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The best prompts for posing individuals

Go to prompts to make your next session a breeze

Mon 17 Oct 2022
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Out of all the different photography sessions out there – we’ve found that posing individuals can sometimes be the most difficult.

Whether you’re photographing high school seniors, maternity, boudoir, or portraits for personal branding, there’s something about photographing individuals that requires you to be extra on your game as a photographer. There’s nobody for your client to hug, or hold hands with, or chat to. It’s just you, and them. Sometimes you’ll be behind the camera and they’re just staring at you all awkwardly, like… “what’s next?”

Here at Unscripted, we’re all about the art of candid prompting. And although a lot of people think about posing and prompting as being in opposition to authenticity, it’s actually the opposite.

If you, as a photographer, take charge of the moment by giving your clients gentle direction and prompting, it takes a whole lot of pressure off the individual. They’re not stuck trying to think of the next pose, or how to move their body, and it actually helps them relax into the moment and be their natural selves in front of the camera.

Taking charge with confidence requires you to do a bit of prep-work before your session. If you can create a flow of poses that feel fluid and comfortable, you’ll have the best chance at capturing the emotion-filled images you and your clients will love.

The first ten minutes of the shoot are probably going to be a little awkward, and any photos you take are probably not going to be your best. This is totally normal, it can take a little while to get warmed up! Your best bet is to start out with some fun icebreaker poses to get everyone in the mood. Then, it’s time for the energetic poses. These are the big-mouthed, extroverted ones. Spinning, yelling, twirling… anything with lots of movement! Once everyone’s feeling all loosey goosey, it’s time to dive right into the raw, emotive heart of it all. That’s where the intimate poses come in. These are soft, sweet, and sure to tug on the ‘ol heartstrings.

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Here are some examples to get you inspired – so you can walk into your next shoot with confidence!

Icebreaker poses



You can only take three things with you to a deserted island. What do you take?



Which celebrity would be your dream client?



Tell me what it was like when you found out you were going to be a parent!

Energetic poses



Flirt with that plant over there.



Give me your biggest, fakest laugh!


Show me how excited you are to be a mom!

Intimate poses



Trace your body with your finger.



Look as angry as possible for a sec!



What’s 18 x 36?

Our fave pose right now



Reach up and pluck the sun out of the sky!

Once you’ve nailed a few individual photo sessions, we’re sure you’ll figure out a flow of your own. But while you’re building your confidence and figuring out what works and what doesn’t, stick with it – this is an amazing place to start.

Tried and tested by our thriving community of photographers, it’s the answer to you and your clients feeling more comfortable on shoot. Plus, you’ll get the beautiful, natural photographs they’ll look back on for years to come.

Check out the Unscripted App and start selecting some poses to bust out at your next shoot!

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Why are prompts important during individual photo sessions?

Prompts serve as valuable tools to help individuals feel more relaxed and expressive during photo sessions. They encourage genuine emotions and interactions, resulting in more authentic and engaging photographs.

How do prompts contribute to capturing authentic emotions and expressions?

Prompts guide individuals to react naturally to specific cues or actions, promoting real smiles, laughter, and genuine expressions. By engaging with prompts, individuals become less self-aware and more focused on the moment, allowing their true personality to shine through in the photos.

Can prompts be tailored to suit the personality and preferences of each individual subject?

Absolutely! Effective prompts are adaptable and can be customized to match the individual's personality, interests, and comfort level. Photographers often communicate with their clients beforehand to ensure the prompts align with their unique characteristics.

How do prompts enhance the overall experience for individuals during a photo session?

Prompts create a fun and interactive experience for individuals, making the photo session enjoyable and memorable. It fosters a positive atmosphere, building trust between the photographer and the subject. This not only results in authentic photos but also leaves the individual with a great experience to remember.