3 Tips for Photographing Couples Outdoors

I love photographing couples! It’s fun capturing the emotions between two people, especially when it’s love! Going outdoors is a tough thing sometimes depending on your lighting situation. There are 3 tips for photography couples outdoors I have for you today that will help you know how to get a certain look by manipulating the settings in your camera!

Tip 1: Bracketing!
Bracketing is a function on your camera where it takes 3 different exposures of the same image sequentially similar to taking a burst picture on your phone where it will take a few pictures right in a row. By using bracketing, you are able to get the foreground, midground, and background in all good exposures by blending the three images in Lightroom (Highlight all three images, right click on photo merge, choose HDR, and select low deghosting, and click merge)! I love being able to have that nice warm sunset in the background while still being able to see my couple without them being in silhouette. The only downside is you and your models will have to hold SUPER still of you will get movement in the photos which will create weird outlines around the subjects. Try tip 1 for photographing couples outdoors next time you go out to shoot with your friends!

Emilee-Wright-3-tips-for-photographing-couples-outdoors Emilee-Wright-3-tips-for-photographing-couples-outdoors

Tip 2: Expose for your models and not the sky
Another thing that is popular among many photographers is to blow out the sky to white so the exposure is solely on your models. This creates the “light and airy” look. You do this by having your f/stop open to around 1.8-3.5 depending on your lens, having your shutter speed somewhere between 1/100-1/200, and your ISO somewhere between 100-600 depending on how dark it is outside. The light and airy look is more easily achieved when it is overall bright outside. Try taking a few test shots and adjusting your settings accordingly until you get your background nicely blown out and your subjects with a nice exposure as seen below.


Tip 3: Backlit lighting
Another fun tip of photographing couples outside is to use the sun as a backlight to give a cool edge light around the subjects! This was taken as the sun was getting closer to setting so we had the nice side light coming in. I had them face towards each other to get a good silhouette and I faced the sun with my camera this will blow out the sky and have a darker light around the subjects face but I love the look the edge light gives the overall photo. It’s a super intimate moment and we only get to see parts of it lit by the light.


Here’s just a bonus portrait of the lovely Kayley! Isn’t she gorgeous? I used tip 1 of Bracketing in order to get the warm tones in the sky as well as the nice exposure on her face. The vibrant colors make my heart happy. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about lighting outside. Make sure to try out the 3 tips for photographing couples outside next time you go on an adventure!


Check out this awesome video by Mango Street of how to pose couples!

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