Posing Couples ~ 80 pictures and poses

1. Johanna Ormsby and Chris Gregory were our couple for the day. We had lots of fun moments together. A splash of manual flash from a Speedlight made this shot one for the album.

I usually post just a selection of 20 to 40 pictures from my workshops to whet the appetite of future delegates but this time I thought I’d blog the lot. Here are 80 of my pictures taken on the Photographing Couples workshop held in Bristol last week.

On my Photographing Couples workshop I teach how to pose and create moments of fun. I unleash my repertoire and show how to link poses to form a flow of shooting opportunities from each set up. I show how to be prolific and how to shoot for albums with the end product in mind. Most of all, on the day it’s about finding and using great light. A lot of these pictures were shot in areas where no obvious picture opportunities exist. Others were shot in places where an abundance of opportunities could confuse and hamper the shoot.

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The 80 shots here represent the set that I’d show a client in a private projected viewing at my studio. The viewings take place the same day as the shoots and clients regularly buy albums. An album of 60 images is easily possible from this collection.

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Photography Portraits and Couples Posing Guide

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This is the half way point.

As you see, I try to achieve consistency rather than creating a few knockout images. Julie and I have always shoot a plethora of saleable images and that has been the key to our success. It’s important to shoot for the client and not to shoot for the appraisal of fellow photographers. This piece of advice alone changed our lives in 2002. Julie and I stopped shooting for awards and competitions and we concentrated on shooting for our customers. The results were fantastic. We spent 10 years with our heads down under the radar serving our clients. We never applied for an Associateship or Fellowship but we enjoyed a richly rewarded life instead.

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These pictures were all taken within a 400m radius of our starting point. I try to keep my client experience fabulous even if it is raining. I have a shooting route for bad weather too.  There are about 20 or so shots here that I think would not make the cut for an album but I like to let the client choose their favourites. What shot is your favourite? Mine is 48 taken on my Fuji X100.

I limit my shooting couples workshops to just 5 delegates to ensure everyone has a fabulous learning opportunity. There is no need to move on to the next set up until everyone has the shots they need. Places are nearly always available for a Photographing Couples workshop because as one date fills up we add another. click here for more information. Join me on a shooting workshop this spring/ summer.

Please feel free to comment on the day, the pictures or the process of shooting couples.

Damien Lovegrove.

Looking for more inspiration? You may be interested in these posts.
Couples Photography
The pre-wedding shoot
Pictures with passion

Photographing Couples Training Video

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About Damien

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

124 thoughts on “Posing Couples ~ 80 pictures and poses

  1. Yeah Damien – 48 was the one that caught my eye – fantastic – but quite a few wonderful images in that little lot. Great work as ever! I feel another Lovegrove training day coming on.

  2. Awesome collection. 79 is my choice as it totally reminds me of the Athena 80′s posters. What couple would not want that on a canvas above their bed.

  3. I really like 46. I like the idea in 16 too!

    Where did that light come from in 73 & 79?

    I like the hard shadow in 72 and at the beginning. Did you use a reflector?

    I am surprised you didnt include colour since there the light looks really nice and contrasty. UK is grey enough!

    Some shots are very doug Gordon!

    It is great to see your work as inspiration

  4. Love these shots, the lighting is beautiful and such an amazing range of poses.

    I’m cagey about criticising as I can no way take better photos. And hopefully this will just raise discussion.

    I do slightly feel like some of them (only a few) are overtly sexual and would couples put shots like these on their mantelpiece? Maybe you find that couples really like these? And is it about putting them slightly out of their comfort zone in this regard?
    The other ones like 48 are almost album covers, how do you feel these stylised, almost fashion shots fit within an album? I struggle with this with groomsmen shots as they often come out quite boyband.

    Hopefully I’m just raising discussion as these are a fab set of shots. I’ve shot in this location and it puts mine to shame.

  5. my fave is 60 followed by 78.

    Picking up on Laurence’s comments, I don’t think these type of shots would ever be considered for the mantelpiece, they are perfectly suited to a bespoke album or leather portfolio.
    I isn’t putting people out of a comfort zone, its about a fun and energising experience. With good professional direction, couples are empowered to have pictures they probably have always desired but never had the opportunity to, until now. Having skills to take images to the next level gives you USP over the hundreds out there offering mediocrity.
    In my experience, understanding your clients, their personalities, looks and needs, allows you to shoot for your client and in turn leads to a handsome return on sales at a viewing.

  6. I see what you mean Chris, it’s almost a personal album for the couple not to be flaunted on the walls, which might be a bit cheesy.
    Although I do think the sweet and playful ones like 75 and 76 would be very sellable for the mantle peace or wall.

