Photography Tips

Posing Trick to Improve Couples Portraits

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Sometimes, small changes make the biggest difference. Whether you’re a professional photographer, a hobbyist or just someone who wants to take take better iPhone pictures with the person you love, this one easy posing trick to improve couples portraits  will help you take your work to the next level.

When we’re posing two people in front of the camera, one of the most important things to us is making sure our subjects look comfortable and close. That’s always a little easier when we’re posing editorially. But what about traditional portraits? The photos of two people just looking at the camera and smiling. These are the photos that every client wants. They usually become the profile pictures. The save-the-date photo, the thank-you-note photo, the hang-on-the-wall-in-our-home photo. So here’s a super simple posing tip that can make a big difference.

Step 1: Put His Feet Under Her Dress

Whenever we’re taking a photo of the bride and groom, or a mother and daughter, or any two people together where we want to demonstrate closeness, it’s important that their bodies are close together. Now, that might seem like an obvious point, since, most of the time, people put their arms around each other. But two people having their arms around each other and having their bodies close together are two totally different things, that will give your photo two totally different results. Brides and grooms are especially prone to leaving a little too much awkward space between them, mostly because a big white dress is involved, and the groom doesn’t know how to get close to her because he doesn’t want to step on her dress or get it dirty. That’s why we have to be proactive about instructing them to be closer to each other so that there’s no awkward  space left between their bodies. So, we’ll instruct the groom to lift up the fabric of her dress and put his feet underneath, which allows for closeness, and makes the couple look so much more comfortable. This posing trick works really well for bridal parties and family photos, too. Here’s a link to a free blog post that’ll help you photograph a big bridal party or family at your next wedding. 

Step 2: Touch or Tilt Their Heads Together

Once their bodies are as close as the can be, we want their heads to be close, too. Most people instinctively do the opposite: they leave a lot of space between their heads. If you scroll through your iPhone right now or flip through a family photo album, you’ll probably find lots of examples where you (or others) left space between your heads. Amy still has to remind Jordan every time we take photos to bring our heads closer together — and we teach this stuff for a living! So if that’s you, too, just know that you’re not alone! The specific posing instruction we give our clients goes something like this: “Okay, perfect! Now, close the space between your heads, lightly touch your temple to his cheek, look back at us and give us a big smile!” or simply “Heather, tilt your head closer into Taylor!”

For more help posing couples, click here to join a free posing class with us.

As photographers, and just as humans in general, we recognize that the closer two people are in a photograph, the more intimate it is. Right? So, when we’re taking portraits of people in love (couples) or who love each other (family or friends) we like to take an extra second to get their heads closer together so the warmth they have for each other is translated in the image.

If your clients have more of a height difference, sitting down is a great way to accomplish this as well. We cover couples with height differences in more depth (and so much more) in our full online posing course for photographers.

Example #1 | Heads NOT Touching

Here’s an example where our bride and groom’s bodies are close, but their heads aren’t touching. It’s a nice portrait, but it’s not as warm as it could be.

McCormick Ranch Wedding_0093

Example #2 | Heads Touching

Here’s one where we instructed them to touch their heads together instead. See the difference? It’s small, but it’s huge!

McCormick Ranch Wedding_0094

We just love how much warmer this easy posing trick makes the final image feel! So, the next time you’re taking someone else’s picture — or someone is taking a picture of you — whether it’s a professional camera or an iPhone, use this quick posing trick to get an even more intimate image between two people who love each other.


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  1. Hannah Thorne says:

    Love these tips and the example shots of the difference it makes. Thank you! I’m learning so much from your blog. You guys are super generous with all the help you offer. Thank you, Hannah (a new-to-being-a-professional-photographer from New Zealand)

  2. Rafael says:

    This is a great tip! I’ve taken lots of people photos and this this works ALL THE TIME!!! Can’t go wrong with this tip! You are a blessing to a lot who thinks this is extraordinary! Be blessed a hundredfold back!! Rafael

  3. Thank you for your emails and tips! We are big fans of your work and look forward to growing at our own pace … you guys rock!!

  4. Great Tip! I’ll be using this trick this weekend for an upcoming engagement session! Thanks!

  5. Sarah says:

    Hi Amy and Jordan!! I just started following you guys and I already absolutely adore your personalities. I too was an elementary teacher for seven years until I called it quits. I’ve been running a children’s clothing boutique out of my home for three years now and have found I adore photography!! My husband bought me a nice beginner camera and now I am ready to dabble some more!! Just did my first informal shoot this past weekend. I have a lot of learning to do but I absolutely adore some shots I got! Your life hacks video came in handy as well as some of your simple little angle tips Thank you so much for helping us little guys get started!!

  6. BettyAnn Whitten says:

    What a simple yet very powerful tip! I’ve been dabbling in this photography thing for a few years mainly for capturing moments of our kids and grandkids. Your tips, course, and encouragement are so helpful as I get the courage to venture further.

  7. Jeanne says:

    LOVE this simple tip so much and it’s so true that little space left between two people can just look awkward.

  8. Robb says:

    Thank you for all of the great work you do. I purchased the posing and shooting/editing courses and have added a lot of new tricks to my arsenal. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is really helpful! I love the examples you shared!

  10. Amanda Ellen Shuck says:

    I love the tips I am getting every week. I started with your free 1 hour video, and it was great! I am not yet professional, but love photography and hope to one day expand to doing it! Thank you guys for what you do. You really are an inspiration!

  11. Amy & Jordan says:

    Aw! Thank you so much, Amanda! We’re SO glad this was helpful!! We’re cheering for you!

  12. Josefin says:

    I love you two!!!
    Thank you so much for everything that you are sharing! I’m waiting for my daughter ballet lesson to end and your blog is keeping me company! I think I haven’t learn so much during 45 min as the last ones that just passed! Each blogpost is really giving something to the readers!
    Thank you so much all the way from Sweden!

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