What is the purpose of this Guide?
My name is Hayley Zumkeller and I am a Couple Photographer on Vancouver Island. I photograph the bulk of my work in Campbell River and Victoria, BC.
My clients are looking to feel comfortable in front of the camera while still having a truly fun experience. They want natural, candid moments captured and I'm here for it!
I want to share all the ins and outs of Couple Photography and what you can expect during your session. There is a lot of information to unpack that may or may not be important to you! Follow along in the guide if you are looking for anything specific related to a couple photoshoot.
What is a Couple Photoshoot?
A Couple Photoshoot is like a unique date night. It's the two of you making memories, trying something new. You are enjoying the afternoon or evening together and oftentimes exploring a new area.
Remember the first date? Those nervous yet exciting feelings? I try to recreate that. Putting you in comfortable situations yet new situations, can really reignite that 'first date' flame.
It's great to have nice photos together. It can be annoying to try and have friends take a quick iPhone photo of the two of you simply smiling at the camera. Couple Photoshoots can capture those genuine, hilarious moments between you.
A Couple Photoshoot can be a unique, romantic experience, all while capturing some stunning photos of the two of you.
Why are Couple Photoshoots Important?
This seems like an obvious one. If you have something to celebrate, like your 5 year anniversary, a new engagement, or getting a new puppy, it is fun to celebrate how you both feel!
2. Gift Giving
You don't know what to get your significant other for a present? Everyone loves a present that has an experience along with it. This is both a new experience and provides some life long memories afterward.
A Couple Photoshoot gives you two an hour of intimate time. No phones, no distractions. Just the two of you exploring and enjoying each other's company. The different poses and positions will have you two wrapped in one another for the day.
4. Visual Diary
Look, life moves fast. So much happens in daily life. Do you ever look back at photos from highschool? Or back when the two of you started dating? You were 'babies' at that point in life. It's important to pause time for a moment and remember how you both were during this time.
Sometimes huge moments aren't what it's all about. We all have these milestones in life (engagement, wedding, first child, first pet, etc) but sometimes we just need to enjoy the little moments. You know?
5. Focus of Art
You are the art in this case. These photos can be used to fit the walls of your apartment or your first home. They can fill the background screen of your phones and laptops. They can be used in a Christmas card next year. The opportunities are endless. These aren't cheesy photos. They can be art.
How do I prepare for a Couple Photoshoot?
A little bit of preparation is always a good idea. Here are a few things to consider before you book a couple photoshoot
1. Picking a Location
What kind of Couple Photos are you looking for? Do you love the city, the beach, the lake? Are you more interested in a grassy field, or a green forest? How about a mountain top?
Where do you usually adventure together? Let's capture the two of you in a place that feels natural.
2. Talk with Your Partner about the Photoshoot
It's about the two of you. Talk about what you are both comfortable with, and get one another excited about it! It makes for fantastic photos when both people are having a good time and enjoying each other, and the experience.
3. Picking Your Outfits
It's best to pick outfits that work well together. Here are a few tips on what to wear during your photoshoot.
To summarize that list:
a. Wear complimentary colours
b. You don't have to match your outfits
c. Add layers to make images more dynamic
d. Match colours to your location if you'd like
e. Add some colour
f. Wear accessories
Feel free to bring a change of clothes so we can see what works best when we arrive to the photoshoot location!
4. Arriving to the Location
I know sometimes people 'dred' photoshoots. They aren't like they used to be. The awkward posing is NO MORE. Photographers, including myself, use prompts to keep things more real, natural, and candid between the two of you.
Remember this: I have done this a thousand times. There is no judgement coming from my end. My goal is to help make you two look amazing together, all while capturing your true selves together. All you need to do is show up with an excited attitude and we can make it happen.
5. Remember to Laugh
In the past, I have noticed that some people will start laughing, but then immediately hide their laugh or cover their mouths. In a new setting with a camera pointed at you, sometimes people just laugh - and that's fantastic.
If you feel a laugh coming on, roll with it. Emphasize it and ride the wave of laughter. I promise it will make the photos that much better.
Which Locations should We Chose for the Photography Session?
As mentioned above, the perfect couple photoshoot location is the place you two feel most natural. There are a few basic options - personally I am a fan of all outdoor locations, but anything goes!
1. At Home
This is great for a cozy, intimate, and private photo session. It's more comforting and the variety of photos is endless! On the bed cuddled up, in the tub, cooking in the kitchen, relaxing in the backyard, etc.
2. Outdoors In Nature
Living on Vancouver Island, we have an infinite amount of outdoor beauty here.
My Favourites Include
Wide Open Forests
Colourful Grassy Areas
These bold natural locations can really up the photo game. With bold backgrounds comes bold images. It also shows adventure! If you're into that sort of thing.
3. Outdoors in the City
There are also beautiful locations in the city. Think of the background for these photos. If you have a favourite fountain, building, street, you name it and we can photograph there.
