Behind the Lens: How to Integrate Love Languages in a Couple Photoshoot

April 11, 2022

Kristelle Boulos

Education, Engagement

A couple bathing in a bathtub and eating a strawberry

Why the five love languages? One of the keys to successfully capturing a deep connection between a couple is to make their love come alive as if no one was in the room. That requires tapping into the intimacy of their souls and feelings for one another. While people might be shy at first, I have found that if I give them prompts to help them embrace their love language, something magical happens. A groove opens and the essence of them as a couple shines through, ready for the lens to memorialize it.

The Five Love Languages

The concept of love languages was developed by Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, which explores five different ways of expressing and receiving love.

  • WORDS OF AFFIRMATION is about manifesting love through words. It can take the form of deep, stimulating conversations, or simple expressions of gratitude, such as “I couldn’t do this without you.”
  • QUALITY TIME means creating meaningful experiences with loved ones. Quality time can be created by going on a hike, or just grabbing coffee at your favorite corner shop. It doesn’t always mean doing an activity, though; quality time is also time spent together, doing nothing.
  • ACTS OF SERVICE is all about the little acts of kindness that mean the world to your partner. Perhaps it’s bringing them breakfast in bed, opening the door for them, or fixing them a drink at the end of the day. 
  • RECEIVING GIFTS is thoughtful, often material representations with sentimental and/or nostalgic value. It can be flowers, maybe a book they’ve wanted for a while, or something else that you get for them just because. Brownie points if the gift is a surprise.
  • PHYSICAL TOUCH is expressed through the magic of physical intimacy. It’s about feeling physically present and grounded in your love, be it via an unprompted back scratch, a kiss in public, or a night out dancing. Touching your loved one touches your heart.

If the couple you are photographing is still exploring what their love language is, here’s a free quiz they can take to discover what it is! It’s always helpful to better understand how to connect with each other.

How to Use the Five Love Languages in a Session

Keep in mind that couples give and receive love in different ways. As the interpreter of their actions, you should be fluid and listen to what they say, observe what they do, and respond to their vibrations.

Below are some different prompts you can use to direct a couple and help them tap into their love languages. Remember to pay attention to the energy in the room, and feel free to mix and match as you get going!

Words of Affirmation

Focus: Think of prompts that encourage an exchange of words.

“Write a letter to each other to read during the session.”

“Share with your partner your favorite memory of them.”

“Tell your partner how proud you are of them.”

“Whisper to your partner what you love most about them. It can be something that will make them blush, or the weirdest thing you love about them.”

Miami Intimate In-home Engagement Session | Mariana + Jacob

Quality Time

Focus: Here, it’s all about slowing down the time and being present. Make your clients feel connected in the room and in the romantic moment they’re sharing together.

“Get close and cozy, close your eyes, breathe together, slow and deep, until you synchronize your breaths.”

“Tell your partner how much you love them by just using your eyes.”

“Mimic each other’s expressions and try not to laugh.”

“Take turns dancing for one another, and try to impress your partner with your moves. Then, dance together like no one is watching.”

Miami Intimate In-Home Couple Session | Juladie + Danny

Acts of Service

Focus: Think of prompts that are about helping each other with small acts and gestures.

“Pretend that your partner is cold and keep them warm.”

“Carry your partner to help them get to the next destination. Use any method you like—potato sack, piggy back ride, or like a princess—your pick!”

“Surrender to a physical fall and trust your partner to catch you.”

“Imagine you’re walking on a tightrope and your partner is helping you keep your balance.”

Miami Beach Adventurous Engagement Session | Stephanie + Jose

Receiving Gifts

Focus: Think of prompts that have an element of surprise, or gift-giving.

“Plan to surprise each other at the shoot with a thoughtful gift.”

“Imagine you’re stuck in this place forever, and go on a mission to find something thoughtful around you to give to your partner.”

“Tell your partner what is your favorite gift that you’ve received from them.”

“Pretend you’re in a photo booth. Get your faces close side by side, and make a series of silly expressions without seeing what your partner is doing. A fun little surprise in your gallery!”

Miami Intimate In-Home Engagement Session | Elaine + Ernesto

Physical Touch

Focus: Prompts and action items that encourage physical interaction.

“Close your eyes and imagine you’re meeting your partner for the first time. By just using your hands, touch and caress them to learn what they are like.”

“Stand a few feet away, walk toward each other, and go for a dramatic Hollywood kiss (and maybe a dip!)”

“Kiss each other as fast as possible in as many places as possible.”

“Embrace your partner as if it’s the last time you’ll ever see them.”

Miami Intimate In-Home Engagement Session | Sophia + Nico

These are just a few ideas and starting points on how to incorporate the five love languages in couple photoshoots. As with any language and strategy, use what works for your remember to make it your own!

If you’re a photographer looking for more guidance and mentorship, I’d be happy to help you out! Contact me so we can book a mentorship call or coffee date together.

If you’re a couple and would like to book a unique couple session with me to capture a collection of meaningful photographs, INQUIRE HERE!

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