Ok, it’s time for us to come clean and finally admit how we take couple pics for our Instagram feed. This is probably the question we get the most often, after how we’re able to travel full-time. Most assume we have a professional photographer that travels with us, or that we ask strangers to take our shots for us. The truth is far from that.
Actually, we take all our shots by ourselves, with help from some very handy gear. We’re not professional photographers, and we’re not models. Everything we’ve learned has been self-taught. We’re nowhere close to being done with our photography journey though, so sit tight, because this is only the beginning.
So here are the best tips we want share with you to take some good couples pictures. Hopefully, they help you take some awesome IG pics as well (or just good pictures during your travels). After all, these memories will last you a lifetime, and it’s pretty cool to share the stunning things you see with loved ones too.
Find some inspiration
There are tons of great accounts out there that will help inspire you on how to take pictures. If you’re looking for poses, you can check out other couple or wedding photographer accounts. If you’re looking for fashion shots, editing style, or framing, you can find it all on Instagram or Pinterest. Just be respectful of other people’s art. Getting inspired is fine, but never copy. That’s just not cool.
Here are some of our favourite travel couples that inspire us every day:
@wanderersandwarriors: We met these guys a while back in Singapore and they are so fun, approachable and genuine. You can see their light shine through their pictures.
@mariefeandjakesnow: These two look so sweet, so kind and they work so hard to make the world a better place. Their feed is beyond stunning. More on them later!
@theloveandadventure: Another couple we were lucky enough to meet and travel with (3 countries and counting). They’re easy-going, adventurous and kind. Plus, they go to awesome off-the-beaten-path locations.
@travelingfortwo: These guys are fun-loving, easy-going and super relatable. We love how they don’t even look like they try to take good pics, they just do!
@lezseetheworld: Fellow Canucks, and all-around awesome couple. These two are super sweet and their pics are so lovey!
Get a camera with a timer or wifi
The gear you use will help you immensely. Our camera has a timer function that allows us to set it, get into position then snaps up to 10 pictures of us. Sometimes, we use our phone as a remote (and viewfinder) because our camera has wifi capabilities.
If you’re just getting started, we highly recommend our camera, the Canon EOS 1300D. It’s great to learn the ropes and perfect your skills.
Use a tripod
Yes, this is the big trick, our big secret weapon. Get yourself a good, sturdy tripod. This has been our greatest investment and purchase yet. Thanks for the advice Wanderers and Warriors. You can’t rely on others to take the pictures you want, especially if you’re shooting in Manual mode. Trust us, do yourself a favour, and get a tripod. It will help your art so much!
Sure, it’s a bit weird to pose in front of a camera on a tripod. Sure, people will stare. But ignore them and do your thing. We used to feel super awkward, but now, we just act natural. Our biggest tip is just to have fun with it.
Use the best light
Sure, you can pretty much change anything with Lightroom and Photoshop, but give yourself a good start. Make sure you shoot when the light is the best and softest, aka Golden Hour.
If you love sunrise, then you’re in luck, because that’s a good time to shoot. If you’re like us and like to sleep, then you’re also in luck, because you have golden hour before sunset too.
If you’re shooting outside of those hours, when the sun is the harshest, make sure you underexpose your pictures so the sun doesn’t “burn” any pixels. Yeah, we may have learned this the hard way.
Ok, this is another secret lifesaver/game-changer. Get yourself a Lightroom account, pay the $15USD per month, and turn any picture into art. Seriously.
Lightroom has helped us up our game so much. You can change anything from the exposure of the shot, to the colours (hue, saturation and luminance), the angle of the shot, whatever. You can get rid of things (or people) too. It takes some learning to master it, and we’re no masters… yet. We’re getting there!
Little editing tip (also a photography tip): Always, ALWAYS shoot in RAW. You will capture so much more details in your pics and editing will be easier.
