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5 Tips for Posing and Directing Couples to Capture Great Lifestyle Shots


There are plenty of technical posing guides out there, but for their latest educational video, Daniel and Rachel of Mango Street Lab took a more natural approach. Here are 5 posing and directing tips that will keep your couples shoots looking and feeling candid and unforced.

The 5 tips the duo offers revolve around these concepts: Comfort, Light, Movement, Emotion, and Intimacy. Let’s break each of them down.

1. Make Your Subjects as Comfortable as Possible

The first is the no-brainer of the bunch. If you want natural photos, you need to keep your subjects feeling… well… natural. Put them in a setting they’re familiar with, wearing things they’re comfortable in, and keep your interactions as fun and spontaneous as possible.

2. Put Them in the Best Possible Light

Another straight forward tip, this one applies to lifestyle photos taken outside of the studio using natural light. Since you’re not bringing light with you, find great light, put your subjects in it, and follow the next three tips.

3. Use Movement to Loosen Them Up in Front of the Camera

Once your couple is in a comfortable and well-lit environment, get them moving. Movement will help work out those photo shoot jitters, so have them run away or at you, or get them to try dancing. Candid photos follow naturally.

4. Try to Evoke Emotion Instead of Posing Them

Get your couple to express emotion. Have them try to make each other laugh by whispering silly things in each other’s ear, or take turns telling one another why they’re special or loved. It’s a lot harder to be stiff or stilted while you’re being emotionally honest, vulnerable, or funny.

5. Encourage Intimacy by Having Your Couple Hold On to One Another

Finally, the last tip is to encourage your couple to maintain physical contact at all times. Whether that’s holding hands, embracing, or otherwise “tangling up.” This will help them focus on one another instead of the guy or gal holding the camera.