5 Steps to Taking Amazing Couple (or solo) Photos
If you’re anything like us, you want to create beautiful content everywhere you go, but how do you take amazing couple (or solo) photos when you’re traveling?
We get asked all the time “who takes your photo?” and the truth is that WE DO!
Many people resort to asking strangers for photos, but I personally have found that strangers taking my photos is a 50/50 game. Chances are the photo will surprise me….but not always the good kind of surprise. We travel with friends and family a lot, and sometimes ask them for shots. The problem is, this gets really tiring for the person appointed as your photographer. Especially is you’re picky about your shots, angles, lighting etc…
This is why we’ve started taking our own photos, even when both of us are in them. So….
Here are 5 steps to taking amazing couple (or solo) photos
The first thing you will need to know is that you will look silly. Make peace with this, and let’s move on. People will stare, A LOT, and some will even try to come close, ask questions, or take photos of you while you’re taking photos of yourself (weird, I know). This is all part of the game, and something you have to be ok with, because we can’t control everyone around us.
Here is what we can control:
Step 1 – Tripod
You absolutely need a tripod. We travel lot, so we use a simple portable one. You don’t need a fancy tripod, even though lots of people love them. We’ve had over 6 tripods in our content creating lifespan and so far, this little flexible one is our favorite. This is because bulky tripods take up a lot of space and also can be very heavy. What’s more, they can sometimes be confiscated at airports if you try to fly with them in the cabin ( apparently they can be a weapon) so we have lost and learned our fair amount. The most important thing to remember with a tripod, is that it has to be able to comfortably hold your camera. If you only shoot with your phone, that makes things easier, but otherwise make sure the tripod is not flimsy and can sustain the weight of your camera.
Step 2 – Get a Clicker
Many tripods already come with it, but some will not. A clicker is ideal for using a camera on your own, and it has changed the way we take photos. We used to place our camera on time lapse or set the timer, but the back and forth running ruins a lot of the shots and makes it difficult to capture genuine moments. With a clicker, we’re able to snap away as we move around and find our groove. This, we find, helps us relax and be more natural in our shots. It’s also convenient for when the camera is far away, such as with nature shots and wide lens shots.
Step 3 – Frame your shot
Wether you’re having a stranger take your photo or simply setting it with your tripod, you need to frame your shot. There is nothing worse than getting your camera back after what you thought was a phenomenal shoot and realizing all the shots are off, tilted, sideways etc. Then when you go to try and fix them you realize by straightening the photo you cut off your hands, feet or other body parts. Does it sound like I’m speaking from experience? It’s because I am!
So once you place your camera on your tripod, spend a few minutes framing the shot. Make sure the composition of your photo is as you’d like it and most importantly think of where this photo is going. We personally take most photos for instagram, so I want to make sure the layout of the photo matches with instagram standards. I prefer profile type photos, so I make sure the frame compliments this.
Step 4 – Download and learn Lightroom
I cannot tell you how long I played with other app’s presets and shenanigans. The truth is if you’re serious about photography or editing, Lightroom is your friend. It’s free to use, it comes with presets, and it’s very user friendly. What’s more, you can learn from millions online who already use it, so there is no excuse to get better at editing your photos. Even if you are the world’s best photographer, or if, like us, you don’t like retouching your photos too much, a little editing goes a long way. Maybe you’d like to remove a guy in the background, maybe the lighting is off…. Lightroom can mean the difference between loosing a photo because “it’s not good enough” and salvaging a good shot that just needed a little retouching.
Step 5 – Get some presets
If you’re not an avid editor, you can spend hours learning how to edit a photo. It can be exhausting and frankly, unproductive. If you’re just starting out as an influencer or content creator, the last thing you want is to spend hours trying to learn something new aside from creating the content, taking the photos, writing the captions….. I’m exhausted just thinking of the list of things content creators do.
Download some presets from one of the thousands (if not millions) of influencers who already know how to do this well and have mastered the art of editing. You can use this for your advantage as a lot of them repost well edited photos of their clients (marketing for you) and you can learn from them to create your own presets later on.
One thing to note is that even one click presets require editing sometimes. Not all photos will look good with a specific preset, but it certainly gives you the foundation to play with your photo further knowing which direction will take it where you’d like it to go.
Be kind to yourself
Taking amazing photos is difficult, but if you follow these 5 steps, your couple (or solo) photos will be amazing. It took us a while to figure out how we like to take photos, and we definitely went through lots of trial and error. We are still not masters at photography nor do we claim to know everything. So be kind to yourself and have fun with photo taking. The most important thing is to have fun, do something you love, and continue learning. If you chip away at something long enough, good results are bound to come.
Happy shooting and we’d love to know what other shooting or content creation questions you have.
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