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How to Take Better Pictures of Your Significant Other

Woman in a sunflower field

We all want to look good in photos. Nobody wants to have their phone handed back to them, expecting to see a Pinterest-worthy fashion shot, and find an awkwardly-posed stranger smirking back at them. It’s the worst kind of surprise – one that catches you totally off-guard and prompts you to spend the rest of the day shying away from any photo opportunities. It’s better to be omitted from the history books than captured unflatteringly, right?

We’re no strangers to the disappointment of a great photo opportunity squandered. But, even with the best poses and tips for being more photogenic in the world, there is no replacement for a good photographer. For that reason, while being a poorly captured subject is a lot to handle, the guilt of being the person behind the camera – and 100% culpable for how those pictures turn out – is way worse. 

For that reason, we’ve put together our favourite tips for taking better pictures of your favourite subject of all – your significant other. Boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife…we can help to ensure that your partner can stop wandering into the frame with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Shoot from a lower angle

If you’re taller than your S.O., then a large part of the problem could be stemming from the fact that you’re pointing the camera down at them. This is a big no-go for photography, since you’re going to make them look shorter, and capture some pretty unflattering shadows. Shooting from slightly below is preferable but, ideally, you’ll hold your phone perfectly vertical. 

Listen to what they want

Most of us spend our fair share of time on social media – or scrolling through hashtags on Pinterest – looking at other photos of other people that have turned out good enough for the internet. This obviously means most of us, when we get in front of a camera, have some idea in our heads of how we want our photos to turn out. This is, of course, why it’s such a let-down when they don’t turn out good enough for IG.

The solution? Listen to your partner. Look at the backdrop they’ve chosen, look at how they’re posing, and ask them a few key questions to figure out what they’re hoping for. Do they want a wide shot, or a portrait? Do they want something posed, or something candid?

In fact, that brings us onto the next point…

Let them be candid

You know what’s great? A candid photograph. You know what’s universally hated? Trying to look candid when you’re anything but – particularly when the person on the other side of the camera is waiting for you to stiffen up and smile.

We all love a good mid-laughter shot, so capture it. The same goes for those times when your girlfriend is running her hand through her hair and looking off into the distance, or when your husband is looking over his shoulder and talking to you (not trying to hold an awkward, cheesy grin).

In short, take your pictures even if they don’t look ready. Nine times out of ten, they’re hoping you’ve already got your finger on the shutter. Talk to them – ask questions and, ideally, tell a joke good enough to prompt some real laughter.

Take a lot of pictures

We’re working on the assumption that you’re taking pictures on your smartphone or digital camera, not a polaroid or disposable camera with a limited number of shots. If you are, then don’t waste all of them on perfecting a single shot.

But, if you’re not, then get used to snapping as many pictures as your thumb can stand. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that, the more pictures you take, the more chance there is that your partner is going to be able to find at least one good one in the bunch. It gives variety, and means that, if one picture is perfect aside from a lazy eye or crooked smile, the next one might be another step closer to actually being perfect.

Be proud of your work

If there’s one thing better than looking your absolute best in a photo, it’s seeing your S.O. fall in love with that picture. Show your partner how great you think they look, make it your wallpaper, post it to Instagram and Facebook, then get it printed out as part of your next photo memory book celebrating all the good times (and, hopefully, good photos) you’ve shared together.

That’s the thing about finally nailing how to take good pictures, instead of just waiting for those accidentally good shots we all luck into every now and then. Once you’ve got into the swing of being your partner’s full-time photographer, you’ll be able to build a collection of great moments – not just a folder of five or six pictures they haven’t forced you to delete.

Good luck, and happy snapping.


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