It's important that the area has a somewhat clean background. We want few 'electrical lines', telephone poles, bright stop signs, etc. It is possible for some bold, beautiful city scenery!
How Do We Pose for Our Couple Photos?
For the most part, I will be giving you prompts! For example, a few Couple Photography prompts from this photoshoot included:
Sneak attack: Hug her from behind
Chase each other
Piggy back, try and bounce her off your back
Wrap your arms around each other
Spin each other like you're dancing
Some of those sound less 'cheesy' during the actual shoot and as you can see, they create genuine and natural images of the couple. This couple photography shoot had a lot of great laughs and was such a fun experience for me and the couple.
Quick Posing Tips
a. Keep Laughing: Once you start laughing, just ride the way and keep going. Don't hide your laugh. It makes the photos look that much better. I don't want you to be afraid to have fun.
b. Embrace all the prompts
c. Focus on being together - not the way you look. Naturally, it will look even better that way.
d. Smile, talk, tease, be carefree, be playful, be together
e. If you really want to know the specifics, here are some simple poses to get you started
5 Quick Tips on What to Wear to your Couple Photoshoot
Once you have contacted me to book a photography session, it's time to talk outfits. I've got you covered with 5 tips on what to wear for your Couple Photoshoot.
1. Complimentary Colours
You do not need to match exactly. It's best to wear colours that work well between the two of you. This helps make the image pop even more.
If you're a die hard for a good colour scheme, you can check out this website where you can upload a photo of your favourite outfit, and it will make you a colour scheme!
2. Clothes that make you Feel Comfortable & Confident
It's simple. Don't wear something you never wear because it is uncomfortable or 'not you.' Rock your style. The results of your images are based on how you feel during the photoshoot so I want you to be comfortable!
3. Add Layers to your Outfit
Having a vest, jacket, scarf, or jewellery helps to make your photos pop. I understand you may not usually wear theres so no worries there! But if you are someone that loves wearing rings, or having those additional pieces, then by all means load them up!
4. Choose Colours that work with the Location
The couple in the photo above did an amazing job of this! They chose natural green colours that matched well with the trees along the lake.
On a cloudy day, colour pops well. If you are comfortable with some neutral colours plus a bold colour, go for it!
5. Dress for the Weather
Some quick ideas include..
Summer/Spring: flowy dresses, your favourite pair of shorts and a nice tank top, light jeans, t-shirts, pastel tones.
Fall/Winter: Knitted sweaters, vests, black [ants, dark jeans, thick sweaters, boots, scarfs and beanies.
Try to Avoid:
1. Matching your outfits exactly
2. Wearing busy patterns that take away from the photo
Remember: You're welcome to bring an outfit change if you'd like. We can also mix up the accessories throughout the photoshoot.
How Can We Get More Creative During Our Couple Photoshoot?
The purpose of Couple Photoshoots is to capture the two of you the way you really are, and to just have a unique, enjoyable experience together. If you are looking to get creative and more involved in the photoshoot before hand, here are a few ideas to consider.
1. How You Met
Can we photograph in the location you met? Can we involve that first meet or first date in your photoshoot some how? 2. The Perfect Date
How about we incorporate the photoshoot into the perfect date for the two of you. Think up your perfect day together and let's make it happen.
Here are a few of my personal favourites...
a. Purchase your favourite food item or pastry from 3 different businesses and decide which one is the best
b. Picnic at the beach
c. Swimming at the lake with my favourite music playing
d. Sport Activity: Starting the morning with mini golf, spike ball, throwing the ball around, hitting the driving range, surfing, etc.
e. Hiking with the goal of finding the perfect viewpoint
f. Looking at a community calendar and trying something we've never done before
Use these ideas to help build the perfect day, and at some point I can join you for the photoshoot portion!
3. Bring Props
I'm talking fun, meaningful 'props.' For example, a prop could literally be a can of beer from your favourite local brewery. Sit back watching the sunset with your loved one and your favourite drink.
Other props include: Champagne, sparklers (at night), anything you need for any activities you want to do.
Things to Consider When Hiring a Couple Photographer
Remember: You can take a selfie or a posed photo anytime. Those are great keepsakes! The benefit of hiring an actual photographer is to get those real moments that you wouldn't otherwise be able to capture. Plus, you will look amazing in the photos.
Receiving professional images is a feeling unlike anything else. There's a lot of joy and love.
Tips on Which Photographer to Hire: Questions to Ask
First of all, I would love to be your photographer. I am based on Vancouver Island. I understand we may be in different locations or you may have a different style in mind, so hopefully this helps you decide!
What are your past clients saying?
How many images do you give?
How long have you been photographing couples?
Do you shoot film or digital?
What is your turn around time?
Do we match as people?
Talk to the photographer and get to know each other if you like their work
Read their reviews
Check out their full galleries
If you are interested in a session like this, here are some things you can do!
1. If you have questions or would just like to chat, send me a message
2. Check out more of my couple photography sessions
3. Look at what my past clients are saying
I would love to connect!