  7. Damien,

    Lovely shots as always! I’m curious to know why all black and white though? Might have to look into the course too – looks faboulous :)

    Cheers

    Paul

  8. Another brilliant Damien Lovegrove course and one which I whole-heartedly recommend to everyone without reservation. Damien is a top teacher and he happily passes on his extensive knowledge ensuring that you also create and capture similar high quality images .

    Having attended the workshop, I would say images 45 & 46 are my favorites as I would have normally walked passed this type of background without giving it too much consideration for a useable back-drop from which to compose an image.

    Picking up on a number of comments regards the style of ther images and whether the client would have them on the mantle-piece or in an album, only the client will decide the style of the shoot and how best they wish to display each image. What this course empowers you with is the knowledge of how best to photograph all these different styles, not just in technical skills but also in terms of the rapport you build with your subjects.

    For me images 7, 8 and 59 capture the essence of shooting couples for they capture that special moment, a genuine togetherness and closeness.

  9. Hi Richard,

    Thanks for your kind words. The light in 73 and 79 was from a bare faced Speedlight. No reflectors just a single Speedlight (72) or natural light for everything. I posted my next set from this location in colour so you get to see both genres. I’ve not seen Doug Gordon’s work I just shoot Lovegrove.

    Cheers, Damien.

  10. Well said Richard. Most of these could have been shot on an iPhone and they would be just as valuable to the client.

    Regards, Damien.

  11. Hi Laurence,

    Good points you raise. I never sell prints for the mantlepiece. I sell albums of photographs for the couple. I do however shoot for desk frames for the parents and grandparents (30) . Plus I shoot for desk frames at work (4 and 53) etc. I think it is important to capture the love and true essence of the relationship. If some of my clients are somewhat more reserved when I shoot them then I don’t push them to this kind of level. I shoot the passion and energy I find.

    I hope this helps. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and for putting your head above the parrapet. Regards and respect, Damien.

  12. Hi Laurence,

    Yes you are so right. This is an album product. I imagine how it would be to have a collection of images like this of my parents when they were young instead of the stiff holding hands walking in the park type shots that are so prevelent. This kind of image without the dreaded tilted camera syndrome or post production effects and with a true spirit of the couples relationship will last for generations.

    Life on the edge is an exciting one.

    Regards, Damien.

  13. Thanks Paul,

    I chose to show these in mono as that’s how I’d print them for an album and I’ve shot the next shoot from the same location in colour so you get to see how I see so to speak.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  14. Thanks Steve and Darren for your compliments. I love the fact that everyone seems to like different images :)

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  15. Thank you Aneil (Studio Tygrr),

    Your endorsement and comments really sum up what I was hoping to achieve. We have shot together now on many occasions and I’ve enjoyed watching and being an active part in your journey of discovery and development as a photographer. Your resilience and determination to succeed are very inspiring to me. Keep up the pace because you have so much to enjoy with your creative life ahead.

    Regards and respect, Damien.

  16. Hi David,

    The railway part of my Bristol shoot circuit is open access with a local understanding of respect. You will not see any tagging, grafiti, vandelism or even litter at the Bristol waterfront site. Bristolians are all very proud of their city and the way it is. Step out of line and you’ll get shouted at but feel free to explore and photograph to your heart’s content. Street photography is a way of life in Bristol. The waterfront is an un-protected safety hazard zone so take care. In nearly every other city I know it would have been fenced off.

    Best regards, Damien.

  17. These images remind me so much of the courses I have attended, you never cease to inspire me Damien

    Kind regards
    Pete

  18. Hi Damien,

    Your pictures are awesome, I love your Black & White compositions for me your pictures really come alive.
    I only live in Swindon so really must get down to Bristol

  19. Hi Andy, Thanks for your compliments. I’m not far from you. I used to do a lot of shooting in and around Swindon. I hope to see you soon. Damien.

  20. Hi Damien,
    I had a fantastic time on this course and days like this fill me full of inspiration. I just want to bottle it up for the moments when things wane a little! I really enjoy your relaxed teaching style and the amount of time you give us with the models. Top stuff and I’ll never be afraid of shooting into the blazing sun again :-)
    Thumbs up and highly recommended.
    Howard

  21. Hi Marissa,

    Thank you for your compliments. It pays to keep moving and to shoot from above and below too. I find live view on the Fuji is perfect for this. Not something that is easy to do on a pro SLR.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  22. I love your work Damien .Very inspirational . Some great ideas for posing ,very creative ! :)

  23. Wonderful shots! How did you achieve the look of photos 25 and 26? They are simply gorgeous!

  24. I was looking for some inspiration, was little overwhelmed of the idea that I m getting a couple shoot soon, since I m barely starting, this really helped to ease my mind. Great Post by the way, Thanks ..!!

