Photo of the Day

Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week for May 1 

May 1, 2023

By Hillary K. Grigonis

The best couples portraits don’t just capture physical characteristics but embody the emotions between two people. This week, we highlight five exceptional couples portraits from Kara Tiller, Kathleen Whittemore, Dawn Jarvis, Teresa Johnson, and Emily Hodge. 

Kara Tiller 

© Kara Tiller

This couples portrait by Kara Tiller captures a reunion after military deployment. The challenge to this shot? Running after military wife Lucrezia, who Tiller says was like a track star in heels. A military spouse herself, Tiller also endured the stages of hardship and grief that come with a deployment alongside her friend. She feels honored to be able to capture these military couples portraits.

“Having a front row seat as a military spouse has really thrown me into the military photography world,” Tiller said. “I know how special these moments are, it’s something I really can’t put into words. Being able to capture others saying goodbye, reuniting for the first time after 7-11 months apart, even meeting their babies for the first time. I truly believe these moments were meant to be captured and felt if I could even do it for one family, I’d be making a difference.” 

Kathleen Whittemore 

© Kathleen Whittemore

When Kathleen Whittemore spotted a rare Plymouth Trail Duster at a local car show, she knew she wanted to do a shoot with it. The orange tones in the van inspired her to ask copper-haired friend Kate to model for this couples portrait. Whittemore took the image with the Canon EOSD R6 and the Canon 50mm f1.2 lens. 

The most difficult part of the shoot, she said, was the rain. “The shoot took place at a local roadhouse and right as the car arrived, the weather shifted to torrential pouring rain, we had to wait it out a bit, but in the end they all turned out great.” 

Dawn Jarvis 

© Dawn Jarvis

Eloping allows couples to tie the knot in a non-traditional setting — with non-traditional couples portraits like this whimsical dinner with ducks captured by Dawn Jarvis. While the bride and groom planned “cottage vibes” and wildflowers for their day, no one expected the two ducks to join in on the day. The duck dinner was photographed with the Sony A7 VI with the Sony 50mm G lens. 

While whimsical, keeping the ducks in the frame with the couple was a challenge. “The ducks were all over the place so trying to keep them nearby while giving them their space was difficult,” Jarvis said. 

Teresa Johnson 

© Teresa Johnson

When The Mystic Aquarium approached Teresa Johnson about doing a styled shoot in 2021, she immediately thought of Bea and Kristina. She had already captured the couples portraits for their engagement and micro wedding. But, facing a breast cancer diagnosis, Johnson knew her associate photographers would have to shoot the couple’s upcoming big wedding celebration. She credits her associate photographers with keeping her business afloat while she fought — and won — against cancer. 

The beluga named Juno was known for being social and interacting with couples during weddings at the aquarium. During the entire shoot, Juno was swimming in circles and even looked at times as if it was the ceremony officiant. The photograph was taken with a Nikon D780 and the Nikkor 105mm f1.4 lens. 

While Johnson had her first chemotherapy treatment the day before this shoot, she said the most challenging part was getting the framing just right. “I wanted Juno centered perfectly between them, but I still wanted to see their faces and have a strong sense of connection between them,” Johnson said. “Once I had that vision, and Juno was swimming behind them, it was just a matter of shooting through the moment to get exactly what I wanted.” 

Emily Hodge, Simply Blessings Photography 

© Emily Hodge

Emily Hodge captured this couples portrait at the end of a cold family session. While the kids ran to warm up in the car, Hodge wanted to create an intimate photograph of the parents, using the wind to create a real poetic feel. She captured the image using a Canon EOS R5 with a 35mm lens. 

“The most challenging part of the shoot was the chilly weather at this point when the sun was gone,” she said. 

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