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Top 5 posing prompts for authentic family sessions

Having fun and making memories.

Mon 30 Aug 2021
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Written by Heather Marshall

When it comes to family photo session prompts, I’ve got ya covered! I’ve photographed about uhhh gaahzillion! Kids LOVE these prompts! Your clients will have so much fun, they probably won't even think they’re taking photos! But you must be prepared...the kids will ask you to come to their house and play afterwards!!

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Ready. set. run!

This is a new favorite of mine! I prep the family by telling them we are going to race. I line the family up right in front of me, with their backs to me. I tell the parents to hold hands, and I tell the kids to hold each other’s hands. Be prepared for the kids to say no to holding each other, so just adapt to what they're up for!

Then, I say READY? SET?


And you snap snap snap!

London bridge

This is a classic that always works! You must have a blanket. A light color blanket works best, so it's not too dark on their faces. Have each parent hold the blanket on each side like they’re laying it down for a picnic. Tell the parents to wave the blanket up and down like they did with the parachute in school (man, that was the best day in gym class). Then show the kids how they can run under the blanket, before it “gets them” or “london bridge falls down”.

Demonstrating is key and makes it more fun! Teach them how to go around the parents and back through the middle so you can get many opportunities to snap a great photo. If they will, try to get them to run under the blanket holding hands.

Dino screams

This one is my go-to when the kids aren't feeling it, or they need to relax. I have my camera ready and my focus is on their face. I then say, “what does a dinosaur say?” They will of course


You should scream like you’re scared. The funnier you act, the better. Then, be ready to snap because they’re usually giggling!

Spin moves

I love movement in photos. My favorite thing is when the wind blows moms hair while she's holding her baby. The drama of her hair makes an image so emotive. The problem is it's not always windy! So to get this image at each session I tell the mom to hold her baby and spin around in circles. Make her spin in the direction that makes her hair go away from her face. I also like this pose if the kiddo is crying, because spinning is fun and they will usually stop crying and start laughing.

Blanket swing

I saved this one for last, because you should do this last at your session. This is so much fun for kids, they don't want to stop. Then you're stuck not knowing what to do because your session just started, and they're crying because they want to swing 50 more times! The parents grab each side of the blanket, just like London bridge, except this time they lay the blanket down to get the kids “loaded up.” The kids lay down with their feet out, closest to you. Make sure the blanket is even, if there are 2 kids put the heaviest kid on dad's side. Tell the parents to start swinging and snap away!

I hope these fun session prompts give you success at your next session!

xoxo Heather

For more inspiration from Heather Marshall follow her photography Instagram account and if you're interested in learning from this true talent check out Heather’s resources on heathermariemarshall.com

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What are prompts, and how can they enhance family photography sessions?

Prompts are creative and engaging cues or actions that help evoke natural and candid moments during family photography. Using prompts encourages families to interact authentically, resulting in fun and heartwarming images that capture genuine emotions and connections.

Can you provide some examples of prompts for family photography sessions?

Certainly! Some prompts for family photography include "Give each other a group hug," "Whisper a secret to one family member," or "Tell a funny story that happened during your last family trip." These prompts encourage laughter, interaction, and genuine expressions, making your photos more engaging.

How can I introduce prompts without making the photography session feel forced or unnatural?

The key is to approach prompts with enthusiasm and a lighthearted attitude. Share the prompts as fun and playful suggestions rather than strict instructions. Encourage families to make the prompts their own and enjoy the experience. This way, the session remains relaxed and enjoyable.

Are prompts suitable for family members of all ages, including kids and grandparents?

Yes, prompts can be tailored to suit family members of all ages. Adjust the prompts to match the family's dynamics and the age of the participants. Fun prompts for kids might include games or imaginative play, while prompts for grandparents can be nostalgic stories or shared memories. The goal is to make everyone feel comfortable and involved.