As a couple, my husband and I love taking photos. Our photos of our first holiday together in New Orleans. Our wedding photos. The pictures of our babies. We love the pictures we have of our family. Pictures are part of our love language to one another. Photography gives us an expressive, personal, frugal way of documenting those big moments in our lives. The moments that bring life to our days, and sometimes, simply take our breath away.
But here’s the thing, photography should be more than a chronicling the big stages of our family’s journey together. Life is made of lots of tiny moments, of laughs and kisses, of that lasting, tender, forever love and the daily deepening of romance that comes with living with your best friend. As a couple, you grow and change. You learn to love the profoundness to your relationship. The partnership that easily gets overshadowed by life as a family.
One way my husband and I keep the embers of romance glowing is by creating silly, seasonal couples date-night-in photo shoots. A Thursdate, if you will. This is not the traditional itchy, tacky, crazy Christmas-sweaters kind of shoot. This is a time for just he and I. For you and yours. And our latest shoot? Thanksgiving theme shoot!
To prepare for the shoot I simply headed over to Pinterest to download one of the many free Thanksgiving-themed photo props kit available for download.
To assemble the props, I cut out all the shapes and secured the cut outs to seasonally colored paper straws, which acted as handles for the props.
I then spruced up out front porch for later that evening. And we were all set!
The shoot took only minutes and we had a ball! We finished the evening by having a great meal and having a Netflix night in. We plan to use the photos as part of digital cards to send friends and family out of state, and abroad, later this month as well.
The best part? We plan to use the photos as part of digital cards to send friends and family out of state, and abroad, later this month as well. Making this Thursdate both frugal and practical.
Now if you would like to throw your own Thursdate photo shoot, here are few tips:
1) Reflect and Relax: Before your shoot, take some time to relax and prepare your mind for time together as a couple. This will be a time for you both to connect with one another and to take pictures of who you really are together. Just you together. No kids, no elaborate parties, no stressful preparations.
2) Block your time: You will want your photo shoot to be as stress-free as possible, so carve out a simple 30-minute session to film. While you may be in the midst of crazy holiday preparation and season, remember you are carving this period of time for quiet, reflective romance. And who doesn’t want a small, extraordinary romantic escape in the middle of ordinary life? I know we do.
3) Seek Simplicity: This couples shot is not about the artistic, thoughtful photography of your wedding day. This is about being silly and sappy. Pick and theme and keep it simple.
4) Set the Mood: During your shoot, don’t forget to set the mood and tone of your shoot with music that goes well with your proposed theme.
5) Have fun: Remeber to have fun first. If the shoot feels stressful it’s not going to produce great results.
6) Dress the Part: I suggest you take the time to dress up for your pictures. If you are going out on a date, then you are likely already going to be dressed up, but if you’re not going out, then get dressed up anyways. You will be much happier with the final pics if you have taken the time to look nice. If you are going for a casual, themed shoot as we did, they aim for neutral, seasonal pieces to wear.
7) Lighting: Natural light is best. Try to schedule your shoot during the times of day most conducive to utilizing the natural light in your area, and if you can’t go outside, open all of your blinds to let in as much light as possible. That being said, you’ll want to do you photos during the day.
8) Poses: This can be by far the hardest part of any photo shoot- knowing how to pose. I always feel like a klutz when it comes to posing for pictures. To remedy this, Daniel put on some music for me to dance around to, which lightened the mood and made the shoot progress nicely. Also, remember to also take turns taking shots of one another as well as a few seasonal selfies. These make for great keepsakes as well.
9) Props: Like with our shoot, it can be nice to have some props in your picture. If you need frugal ideas, Pinterest is likely your best bet.
10) Backgrounds: Backgrounds are key to a photo shoot. Even low-key affairs. Be sure to look around your house, outside, or neighborhood for great backgrounds. If you live in a major city, tall brick buildings make for wonderful photo backdrops. Country lanes and trees do as well!
So that’s it folks, my ideas for hosting your own Thursdate photo shoot! Hopefully, you will have as much fun with this free date night idea as we did this week. I encourage you all to try and create your own date night photo shoot as well. If you do snap a few awesome shots, I’d love for you to tag me online with the hashtag #nospendnovember16 so I can see them too! And if you have any tips for date night photo shoots, I’d love for you to let me know below!
Here’s to date-nights-in,