  25. My favorite is #59. I just love the intimate look and closeness. I also like #79. There are a lot of rail road tracks around where I live and my husband is from, looks like a moment that would happen naturally.

  26. Awesome pics. Impossible to choose just one, funny that everyone has different favorites though 79 seems to be popular.

    7 – best of her
    12 – most unique
    27 – best seductive
    49 – best of him
    50 – almost tied for seductive
    60 – almost tied for unique
    64 – love their expressions
    75 – best of their character
    79 – coolest

  27. Thank you Sydney. Over 1/3 million photographers have viewed this set of shots apparently so I’ve done something right. It’s quite a surprise for me really.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

  28. Hi Briana,

    It’s amazing what an off camera Speedlight used in conjuction with sunlight can give you. Most togs would not bother to rig a light on a sunny day but the rewards are priceless.

    Thanks, Damien.

  29. Thank you Stephanie,

    I’ve shot Jojo and Chris a few times since this workshop and as their relationship matures so too does their intimacy and emotion. I’ve enjoyed looking back at your selections.

    Kindest regards, Damien

  30. I love your style! Thanks for sharing! My husband is an amateur photographer and I was just browsing for some good ideas for a wedding that he’s doing soon and came across your blog through Pinterest. I hope you don’t mind if we use some of your poses! Really amazing work!
    Thanks again!
    Megan

  31. Thank you Megan,

    I post my work online to inspire and share with other photographers like your husband. Feel free to steal a few ideas and make something with them. I hope the wedding goes well :)

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

  32. Any chance of including EXIF data with your photos? Also a brief discussion on your Post Processing would be very much appreciated.

  33. Thank You for some inspiration!! I’m photographing my first wedding on Saturday and this helped me with posing ideas. You do really beautiful work! It looks like you got to work with a handsome and fun couple!

  34. Hi Matt,

    All my exif and shooting information will be available on my photographing couples video that gets launched in a couple of days time:) Reading the exif without seeing the shooting conditions and all the behind the scenes conditions has less value. On the video I share all my flash settings including distances, exposure techniques, perspective and composition methods and I show my exposure info too. I’ve recorded my post production techniques in the past three times for previous DVDs so perhaps it is about time I updated them for Lightroom 4. It’s pretty much all in camera bar a bit of dodging and burning.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

  35. Wow thanks Celeste.

    Pinterest has been a lively source of visitors to my blog lately. Over 1/2 million visitors to this post alone in the last three months. I must admit I’m struggling to juggle all the social networks. What I do know is I’m having success in some strange places :) Thanks for dropping by and do check our some of my other shoots.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

  36. Great to see a selection of images showing consistency of high quality images. Important in whatever you shoot!

  37. I love the simplicity of #6 & #18. Any girl would kill for a guy to look at her like that. Stunning photos!

  38. Great poses, amazing photos ! Could you please give the model of sunglasses worn by the guy? They’re stunning ! Impossible to find them on the rayban website!! :-/

  39. Amazing photos. Definitely an inspiration. Thank you sharing.
    “It’s important to shoot for the client and not to shoot for the appraisal of fellow photographers.”
    The quote above definitely changed my perspective and I will keep that in mind for my shoots.
    Thank you & again amazing work!

  40. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for your kind words. The sunglasses were his own. Try Ebay, that’s where I buy sunglasses for shoots ;)

    Kind regards, Damien.

  41. I really like 16, 46 and 67. If I had to pick a least favourite, it would be 78. I love the monochrome throughout – it feels more like a photo essay and tells the story more tightly. I learned a lot from this already, I love where you’ve used speedlights to balance the sun (something I don’t do as much as I should) and I really like how you build a simple pose, and by photographing it from different angles, and separating a subject you can make 6-10 good images from each pose that are distinctly different. I always find that I try to shoot a single pose from different angles, and get 1 useable one, and 2-3 that are ok, but not worth keeping in the final edit. This is something I clearly need to work on. Thanks for the inspiration. Found via Pinterest.

  42. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. This post has been very popular on Pinterest and I think it is because it’s based on pure photographic principles and has timeless photography as a result. There’s no tilted camera, vintage processing, tilt shift lenses or over stylised posing. Jojo and Chris’s children will love these pictures in 20 or 30 years time.

    Remember to keep the variety by changing angles. Keep the focus on fun and sharing moments. Don’t be scared of intimacy but avoid kissing if you can.

    Stay inspired,

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  43. Posing couples can be very difficult. It is one of the things I am currently working on in a bid to improve my wedding photography.

  44. I love the photographs!!! It is so refreshing to see something new/modern! In the wedding industry it seems that most photographers regurgitate some old poses without even trying to add their own twist. Amazing!!!

  45. These are beautiful, they helped so much with picking a pose for a couples drawing I’m working on!

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