And if you want to make things even easier, we recommend buying presets. They automatically turn your pictures into the style you want. Our favourites come these 2 accounts:
- Marie Fe and Jake Snow, especially since they donate 20% of their ocean preset pack to worthy causes. Told you they were awesome!
- Travel In her Shoes, because her pictures always look amazing.
Never stop learning/evolving
From your photography style to your editing skills, there are tons of tools out there to help you out. Like we said, we’ve learned all our skills by ourselves, but with the help of some great teachers.
We constantly search on YouTube for photography tips and editing tricks. We want our art to evolve with time. You can see how we used to shoot vs how we shoot now, the change is shocking. We’re going to keep growing and learning.
Little photography tip: Make sure you know how to shoot in Manual mode. It will take your pictures to the next level.
Be mindful of others
Sure, we say to ignore others, but we’re talking about ignoring their funny looks and laughs. Yes, they will laugh and stare. Or cheer, like the time Derek picked me up in front of a crowd! Whatever happens, be mindful of others. Don’t take too much time in front of a popular spot. Don’t push people out of the way. Don’t yell at them (yeah, we’ve seen it happen). Just be cool, wait your turn, do your thing and move on.
This is a no-brainer for us. Don’t break the rules. Don’t take pictures of others without their consent. Don’t change your outfit in a religious place to look sexier for the likes. If you bring props, take them back with you (please don’t litter). Don’t shoot on people’s properties without their approval.
Treat the places you’re in and the people you’re around with respect. Don’t forget, you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing all Instagram couples and content creators. Don’t give the community a bad rep!
Don’t just do it for the ‘Gram
This is key. Don’t ever, EVER, do things just for the ‘gram. Don’t chase the likes or follows by doing anything dangerous. Don’t go take pictures of places only because they’re the cool spots for Instagram. Don’t get into arguments together because of pictures. Don’t do things that don’t make you happy. And no matter what, never take pictures if you’re not in a good mood. Because it will show.
So if you’re not both in the mood to take pics, just don’t do it. And if you need other tips on how to travel as a couple, you can read more about it here.
Invest in good photography equipment
Okay, so you can get yourself some really expensive gear and shoot in automatic, or get yourself some decent gear and learn the ropes before you upgrade. This will totally depend on how much you want to invest from the get-go, and how much you’re willing to learn.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re comfortable using the gear you have.
So here is some of the gear we use, and what we wish we had (Yeah, we’ll be upgrading as soon as we have an income).
Here is what we use:
Canon EOS 1300D: Great starter DSLR camera, tons of great functions, shoots videos in HD and has wifi capabilities.
GOPRO Session 4: Great for underwater video and shots. It’s small, light and compact. The only small downside is that you don’t see what you’re shooting, unless you use your phone as a screen.
GoPro accessories kit: It has everything you need to use your GoPro in all sorts of ways. Great value for what you get.
Benro tripod: We love this thing. It helps us shoot in pretty much all conditions, at different heights. It’s light and portable.
Macbook Pro Retina 13 inch: Light, powerful, beautiful, you will need one to edit your pictures and give them that extra little umph!
Toshiba 2TB external hard drive: Because when you take this many pictures, you’ll need the extra storage. Cloud based storage is great, but you don’t always have a good internet connection.
Aukey battery pack: This thing is our lifesaver. Whenever we’re running low on juice (for our camera or our phones), this little guy saves the day.
Next items to add to our arsenal:
DJI Mavic: We have serious drone envy when we see epic drone shots. If we were to do this again, we would totally splurge and get one of these. Yes, this will be the first thing we get when we have an income.
GoPro Dome: This takes stunning half underwater/out-of-water shots.
So there you have it! Our top tips for taking nice couple pics. Our biggest advice is that no matter what you do, have fun! Enjoy the process and don’t be scared to grow and learn. Just enjoy the ride. Laugh, be silly and stay in love.
We’d love to hear if you have any other tips for taking good couples pictures. Feel free to share them in the comments below.
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