To this day, I still swear by my anti-PDA on social media rules. No couples display pictures on Facebook. No large, heartfelt statuses about my partner being my other half (I complete myself, b*tch). Nada. However, couples photography is something I’m strangely OK with doing. Although, not so much with sharing…
We all know that planning trips to foreign countries is hard. It’s even harder when you’re travelling with your opposite. So I’m here today to tell you, “Fret not, my little butterfly!” because you’re about to get some serious inside tips on how to make sure your first couples photo shoot goes picture perfect 🙂
Golden hour is prime time for photos. This means your shoot will likely be at sunrise or sunset to capture that dreamy, golden light. For night owls like me, sunrise is basically the equivalent of death 👿 but I promise you it’s worth it. If you shoot at any other time, you’re likely going to get a bunch of tourists photobombing your photos at major landmarks and you definitely don’t want that.
To maximize the time you actually spend shooting, choose locations that are close to one another and easy to travel to. Our photographer, Katie, was super helpful by providing us with some suggestions. We got to choose 2-3 locations but this number may change for you depending on the logistics.
Additionally, ask yourself if you want to shoot at a landmark. If you’re abroad, you most likely will want one. Rank landmarks with your partner and make the best compromise. For me, I wanted at least one landmark to make it obvious where our shoot was. Mike and I also both like to travel so I liked that having such an obvious landmark, like the Eiffel Tower, would help to convey that 🙂
We shot at Pont de Bir-Hakeim, the Louvre, Palais Royal, and at a Parisian cafe. Some other favourites of mine include Trocadero – for another killer view of the Eiffel Tower – and Pont Alexandre III. If you’re not into landmarks and want something a little more casual, try Le Marais and the Montmarte areas.
First things first, make sure you wear something you know you feel confident and comfortable in. There’s nothing worse than pulling out something new for a special occasion and finding it makes you feel worse about yourself. (Think skintight while at a gala with good food.) When in doubt, stick to the tried and true.
Second, opt for timeless silhouettes and colours. You’ll be looking at these pictures decades down the line and you don’t want to see yourself wearing something that doesn’t age well. Stick to classics – like a little black dress or even a little white dress – and save trendy pieces for another time 🙂
Third, think about complementing your partner’s outfit rather than outright matching it. Matching like you did at prom can make you look tacky. For us, we chose a neutral colour palette of navy, white, black, brown, and gold. I like that my geometric statement dress complements Mike’s shirt and pants from top to bottom.
Lastly, consider your location. Typically, when I shoot in a colourful space, I’ll wear neutrals more and, conversely, colours when I shoot somewhere plain. When in doubt, go neutral. I find neutrals don’t upset the colour balance in photos as much. Plus neutrals are likely to go with more backgrounds than colours will – and you may have to change your location at the last-minute due to inclement weather!
For more outfit inspo. for couples, try these from my Pinterest board ft. Gal Meets Glam and Margo & Me.
Speaking of inclement weather, our shoot was not picture perfect in this regard. Where I imagined bright, white light, sunshine and warmth, I got cold, windy, and rainy. YES, I still chose to shoot. And YES, this is something you may have to deal with on the day of your wedding or engagement shoot! The horror! 👿
If you are travelling for couples photography, you will likely have few options to reschedule. We were only in Paris for 5 full days so we had absolutely no wiggle room – and the weather can be unforgiving 🙁
If it’s raining on the day of your shoot, decide whether you think it’s worth it to continue shooting or not. In my experience, the photographer will even suggest this along with some alternatives prior to your shoot in the event of inclement weather. Remember, that you are ultimately paying big bucks for great photos and if the weather is really going to ruin your vision for these photos, it’s best to cancel, girlfriend.
I think it’s equally important to document memories for your lifetime as it is to enjoy the actual moment. And when you’re travelling to a big, beautiful city like Paris with your lover, I can’t think of a better momento than a bit of couples photography. I hope these tips will help take the stress away from planning a shoot with your beau and I hope all of your future couples photography go picture-perfectly well 🙂
Have you ever taken couples photos? Are you thinking about it? Let me know in the comments!
Dress: Banana Republic (Similar)
Choker: The Exhibit (Similar)
Shoes: ALDO (Similar)
Shirt: Cactus Menswear (Similar)
Pants: Old Navy (Similar)
Shoes: Ralph Lauren
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Photography by Katie Mitchell