black and white blurry candid of kevin twirling jules during their couple's session

How-To Guide: Making The Most Of Your Couple’s Session

Couples sessions are fun and exciting! Capturing photos of you and your significant other should be something to look forward to, not something that makes you feel anxious. As a couples photographer, I’ve had many clients express their worries when the time comes nearer for their shoot. They aren’t sure where to start, what to plan for, what to expect, and what preparations they need to make for their upcoming photos. I created this blog post as a resource for couples who may feel lost but are eager to get prepared and on top of things. Here is my how-to guide for making the most of your couple’s session.

kevin is kissing jewels on the lips from the behind during their couple's session

black and white underwater photo of the couple

shot of jules leaning against kevin as he sits on a rock behind her

#1. Hiring The Right Photographer

 I sound like a broken record because I frequently talk about this on my platforms; I can’t reiterate this enough! Hiring the right photographer for your couple’s session and any photo session, in general, is crucial to getting the most out of your photos! You want someone who fits the style, aesthetic, and vibe you aim to achieve. Also, keep in mind that you want someone who you can be comfortable around, someone who makes you feel relaxed during your photo session. I suggest going to their social media accounts to see their personality, and to their website to see their reviews to ensure other couples have had good experiences with them.

Along with that- explore their portfolio (Instagram is a great tool), and analyze the color palette and theme they portray. Does the overall vibe fit who you are? Can you picture yourself in their images?

candid portraits of the couple hugging

kevin is grabbing jules arm and bringing her closer

underwater shot of the couple holding hands

#2. Thinking Ahead With Travel

This is an issue that many couples accidentally run into the day of their shoot- getting to their destination. I recommend being fully prepped with directions to the location you are going to. This can mean asking your photographer, googling it, looking at parking (do you need to pay for parking? Are there parking spots near the site?), having a general idea of the ETA, and being aware of any traffic inconveniences you might run into (rush hour, school traffic, construction on roads) and planning for potential setbacks. Living in Hawai’i, the streets are constantly being repaired, which can cause extreme traffic backups, especially if you live in the North Shore area where the only main highway is the Kamehameha Highway. These are all things to keep in mind and plan for so you aren’t left panicking about getting to your couple’s session on time.

black and white blurry shot of the couple playing with each other at the beach

underwater photo of the couple swimming

jules is holding onto kevins hands as she leans forward

#3. Being On The Same Page As Your Partner

If your partner isn’t super excited about the idea of taking photos together, don’t worry, its not uncommon! A common culprit for their lack of excitement is feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera. In this case, try to encourage and prepare your partner to lessen the nerves and feeling nervous. Many times once the session gets started, the time flies and you’ll find its not as “hard” or uncomfortable as you thought! If their feelings are due to a lack of enthusiasm- emphasize how much this couples session means to you and how excited you are to create photos that capture the love you two have for one another. Most importantly, try to relax and have fun. Photography sessions are meant to be enjoyed, not endured!

couple is hugging while swimming in the water

jules is playful touching kevins arm

#4.Packing All The Right Necessities 

One big stress you can take off your shoulders is being prepared ahead of time. Waiting to pack and do things at the last minute is the formula for a disaster waiting to happen. You may think that clothes come towards the end of the priority list, but you might want to reconsider. Depending on the location of your couple’s session, there could be a variety of things you may want to bring so your photos can be as easy and stress-free as possible.

I recommend clients bring a change of extra clothes. One outfit is for getting to or from your destination, while the other is the actual outfit you plan to wear for the shoot. If you’re hiking up a mountain in Hawaii’s humidity, many like to change at the destination! Or if you’re having a beach session and hop in the water at the end, its nice to have a towel and change of clothes to ride home in. I’ve made a list of ideas and recommendations of items you and your partner should consider bringing for their next couples’ session.

portraits of the couple sitting on the surfboard in the ocean together

couple is walking along the beach with eachother

blurry candid of the couple running along the beach

Things To Bring For Your Couple’s Session

  • Plan on coming in your planned outfits if the location is easily accessible or onsite
  • If the location requires hiking or takes a bit longer to get to, bring a spare outfit (one to hike in and then one for photos)
  • Good shoes with traction (if the destination requires hiking)
  • Any hair or makeup products for touching up
  • Snacks and water
  • Hand towel (just in case you need to wipe off sweat)
  • A tote or backpack to carry everything in

Things To Keep In  Mind

  • If possible, clear out your schedule that day to ensure that all time and attention is focused on making the most out of your couples session.
  • When parking, I would advise leaving as minimal items in your car as possible; this reduces the risk of theft.
  • The less valuable items you have with you, the better. Unfortunately, bag grabs are very common, I will carry things such as phones, car keys, and small wallets in my camera bag (I’ll have it on me the whole time!), but I would encourage you to consider leaving purses, etc., at the place you are staying.

underwater black and white photo of the couple holding hands underwater

photo of jules laying on the surfboard and kevin is in the water smiling at her

How-To Guide Review 

Here is a simple list of the bullet points I mentioned in this post. Speaking from experience, I can confidently attest that compared with previous clients, couples who have come prepared had a much more enjoyable and easygoing experience than those who may have waited until the last minute. As a photographer, I will do everything on my end to guarantee a memorable session that will leave you with photos you can cherish! To summarize-

#1. Hire the right photographer

#2. Think ahead with travel accommodations

#3. Be on the same page as your partner

#4. Be prepared and pack things accordingly

shot focused on kevin and jules arms in a loving embrace

portraits of the couple kissing on the beach and playing along the shore

blurry black and white candid of the couple running together along the beach

couple is walking along the beach together

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You’re looking to have a full experience completely customized to you and your unique story. I’m thrilled to bring an intentional, unfussy but elegant approach to your love story, capturing all of the candids and little microstories throughout your day. This way you can relax and focus on celebrating with your loved ones, with no moments missed-from pre-ceremony preparations to your last dance.