How to Take Cute Couples Pictures

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my husband and i love taking photos together but a selfie stick can only you get you so far. aside from our (gorgeous and awesome) wedding photos, we didn’t have many high quality ones of us together and we have changed quite a bit from those 4 years ago.

i mean, the amount of grey hairs i have now is impressive and my husband no longer has such a baby face.

we decided we wanted to invest in getting some new pictures of us as well as some new head shots, because we are going on exciting adventures together! so let’s chat about how to take cute couples pictures together! since our wedding photographer/friend lives back in colorado, we searched for a local portland, oregon photographer.

How to take cute couples pictures

we spoke to a few and then ultimately decided to go with kim, who owns photos by kim. we love the style of her photographs, she’s friendly and attentive and makes you feel ultra comfortable (this is important).

i wanted to share a few tips with you on how to take cute couples pictures because i started feeling nervous about this before our shoot (i’m talking sleepless nights and way too many selfies of clothing options sent to my mother). if you can feel confident about how to prepare for the photo session, i can guarantee you will be much happier with the outcome!

1) find a photographer that you feel comfortable with and knows your city

this is incredibly important and i’m so glad we went with kim (no, she’s not paying me to say that, i’m genuinely thrilled with how our photos came out). of course you never really know how you’ll work with someone until the work gets started, but pay attention to how the photographer makes you feel during your phone calls and meeting. is there a good vibe there or sort of weird? trust the vibe.

i don’t know the science behind it but whenever us humans get in front of a camera, sometimes we get weird and fake so you’ll need to ensure you’re comfortable with the one holding the camera!

the photographer should also be familiar with the city you want to have photos done in. we’ve lived in generally the same area of downtown portland for the past 6 years but we didn’t know what would make a great background. good thing she’s experienced and knew it would be a great shot of us downtown with the light rail passing in the background! never would have thought of that.

how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery

2) pick clothing that is complimentary with one another

this was the most stressful part for me. i don’t consider myself the most fashionable person. let’s just be real and get it out there that my mom still picks out 93% of my clothes otherwise i’d just wear my concert t-shirts from high school all. the. time.

select colors that compliment your skin tone and look good together.

for example, if your husband is going to be wearing a patterned shirt, then you should be in something more subdued as to not conflict the eyes when they see the photo. likewise for what you want to wear (more on this later).

3) ask for the shots you want

is there a certain feel or look you’re going for in these photos? don’t be afraid to share this with your photographer. on this same point, if your photographer says the lighting wouldn’t be good or has a different suggestion, listen to her or him on that point because they actually know what they are talking about.

since portland is a quirky city, i thought it would be fun to get our famous voodoo donuts in there because they are pretty and delicious. this also spiked my blood sugar just when i needed it so double bonus for not passing out either!

he really did surprise me with a whole box of donuts instead of just one…that’s a good husband right there.

how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery 1

4) be yourselves

as i had all my solidly colored clothes laid out for the photoshoot, i randomly pulled one of my favorite dresses from my closet and said to the photographer (and her amazing assistant), “this is probably too much, huh?”

kim’s response was perfect. she said “if that’s you and you feel great in it, i love it and you should wear it!” so i did.

how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery

#2 plays in here since i’m wearing a loud pattern, my husband is wearing something solid so we don’t clash.

how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery

we are a fun couple (if i do say so myself) so we didn’t want photos that came off stuffy or posed. even though we are fun, the next piece is super important…

5) loosen up and have fun!

this one took us a bit to get the hang of but thank goodness kim and her assistant got us laughing and made us feel comfortable soon after because having fun matters. you can actually tell in our faces when we are posed and a little uncomfortable. most of it’s in the eyes and smile. was it tyra banks that said our eyes need to be “smizing” or smiling with our eyes?

let’s play “which one is better…A or B?”


how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery


how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery 5

the answer is B folks because we both have non-sparkly eyes in the first one!

TIP: start telling your photographer how you met and about your first date. progress into a travel story that went wrong that you can laugh about now. these things get you focused more on your mood and relieving happy/funny things so you have sparkly and genuine looks on your faces!

i also spent a lot of time thinking and preparing about non-corporate/stuffy head shots so if there’s any interest in that, let me know and i’d be happy to share for individual shots. i’d absolutely recommend working with photos by kim if you’re in the portland area because you can obviously tell she’s an amazing photographer!

when you incorporate these strategies on how to take cute couples photos, you will be in good shape whether it’s for your engagement photoshoot, wedding, or later in your life!

you knew this had to happen…

how to take good couples pictures ryan and chelsea avery 6

if you found this post helpful, please share it on pinterest or another social media! thank you!

How to take cute couples picturesquestions:
1) how comfortable are you in front of the camera?
2) how do you feel about jumping photos?
3) what kind of quirky thing would you add to your photos (mine was the donut in shots that will appear on the blog later!) ?
*any interest in talking about non-stuffy head shots?


