So you are engaged or just together, you are wanting photos now and you realize that photographers are not able to work right now due to coronavirus and you are all sad! Well, don’t fret! Whether it is a lack of professional photographers, or you are somewhere that you NEED cute pics at and you realize it’s just the two of you or you are bored and want to try something new! Follow these amazing steps and you will 100% get some super cute photos your friends and family will be jealous of!
Step 1: Look your like your beautiful self
Get ready to take amazing photos by first looking great yourself! This means find the time to get your makeup on, find a super cute or sexy outfit, trim your beard or style your hair! You need to look great for photos to take even cellphone photos to the next level.
Also think about where you are doing your photos to coordinate your outfit with the location. If you are doing the session at your home, then maybe you want something more casual. If you are heading into the woods alone and its spring so it’s more brown, maybe you want something green or vibrant like yellow or red to pop out.
Check out our Pinterest board for super cute outfit inspiration HERE.
Step 2: Decide where and when you want to do your selfie-like couple portraits
Location is the next big step in creating great photos with your cell phone. Cellphones are not the absolute best at taking photos sometimes. So you need to help them by choosing a great spot. Time of day is just as important as well. High noon is the worst for taking photos with your cell because not only are you fighting with really CRAPPY shadows, you are also limited by which direction you can shoot due to the sun. Because these aren’t professional cameras I am sure you have been in the situation where you try to take a photo where the sun is above and slightly behind you are ALL black, but the view is amazing. Well- that is the issue with phones.
So you might be asking, well when is the best time and locations to go? Tell us!
Early morning I would say 2-3 hours after sunrise, and 2-3 hours before sunset for cellphone photos are the best if you are doing them outside. That is if it is full sun. Sunset is super pretty, but you might have a hard time with it, but feel free to try it anyway! You might get cool silhouettes!
If it is a fully cloudy day- you can go anytime of day because the clouds diffuse the sun.
If it is a partly sunny day, just time photos when the clouds are covering the sun for the best light.
If you do it indoors- then make sure the light is coming in the window softly not harshly (if its harsh the shadows will be very pronounced).
For locations there are benefits of staying home- and doing them there. You don’t have to leave, and you have shelves and ledges to prop your phone. Whereas if you go outside and you don’t have a little tripod or stand for your phone your photos will have a weird perspective.
Step 3: Getting the best light
The next step is wherever you are located, whether inside or outside to find where is the light coming from? Is it coming from your window, is it coming from the sun. Find the light.
The next step is to NEVER photograph your partner or yourselves with the light behind you. If I had a pro camera I would be able to adjust for that- but cell phones kind of suck a bit and photographing with the sun or light behind you will make your face very dark. This can be beneficial if you want to do a silhouette image though. But most couples want more even light.
Step 4: See what is behind you and ask yourself is that flattering?
Say you find the spot you want a photo- is that plant giving you weird hair? Is that knick knack really giving you good vibes? Does that lamp post stick out of your head? If you think something doesn’t look great behind you take it out if you can, put it on the side, shift your perspective slightly or whatever.
Step 5: Two types of light
So there are two spots where you can use the light. And this applies in particular for those using the window for photos.
The first is the sidelight. Sidelight will give your photos a more moody look because you will have more shadows around your face, your body, and your environment. This applies also to outdoors, but I find with outdoors, the light also reflects back at you from the ground so it’s less noticeable. If you notice you have too many shadows just turn your body or face to the light slightly to add more light to your face.
The second type of light is full-on light. That is the type of light that hits your body completely straight on and everything is lit up evenly. This creates a very soft and even look. What you have to watch out for is whether or not the light is really strong and your own phone is casting a shadow on your body or faces. If that is the case just adjust either the phone or yourselves so the shadow is not there. You can back up, shift to the left or right, etc.
Step 5: Putting your phone on a timer and setting up your phone.
Put your phone on a timer on the spot where you will be taking the photo. We recommend 10 seconds. If you have a way to also do burst images when it shoots- that would be great as well as you can have various options and do different poses in the same spot and not have to stand up every time.
Now if you do not have a little tripod but do have a selfie stick you can take some cord or bungees to tie the selfie stick to a tree, or duck tape it. You can also stick it between rocks or branches to get it to settle. You can also take a large water jug and fill it with rocks or sand and take that with you to stick the selfie stick in it.
If you don’t have a selfie stick, we recommend you either do an at home session or realize that you can only prop your phone on ledges, in between rocks, etc. You can also bring duck tape, but then you stick that directly on the phone and can’t really recommend it. However, you can apply the same principles to selfies!
We also recommend that you do not shoot from the bottom up as that is extremely unflattering unless you are doing like a cool jump shot where it is more action. It creates a better sense of height.
Step 6: Now how do we pose to look good?
This is where a professional photographer really helps. However, there are some really simple and easy poses or actions you can do to look cute together, flattering, and totally romantic. Here are 10 or our easy do it yourself poses!
The looking at each other. Easy peasy. Don’t forget to smile, and put your hands on each other’s waists. Hands should always be touching each other for a better connection. Perfect for indoor or outdoor either closeup or wide shots.
The touching foreheads. Same facing angle but now your foreheads are touching each other. Feel free to breathe in sync so you connect more. Perfect for indoor or outdoor either closeup or wide shots.
The looking into the vista. Hug and face the view that you want to highlight in your image. Great for pretty landscapes. To change it up- you can also look at each other in the same pose or kiss. Perfect for outdoor.
The super cuddle. Put your head on your partner’s chest and have your partner snuggle you. Perfect for close up shots indoor or outdoor.
The Eskimo kiss. This one is a fun one! Rub each other’s noses in a cute way. You can also change this one up and kiss or boop your partner’s nose. Perfect for close up shots indoor or outdoor.
I believe I can fly: Two different poses for this one. Be in a bedroom or living room and prop your partner up on their hip facing you on your knees with your back to the ground or bed. And have them kiss you. Other options are to have your partner hug you from behind and grab each of your hands and make airplane noises with your hands wide open. Feel free to kiss their neck or cheek from behind. Perfect for indoor or outdoor, for close up or wide.
Piggyback ride: Get on your partners back and twirl and run around with them on your back. Perfect for outdoor.
The look back. Take some walking shots as if you are heading into the distance. Look at your camera to see where it’s a good middle-ground for not to close not too far, and as you are walking look back into the camera. You can also kiss, and dance in the same spot for multiple options.
The Tango: Get ready for some dancing. Dance shots are great for fun images. Just when you are photographing, figure out where the edge of the frame ends for the photo. So you have room to play around. Twirl, dance, dip kiss, have fun. Perfect for indoor or outdoor.
Be silly: Not every photo has to be posed, or as above. Those are just easy ones that can create the look you want especially if you have no clue. But feel free to also do funny jumping shots, cuddle in bed, twirl, do whatever you want.
Step 7: Edit your photos
Use an app like Lightroom Mobile, ToolWiz Photos, or any other to edit your pics! Add warmth, blue hues, make it light or make it moody. Use the light techniques we told you to emphasize the specific look you want on your images!
Step 8: Show them to world
Now you can say “Take that world, we did our own photos. We probably still need professional ones done, but for now, they are good and they satisfy me!” If you followed this tutorial! Please feel free to tag me on Instagram @khristelstudios ! I would love to know what you did!