A Photographer Reveals 7 Smart Tips For Teaching Your SO To Take Better Pics Of You

It’s official — we’re living in the age of Instagram boyfriends and girlfriends. For many people, it’s practically a relationship requirement to find a partner skilled enough to take great photos of them on fun dates or vacations. And with so many people building their business or personal brand on Instagram, it’s no wonder this is important! But not everyone is a natural, so you might need to teach your partner to take better photos of you. This is totally possible with a little patience and coaching.

One of my favorite couples on social media is Julia Engel and Thomas Berolzheimer from Gal Meets Glam. Not only are they relationship goals, but they’ve also built an Instagram brand of over one million followers on Julia's account and started a clothing line called Gal Meets Glam Collection together. Thomas is a photographer and Julia is the face of the brand, so he’s the guy behind the lens of most of the photos you see of her. I’ve always admired their work, so I was excited to learn from Thomas his tips and tricks for capturing such beautiful, colorful images. Any photographer, amateur or otherwise, can learn from these, and if you’re trying to train bae to be more comfortable behind the camera, send this story their way. Maybe we can all get just a little closer to being as glam as Thomas and Julia!

You Don't Need A Fancy Camera
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Any camera works, but Berolzheimer says he often recommends people use the newest iPhone model available. “The great news is that any camera can be used to take great photos,” he says. The most important thing is that you’re familiar and comfortable with whatever device you’re using so you’ll be able to capture the best images possible.

Every Photo Session Is A Chance To Improve
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“When we first started shooting together, we always spent an extra 15 minutes at the end of every shoot trying new things,” Berolzheimer remembers. “New angles, lenses, poses, lighting… even if we thought the idea was terrible, we tried it.” And it helped him learn! You never know what obscure idea may actually turn out to be your favorite element of a shoot.

Lighting Is Everything
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Even if your subject is the focus, the lighting can be the cherry on top that takes your photo to the next level. Before shooting your subject, think about where in your vicinity you can re­situate yourselves in order to make use of the best light available,” Berolzheimer suggests. “If you are out to dinner, maybe that’s finding the one well-lit area of a restaurant. If you are in the bright sunshine, maybe that means stepping aside and finding some shade.” Even if you aren’t in the greatest setting for lighting, there’s always a way to make the best of the situation you’re in. You don't want your subject obscured by backlighting or shadow. Move your camera around to see where your subject falls into the most natural sunlight, with his or her face as the standout focus of the image.

Develop An Eye For Composition
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The composition of a photo means the way it's laid out aesthetically — where your subject stands and how their surroundings complement them. This comes with practice, and you’ll start to feel it naturally the more experienced you become. “Look at what’s behind, around, and in front of your subject,” Berolzheimer says. “How does your subject fit into the scene and how can you utilize the scene to tell a better story?” He suggests trying different angles to figure out what looks best, and to always be thinking about what could make a photo better. “When we shoot, we continually ask ourselves, ‘What if…’ questions, like, ‘What if you were sitting here?’, ‘What if we angled this way?’ or ‘What if I changed my focal length?’” Never stop exploring — there is always room for growth.

Put Thought Into Each Photo
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There’s nothing that makes a photoshoot more generic than snapping images without thinking about what you’re doing. “Rarely do I see someone take the time to examine the subject and the light,” Berolzheimer notes. “Thinking about your photos before taking them is the difference between photos you hang on the wall and photos that sit on your phone, camera, or hard drive and never see the light of day.” Pay attention to your surroundings! Don't just snap away without noticing how you could make a photo more unique or creative. Maybe it's changing the background, changing the angle, or changing the subject's pose. If you're thoughtful about the process, you’ll end up with way more interesting shots.

Take More Photos Than You Need
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It’s pretty much a guarantee that you won’t love every photo in a series, so the more you have to choose from, the better. “As a photographer, it’s so upsetting to review the images you shot and realize that you actually didn’t capture as many pictures as you remembered,” Berolzheimer remarks. “This is especially true when you are traveling because, most likely, you won’t have the opportunity to do that shoot again.” Unless you run out of time or the weather gets bad, don’t quit a photoshoot after only a few images. That way, if some of your photos don’t turn out well (due to the subject blinking, a change in the light, etc.), you’ll still have other options.

Have Fun!
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If you’re rigid or bored behind the camera, it will show in the photos you take! “The best photos (regardless of their quality) evoke happy memories,” Berolzheimer says. “If you’re in front of the camera, remember to relax, have fun, and move your body, as that can sometimes be the best way to loosen up and feel natural.” This should be fun for both you and your subject, and if done right, it can be a creative way to enjoy spending time together. Think of this as a relaxing hangout sesh with your partner! At the end of the day, it matters most that you're together, whether or not the photos turn out perfectly.

Next time you’re in a beautiful setting and want to remember the moment, try out some of these photography tips! Before you know it, you and your partner will be pros at doing shoots together. This can even bring you closer as a couple and give you a new creative outlet to share. Take it from the pros — with a little practice, anyone can develop a better artistic eye.