Lessons in Love: Valentine’s Day Photography Ideas

written by:
Juliana Broste


Lessons in Love: Valentine’s Day Photography Ideas

CREDIT: KIEN LAM, Kien Lam Photography, @hellokien

It’s that time of year—love is in the air.  For photographers, the “L” word could mean anything from scheduling couple’s portraits to sending thoughtful photo gifts.  It’s a great time to focus on our craft, giving visual stories that special something that makes our hearts sing.  Here are a few photography techniques to keep in mind during this romantic season:

CREDIT: Dillon Novak, @DillonNovak. FEATURING: Rob Drabkin@RobDrabkin


There’s nothing sweeter than celebrating a moment frozen in time.  Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to share a memorable image with someone you care for.  Tag someone special in a social media post, or take it a step further and actually print a photo, put it in the mail, or frame it.

Singer / Songwriter Rob Drabkin shares an uplifting perspective about love in his song Someday.  In his upcoming music video, he takes his camera to the subways of New York City to document the role love plays in all our lives.  What a romantic notion to create a heart-shaped collection of moments.  How sweet the sound!  Stream the song on Spotify (http://open.spotify.com/artist/5WBdJUw6xVIet6nnHLtQZy).

And keep a lookout this March for the Someday music video release directed by Dillon Novak.

CREDIT: Greg Snell, Snell Media, @gregorsnell. FEATURING: Catharina Fischer, tourismuszukunft.de@catharina_fischer


The best photographs spark a reaction.  One way to infuse emotion into our shots is to focus on timing, being in the right place at the right time.  Shooting a fish market first thing in the morning will yield beautiful displays of the best catches.  Swinging by in the afternoon, you might just capture everyone cleaning up.  Oops.

Travel photographer and filmmaker Greg Snell recommends paying careful attention to the time of day.  He captured this stunning shot on the shores of Port de Soller on Mallorca Island at magic hour.  His friend and colleague Catharina Fischer frames the sun with her hands shaped as a heart.  Greg says, “I always shoot the sunrise and sunset, chasing the perfect light.  It’s all about painting with light.  I also like to play with my white balance setting to really accentuate the color.”  Being able to anticipate moments before they happen is key, so you’re ready to hit the shutter as soon as everything falls into place.  With the sunset, you know the sun is going to set every day, so give yourself enough time to get set up before the magic happens.  Catch more of Greg’s work at snellmedia.com or find him on Instagram at @gregorsnell.

CREDIT: KIEN LAM, Kien Lam Photography@hellokien


Another important rule for photography, especially when taking photos of people, is to let the moment happen.  No one wants a photo to feel staged.  Learn how to direct people and put them in situations that work.  Then you can begin hunting for those natural moments.

Wedding photography and engagement sessions are Kien Lam’s forte.  He shares his secret for shooting couples.  Kien says, “One of my favorite ways to get fun and romantic photos is to make sure the couple is having fun and feeling romantic.  You can set up a shot, but it’s hard to stage genuine emotions.  After getting my couple in a general position that I like, I let them adjust themselves naturally. While they are doing this, I’m joking and teasing them a bit to lighten the mood so they can relax and forget that they are doing a shoot.  The rest just happens as I start shooting and look for just that right moment.”  See more of Kien’s work on kienlamphotography.com or check him out at @hellokien on Instagram.


While we photographers love to have control over our images, it’s also good to learn how to let go and let someone else take the picture.  Take a turn in front of the camera.  It gives us a better sense of how it feels to be the subject and helps you direct models.  We already know the extraordinary value of a photo—why not treat yourself!  One company is making professional photography easier to obtain during your travels.  Flytographer is a community of photographers who offer photo sessions in 200 cities around the world.  What a fun excuse for a photo op!


For Valentine’s Day, we can all appreciate a big box of chocolates, a colorful bouquet of flowers or a sweet little Valentine.  Photojojo has a ton of cool gift ideas for the photographer in your life…and hey, there’s no shame in buying yourself a Valentine’s Day present either.  The online shop has photo accessories and ideas for camera lovers.  Choose from smartphone lenses to remotes for selfies, stylish camera straps, and even coffee mugs that look like camera lenses.  It’s a fun site to browse and create a wish list.

With these all these heartfelt ideas, I hope you’re feeling the love!  I recommend taking to the streets in a pair of heart-shaped shades, so you can see the world full of love.

If you enjoyed this article or want to find more great stories from Juliana Broste, follow along @TravelingJules on Instagram!  Happy snapping!

Juliana Broste


Juliana Broste, “TravelingJules”

TravelingJules Productions

Juliana Broste, “TravelingJules”, is an Emmy award winning Travel Video Journalist—a producer, shooter, writer, editor and host.  Whether you spot her in front of the camera or behind the lens, you’ll recognize this fierce female filmmaker sporting pink lipstick and an armful of camera gear!  Jules creates engaging travel video content for travel brands, media outlets, and for her travel vlog.  Her mission is to share amazing “things to do” around the world and inspire travelers to discover new experiences.  Come along for the adventure with TravelingJules on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

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