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Spend Time Together: Couples Photography

This photo of a young couple in Trafalgar Square captures their romance in a fun and interesting way.
This photo of a young couple in Trafalgar Square captures their romance in a fun and interesting way.
Betsie Van Der Meer/Taxi/Getty Images

Even if you're the type of person who shies away from spur-of-the-moment snapshots, you've gotta love a good photograph -- especially if you and your mate are the stars of the show. After all, this type of expressive photography is more art than happenstance, a very different breed than the average point-and-shoot image.

Although it can take a lot of planning to set the wheels in motion, being photographed with your sweetie offers evidence of your feelings for each other. This makes couples photography the perfect way to spend a little time together.

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Don't be fooled into thinking the actual photography session will be a no-brainer, though. Couples photography is vastly different from the solo version. That's because it all depends on the nuances of your interactions, rather than the singular flash of the pearly whites you've been accustomed to. The good news is that whether you're in the market for a quirky way to announce your engagement or celebrate a pregnancy, there's no shortage of ideas to commemorate the two of you. We'll suggest a few, starting on the next page.

If you've always dreamed of sharing a kiss on a carousel (and having the moment immortalized), book a photographer who can take you to the nearest theme park instead of the studio.
If you've always dreamed of sharing a kiss on a carousel (and having the moment immortalized), book a photographer who can take you to the nearest theme park instead of the studio.
Ian Sanderson/Taxi/Getty Images

The location of your photography session often dictates what ideas you can incorporate, so choose carefully. If you've always dreamed of sharing a kiss on a merry-go-round (and having the moment immortalized), you'll want to book a photographer who can take you to the nearest theme park instead of the studio.

A location with personal meaning adds a level of depth to your photograph that just can't be replicated on a green screen. If he proposed under the massive oak tree at the local park, it only makes sense to use the location for your engagement session. Plus, you'll both be more comfortable in a place that's familiar -- and this will translate into shots that capture your unique relationship.

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If you both let your guard down, you don't run the risk of looking cheesy. The best photographers will bridge an unnatural divide: posing you while still managing to capture the "in between" candid moments that, on camera, appear as if the two of you were alone.

As for poses, well, there's an app for that. We found several mobile apps full of categorized poses that allow you to earmark your favorites and show them to your photographer before your session. The same is true of images gathered from magazines, which also can serve as inspiration for your own shoot.

For a romantic pose, lean your head against your beloved's shoulder as he tenderly kisses your forehead. For something a little more unusual, stand back-to-back, each looking at the camera. And, for a fun photo, there's nothing quite like documenting the moment you both burst into laughter.

In the end, posing is as complicated as making sure your pinky finger is following a graceful curve and as simple as your natural body language. This is especially true during a pregnancy photo session, which focuses on an expectant mother's growing, changing body. If you'd like to break out of the ordinary with your pregnancy photographs, check out the next page.

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For the best pregnancy pictures, wait until the mother-to-be is about 30 weeks.
For the best pregnancy pictures, wait until the mother-to-be is about 30 weeks.
Jamie Grill/Iconica/Getty Images

A beautiful photograph of your burgeoning belly documents a moment in time -- one you'll cherish more and more with age. If you're tired of seeing the same old belly pics (you know, the ones with a partner's arms wrapped around a pregnant waist), give your session a sense of personality.

For starters, make sure your belly is big enough to be seen in all its pregnant glory, but that your face and fingers aren't yet swollen in the final countdown to delivery day. For most women, that magic number is 30 weeks' gestation. It's also the right time to get out your stretchy, form-fitting clothes. We're not talking maternity clothes here, but fitted tops in solid colors that accentuate your curves.

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Of course, you could opt out of clothes altogether by draping your breasts and southern region in luxurious fabric while exposing your beautifully plumped belly. Or, wear your husband's button-down shirt, or his fireman pants and suspenders, or any other kind of uniform that illustrates what he does for a living or hobby. It's a great way to pull him into the scene in a non-traditional way.

There are a number of sweet poses that capture the relationship parents have with their baby-in-waiting. Classic sensibilities include a partner's cheek to bare pregnant belly, or a pregnant woman leaning back into the arms of her beau and tipping her chin to receive a kiss. For a fun angle, lean your heads together and have the photographer shoot from below the belly to capture your facial expressions. It may look a bit like an eclipse of the moon, but it's a memorable way to bear witness to a changing body. After all, that's exactly what maternity portraits are meant to do.

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Sources

  • Dickson, Christina. "Portrait Photography's Power Posing Part I: The Components." (Jan. 20, 2011) Digital-Photography-School.com. http://www.digital-photography-school.com/portrait-photographys-power-posing-part-i-the-components
  • Hake, Allie. "5 Secrets to Beautiful Pregnant Belly Photos." (Jan. 20, 2011) Parents.com. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/beauty/beautiful-pregnant-belly-photos/
  • Lovegrove, Damien. "How to Pose Couples." May 17, 2011. (Jan. 20, 2011) ProPhotoNut.com. http://www.prophotonut.com/2010/05/17/how-to-pose-couples-a-photo-guide-by-damien-lovegrove/
  • MacWorld. "Couples Poses: Photo Posing Guide." (Jan. 20, 2011) http://www.macworld.com/appguide/app.html?id=382044&expand=false
  • Wedding Channel. "Photography Basics: Why Should we Take Engagement Photos." (Jan. 20, 2011)http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/wedding-photography-tips/articles/why-should-we_take-engagement-photos.aspx

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