  1. Amanda

    April 13, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Aww Sugar! I’m glad she made an appearance. An animal should always be in a photoshoot if you ask me!

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

      there are a ridiculous amount of photos with sugar in them and by herself…it’s hilarious amanda! agreed that they need to be in the photoshoot too!

  2. Paula Howley

    April 13, 2015 at 8:57 am

    LOVE the picture with Sugar, even with her tongue out! these are great shots!
    We haven’t had pictures done as a family since Meg was one so maybe it’s time.
    My last photo shoot was 2 summers ago for my then-new business. I will probably do some new ones this summer because my book is nearly ready!
    1. Not crazy comfortable in front of a camera but I think it helps to have a good photog that you feel comfortable in front of.
    2.LOVE jumping photos
    3. In my last shoot I had a skirt and rockin’ red high heels on and we did most of it at a playground. I came down the slide in my heels, looked like I was about to steal second on the baseball diamond, went on the swings. I like weird, I like juxtapositions- they are memorable.
    You really got some great pics here Chels!
    Paula Howley recently posted…Head Start Public Speaking For Kids- RYLA!!!

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

      i had some more normal ones with her tongue not out but they weren’t nearly as hilarious!

      it’s totally time for some updated photos with your lovely family, paula 🙂 yay for hopefully getting new head shots done for your BOOK this summer! YAY!

      it sounds like you got some great shots in your last photos paula, i agree with the weird ones too, they are better. we have sooo many more photos which i’m excited about but these were some of my favs

  3. chelsea jacobs

    April 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

    This is such good advice!!
    chelsea jacobs recently posted…23: Magic & Dreams & Good Madness.

  4. Gina K

    April 13, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pic with Ryan jumping the air! Fun pix stay enjoyable for the longest time! (Especially after your hair has turned gray!)

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 11:56 am

      haha it sums us up pretty well, gina! he loves jumping photos and i sort of hate them. he’s super extroverted and i’m more introverted so BOOM, there it is in picture form 🙂

  5. Barb

    April 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

    You tow are so photogenic! I, sadly, am not. I think it would be fabulous to get new photos of us, however, I need to shed a few more pounds. Our 10th Anniversary is in June 2016- I will be ready for sure by then, and we plan to be in Hawaii, so… 😉

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 11:57 am

      i bet you are more photogenic than you give yourself credit for, barb 🙂 find an outfit where you feel like a total badass and super sexy in and that will surely help. ohhhh 10 year anniversary AND on the beach of hawaii, only good things can come from that!

  6. Audrey

    April 13, 2015 at 11:49 am

    This is just in time for our anniversary pictures! Maybe we’ll try a jumping shot this year! We always incorporate our puppies because our goal is to show where we’re at in life and who’s there with us (for when we look back at them)!
    We’re both super uncomfortable in front of a camera and our engagement pictures show that 🙁 But our wedding shots are so candid and great!
    I remember my high school graduation photos have kittens in them. And my car at the time! Haha. Proud teenage moments…
    Audrey recently posted…Weekend Recap: WGI Percussion World Finals

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 11:58 am

      love that you do anniversary photos, audrey! you should totally do jumping shots this year…we have some ridiculous ones when ravery finally twists my arm to participate.

      love that you always incorporate your sweet pups and good thinking about capturing the time where you’re at in life. graduation photos with kittens?!! AMAZING.

  7. Addison

    April 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    These photos are absolutely beautiful! You both look so happy and like you had a ton of fun. 🙂
    Addison recently posted…All is light

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      thanks addison! i am so glad we found the photographer we did…she made us look good AND captured us well 🙂
      chelsea recently posted…How to Take Cute Couples Pictures

  8. Meagan

    April 13, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I LOVE your polka dot dress. And I couldn’t agree more with “me yourselves” – you can always see personality in pictures!

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      thanks meagan!! when i wear it i feel like i can take on the world 🙂

  9. Rachel G

    April 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Your polka dot dress is the best! You know I’m partial to polka dots and bright colors! I’m quite comfortable around cameras–Angel can get a little nervous with “official” cameras around, like at our wedding or when we had our tv interview. Whenever I’m around my brother, who likes photography when he’s not too busy for it, I try to get him to snap a few pictures. Our last ‘photoshoot’ was with my little brother in 2012 and half of it took place in the barn at the house where we used to live and the other half took place at my favorite playground. I went to go look for a blog post about it, but none exists, it was pre-blog! 😛
    Rachel G recently posted…Wardrobe Variety (Or Lack of It)

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      going back to your post from today, rachel….the biggest downside to these photos was that i had to change clothes multiple times HA!

      isn’t it weird to think there was a ‘pre-blog’ time and we can’t link to it?! ha! well if you ever find the photos from 2012…share them!

