A couple connects because of their passion. They have a sensual connection, often nude, regardless of their age. They like the feel of each other’s skin, they like getting lost in each other’s eyes. For them, it’s all about their emotional connection.
And they want to have a real fun time doing it.
Of course age and shape don’t matter, although the guys are way more bashful and nervous about it than the women. Which I thought was interesting.
We had a couple in a bit ago in their 60s. Tiny, trim couple, yoga practitioners that had shots of each other planking while being held up by the other’s feet and hands. Then some very tender embraces.
Often the images selected don’t even show both their faces. They verge on anonymous, with faces arched up, hair cascading over a face, full of drama and passion.
One couple was so much fun. We had the western set in place, with them by the window. He was a powerful oil rig worker with his back to the camera, adjusting him so the light brought out his ripped muscles. She was in front of him, and when she suddenly leaped up with her legs around his waist, her arms flung around his neck while she grinned at the camera like a mischievous imp. That spontaneous image became their defining wall print.
Sometimes the images are just amusing. Again in the western set, we had the guy in our old western bathtub that Clint Eastwood has been legended to have sat in. He was nude in the tub with his beloved boots on, strumming a guitar that hid all his stuff. Meanwhile, we had his bemused wife in scanty lingerie slightly out of focus in the background looking on. The chemistry between them – the mirth and playfulness – was iconic of who they were as a couple.
To no surprise we do a lot of gay couples. One couple was hilarious. One of the girls was a French Canadian with all of the enthusiasm and energy, as you would expect. One of my favored poses is a suggestive nude where one partner reaches from behind to delicately cover parts of the breast. Our French Canadian girl was going to do this. Her partner had large, natural soft breasts. So when Terry reached around with her wide-open enthusiasm, it was more of a handful grab than the gentle thing we were expecting, with breast coming out between her fingers.
Occasionally the man becomes the man of mystery, a shadowy figure posed on the edge of the image, balancing out the dramatic pose of his partner in the spotlight. There was the gentleman who had always fantasized about being a voyeur. We had him posing on the outside of the blinds, holding the blinds apart like he was looking in. He was a mystery man in the shadows, with the open blinds giving an unobstructed view of his girlfriend.
Then a few are clever like Sarah. She knew her husband would be reluctant to the idea so she invited him to watch her posing for her nude and lingerie session. After three hours of that she asked him to join her, which he hesitantly did. With the lights out and only the dim modeling lights from my flash units on, he soon felt comfortable, falling naturally into poses they liked to be close in.
In the last 35 years I have seen such a huge change about how couples want to be represented. It’s now more about the emotion, the connection. It is way more casual than when I started, while the men have become more comfortable and bolder in the ideas they like. Most couples like to do the “this is us” kind of shot but they really love images that portray their relationship rather then each of them.
I would love to hear from you. What kind of couple portrait would you like created? Something daring and bold that showcases your relationship, or the more traditional “here is what we look like”, still nicely done of course.