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Guest Post: How A Photographer Brings Out Real Emotions of Couples

How can a photographer help bring out the real emotions of couples while they pose? We speak to Nabeela Huda, a wedding and portrait photographer from Abu Dhabi.

Photo Source: Nabeela Huda

Visually, people like seeing what is authentic and what they can relate to. But when it comes to posing in front of a stranger’s lens, things may start to tense up, and suddenly we are all a little conscious of ourselves.

In my experience, wedding and engagement sessions can be a little intimidating when clients are not professional models (which is most likely the case), and just two individuals in love!

But that’s the best thing, right? Love is what we’re here to capture! Despite the grievances that posing might bring, it’s the photographer’s job to do their best to make couples feel their best. That’s why it’s important to invest some time prepping clients for the shoot.

Before the session, the photographer needs to:

  • Ensure clients get to know them (via phone, email or Skype) so that, at the least, they’re familiar with each other. This avoids uncertainty and creates a sense of security.
  • Try to explain some of the things that are top priority. For instance, asking the couple to be on time for the shoot in order to carry it out during sunlight isn’t wrong. For a natural light photographer, the sun dictates the session. Hence, it’s vital for the couple to understand the value of the daytime they’re shooting in.
  • Ask the couple to bring things that represent them and are unique to their relationship. They should surround themselves with things that truly represent their story and distance them from anything unfamiliar. It turns out to be easier to make conversation and pose when people truly feel at home.

Posing is as vital to a photographer’s business as is his expensive gear. But asking a couple to pose and capturing intimacy isn’t always the same thing.

During the session:

  • The photography team are as much art directors as they are photographers. It’s their job to direct the scene. They understand that it can be nerve-wrecking being in front of a silent stranger’s camera, and hence must constantly talk to the couple and direct their actions.
  • Encourage the couple to have fun and flirt! An easy way around it would be to create a story round a pose and have them re-enact it. This will give the photographer a wealth of genuine emotions and will help bathe their photos in pure love!
  • Lastly, photographers should be confident! They should remember the reason they’ve been hired! They can wash away the couple’s insecurities once they start being themselves and enjoying the shooting process. They can be silly, or whatever they need to be, in order to get the perfect shot. This can really help their clients loosen up and gives them the freedom to declare their session as a successful shoot.


Submitted by: Nabeela Huda

Nabeela is a a self-taught, portraits and lifestyle photographer based in the UAE. She left her job to pick up a camera, laugh more often, and immortalise happy moments. If you’d like to get in front of her camera, and experience the same joy she feels, you can reach her on her portal, her Instagram page, Facebook page or her blog.

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