  10. Amberly

    April 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    These are great tips!! I love them 🙂 I needed a couple of them for the next time we take pictures 🙂
    Amberly recently posted…Dressing Up for Spring Date Night

    • chelsea

      April 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      oh good i’m glad you found them amberly! maybe you need to do a post on a maternity shoot one…love seeing pictures as you go along 🙂

  11. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    April 14, 2015 at 4:42 am

    SUCH GOOD PICTURES!!! You two are incredibly photogenic. I love these tips, though- especially telling stories about how you met/funny travel stories… that’s a great idea to get more relaxed and start laughing!
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…The ONE thing you can do today to improve your finances is…

    • chelsea

      April 14, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      awww thanks! let’s also keep in mind that of course i’m displaying the cute ones on here ashley and not the ones where my face looks all sorts of craaaazy haha 🙂 the story telling totally helped us relax A TON!

  12. Melissa C

    April 14, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I REALLY love all of these pictures! I kind of force my family to love taking pictures as much as I do, so from experience I can say these tips are spot on. LOVE it!

    • chelsea

      April 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      glad you agree with the tips melissa! glad your family has gotten on board with your love for taking photos hah love it!
      chelsea recently posted…How to Take Cute Couples Pictures

  13. Kenji

    April 14, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Oh hay single girl here but these are fantastic tips! I pinned them for eventually when I need to take couple pictures I can use them! Ps, that polka dot dress is FANTASTIC!!
    Kenji recently posted…A Sun Shining Weekend

    • chelsea

      April 14, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      baaha your comment of ‘haaay single girl here’ totally made me laugh, kenji! thanks for pinning it for when the time comes 🙂 you da best and YES to bold prints!

  14. Kait

    April 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    That dress!
    Them heels!!


    Now to answer your questions:

    1) Love love love it! In fact there’s a photo from vacation where Bren is half talking and I’m perfectly posed…it about sums up our relationship.
    2) Love them but I’m awful at them. I blame my shortness and inability to jump high. 🙁
    3) I already have this planned out…see # 1 re: my love of getting photographed. Ula the (stuffed) Uterus, my vulva puppet, at least one sex toy, and, most importantly, the vintage gynecological teaching materials I found at the last hospital where I worked (they were about to throw them out and gave me permission to take them, lest anyone things there’s foul play). They’re sooo cool.
    3b) I may not actually include all of these anymore for branding reasons (*sobs*) but I would want to!

    *yes to info on taking non-stuffy headshots!
    Kait recently posted…Lessons from Porn: 3 Steps to Overcoming Sexual Insecurities

    • chelsea

      April 14, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      haaaa you crack me straight up, kait! i am also so glad you answered the questions because they are so vivid. please go get professional photos taken of you holding up a stuffed uterus in time square and the teaching materials in central park!!!!! amazing.

      okay on the head shots, comin’ atcha 🙂

  15. carissajade

    April 15, 2015 at 6:02 am

    These pictures are amazing! She did a great job at capturing yalls relationship and you are both adorable.
    carissajade recently posted…Can We Talk About Mental Health?

  16. Elizabeth T

    April 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    YES to info on taking non-stuffy headshots! These are such gorgeous photos Chelsea–I love the one with Ryan jumping in the background….I’m also jealous because I’m short and can’t jump like that! I love the pictures we took last fall but next time I definitely want to go more in the direction you guys took–fun and unique and you not just posing. 🙂
    Elizabeth T recently posted…When It Rains….It Pours

    • chelsea

      April 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

      it’s really always astounding just how high that man can jump! it’s insane. i probably don’t like jumping photos because i can’t catch the same air 🙂 and yay more photos in your future soon elizabeth!

  17. Erin

    April 16, 2015 at 7:30 am

    These are so stinkin’ cute! And you’re really lucky that you found a guy who actually enjoys taking photos. I think my boyfriend would like at me like I had seventeen and a half heads if I were to ask him to do a random photoshoot with me. Le sigh. You both are adorable though! 🙂
    Erin recently posted…To Color Or Not To Color

    • chelsea

      April 16, 2015 at 11:25 am

      i never really thought about that, erin but you’re right! i am lucky that my husband likes taking photos (though he gets fed up at home sometimes when i get too bloggy on him). 🙂

  18. Ashley

    April 18, 2015 at 12:48 am

    I love these pictures. I need to get new pictures done this year. I’m thinking of doing two different shoots this year! Great tips!
    Ashley recently posted…{Link Up} Monthly Themed Friday Vol 16

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      hopefully these tips come in hand for your new photos, ashley!

  19. Amanda Wood

    April 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    LOVE! These are fantastic tips.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…Currently

    • chelsea

      April 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      oh yay i’m glad you liked them! i know you would get your puppy in there too 🙂