Earlier this year, pro photographer Jerry Ghionis gave us five easy tips on how to shoot beautiful portraits of people. Now he’s back with a new tutorial on how to take great photos of couples.
“Photographing couples brings a whole host of problems, different body types, shapes, issues, confidence level, etc, etc.,” Ghionis says. “I want to simplify all of that and teach you how, using lighting and posing alone, you can take a glorious photo of any couple, anywhere.”
In the nearly 25-minute video at the bottom of this post, Ghionis shares “some tips and tricks that will stop you from ever blaming the location, lighting, or couple for your photos not being the best they can be.” The tutorial is loose and free flowing rather than firmly structured with Ghionis dispensing pearls of portrait wisdom as he photographs his couple around his home in Los Angeles. Here are some of the highlights.
Lighting over Location
“For me I will always pick beautiful lighting above a great location,” Ghionis says. “So, remember always look for better lighting than a location.”
Pick Safe Locations to Start
“If you were asked to photograph a couple whether it’s with an iPhone, whether it’s with a DSLR or you’re just starting out as a professional, my advice is to warm up to couple shots with a location where lighting is a little more predictable. That’ll be easier. As you master that you can keep on going and then have some fun in sunlight, open shade and things like that.”
Fit Your Couple
“Whenever I photograph a couple, I like to think of their faces, their bodies as almost like two pieces of a puzzle fitting in together. So, if you’ve never understood posing, simply ask yourself: ‘What does a couple do?’ They cuddle from behind, they cuddle from the front, they kiss, they do all these different things, so liken it to your own relationship and that gives you a great starting point.”
Make Small Posing Tweaks
“Now why did I make those micro adjustments? I don’t want his nose coming right into her eye, that’s going to look a bit weird. And also, I always kept my couples to mirror what I’m doing.”
Use Your Hand to Judge the Light
“If I can’t immediately see the best light with my eyes, I put my hand in front of me and the then slowly turn around 360 degrees. As you turn, look for that moment when you see iridescence and saturation on your hand. When you get the right spot, you’ll see a difference.”
Suggest Intimacy in Poses
“How do you hug your partner? Well, you would hug like that often. You may whisper in the ear like that, you might kiss on the cheek like that. Remember: draw inspiration from what you do with your partner. And if you have no partner, look at romantic movies. How do they hug? How do they kiss?”