph weddings and often do a pre-wedding or an engagement shoot with the couple beforehand. For many of my couples, it's for the first time, they are being photographed together in an intimate way where they are expected to be affectionate and loving towards each other in public. I would feel very awkward if I were in their places. But as part of our job, we aim to make the whole experience less painful for them.
The warm-up session
The first 15-20 minutes of the shoot should be a warm-up. Our team gives the couple some suggestions. We then tell the couple we are just going to start with few photos and there is no pressure for anything to be perfect at the first click. And the purpose of having a warm-up is to get used to the camera and to feeling really silly about everything so that they can laugh as much as they like at themselves.
It is okay to feel awkward and laugh at themselves. We encourage them to be natural and help them get rid of any self-conscious feelings. I tell them to just laugh it all off, not to mind passers-by, who they will never see again.
So, the five tips for a perfect couple portrait session.
Finding the perfect light
We always try to schedule our photo session in the early morning and late afternoon because the light is soft and dreamy. We always avoid strong or harsh overhead light which naturally kills any romantic ambiance.
If there is no such light, and the location is quite dark or the lights are all overhead, use your flash and don't forget to bounce it so that there is directional light coming from the flash. The aim is to avoid flatness and create an atmosphere of light and shadow.
The location, background, or scenery is more important
The location plays a vital role in how romantic the pictures turn out to be. When you are shooting in the city, wait till the light hits the buildings or some landmarks. If you are in the country or village side, wait for the Sunsets, although there is a danger of being cliché, especially sunset silhouettes, produce strong and striking images. The goal here is to create your couple their romantic story. Here's an article about few beautiful places to have a pre-wedding shoot in chennai.
Don't hesitate to hide and use layering in your shots
Layering is an amazing tool for couple portraits. It allows you to hide behind something and makes you invisible. The great thing about layering is that it puts the viewer of the photo in your place as if they are just passing by and happen to catch a glimpse of the couple.
Layering is one of my favorite tricks and can even be done without hiding from the couple. You can shoot in an open space and still utilize layering. I usually grab a piece of leaf and use it as a layer between the camera and the couple.
Encourage the couple to be intimate
The epitome of romantic photographs is when it evokes total privacy – there is no one there other than the couple. There is no one there sharing the moment with them; it is their very own special private time. The goal is to capture the scene as if it were true and real. There should be a strong connection between the couple, whether that be looking directly into each other's eyes, hands touching, or whispering in each other's ears, but absolutely no contact with anyone else. This is my personal opinion of course and I'm sure it's different for other photographers.
Write a story about the couple
Each couple has their own and unique story. When we meet them, we spend a lot of time together. So that we know and feel their personalities, their likes, and dislikes. Which allows us to piece their story together and it will be like no other.