1. Hold the Tension
One of my favorite little posing tips is to have a couple come together for a kiss, but to stop them when their lips are just about to touch. With that, I typically get either a shot of them just about to kiss, a great natural laugh, or a huge smooch when they just can’t take the waiting anymore. Either one is a win in my book!
2. Watch the Hands
Hands, hands, hands. All the time. When my eye is jetting around the frame through the viewfinder, I’m always checking on the couple’s hands to make sure they are creating a strong connection with them. Little directions like “grab him tight“ or “pull her in close“ are enough to make that connection as strong as it should be!
Want an easy, gentle smile followed by a natural laugh? I love putting my couples close enough to whisper so I can’t hear them, and then I tell one of them to whisper something sweet into the other’s ear. After I shoot that little smile that comes from it, I’ll say, “Now whisper something dirty.“ I have no idea what these couples end up saying to one another, but it always gets a huge laugh.
4. Embrace the Weather
After shooting outside for eight years, I’ve learned that you can either fight the weather (hide from rain, fix windswept hair, etc.) or embrace it. Wind, rain and snow are some of my favorite things to add a bit of mood into an image, and sometimes when it doesn’t show up to play, I'll even have my assistant use a reflector to waft some wind into my subjects' hair. That little movement is just enough to add a bit of life into the image.
5. Breathe In
When I feel an image is falling flat, I always have my couples do the same thing we all do to inject a bit more life in us: I ask them to wrap up and take a big, exaggerated breath in. As they do that, I have them just sink a bit further into each other. It creates a subtle but gorgeous change in a pose. You’ll also find that having them take that breath in through their mouth or nose gives different looks, and it’s worth shooting both.
Related: Documenting You