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What is photography prompting?

Say ‘see ya’ to stiff, awkward photos.

Sat 03 Jun 2023
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As photographers, we know that the key to capturing stunning shots is all about making the subject feel comfortable! One of the easiest ways to achieve this? Prompts! These cues help your subject relax and feel like a natural in front of the camera, turning good photos into emotion-filled memories they’ll treasure forever. Ready to add some A+ prompts to your repertoire? Read on for the three types of prompts to know, along with some helpful examples

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What are photography prompts?

Photography prompts are creative cues or suggestions to use as your inspiration, or as a way to challenge yourself to think outside the box. Prompts can also be used on your subjects as posing prompts! If you find yourself in a creative rut (we hear you) or just struggling to do something new, new prompting ideas can help provide a much-needed shift in perspective and fresh posing ideas.


Types of prompts

There are so many photography prompts out there to help you strengthen your skills and switch up a stale session! Here are some popular examples to get you started:


Fun icebreaker prompts

If your subject doesn’t feel super comfortable in front of the camera just yet, fun photography prompts are the way to go! These cues are all about getting them to loosen up, laugh and have fun during their session, resulting in some truly unique and creative shots. If this is a first-time session with the client, fun prompts can also be a great way to break the ice for a more lighthearted photo shoot.

A few of our fave fun prompting ideas:

  • “Flirt with that plant over there.”
  • “Give me your biggest, fakest laugh!”
  • “Imagine he just spoke and his first words he said was ‘I love you!’”

Fun prompts are a great choice for photographing groups of people – think wedding parties and families – as they authentically capture their energy together!


Emotional prompts

When you need to create a specific mood or atmosphere, tap into your subject’s feelings with an emotional prompt. These prompts are intended to evoke a specific feeling or mood for a truly authentic shot.

Some emotional prompting ideas to try at your next photoshoot:

  • “Take turns sharing with your partner the qualities you most admire in the other.”
  • “Tell me what it was like when you found out you were going to be a parent!
  • “Pretend to be the person who inspires you the most.”

Whether you’re using emotional prompts for an individual portrait or an intimate couples shoot, these prompts will instantly make them feel more connected and in the moment, resulting in some seriously gorgeous images.


Movement/stillness prompts

These posing prompts are all about playing with your subject’s posture and body language to add a playful touch or a sense of calm. Here are some examples:

  • “Walk away from the camera while holding hands.”
  • "Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. Let me capture the stillness."
  • "Spin around in a circle and then strike a pose."

Movement and stillness prompts can be silly or serious – it just depends on the subject and nature of the photoshoot!

Find endless posing ideas and prompts

As you’re searching for new posing prompts, make sure to download the Unscripted app! It’s the only app curated with the professional photographer in mind, and there’s fresh content added every day, so you’ll never run out of inspo. Even better, Unscripted offers free educational guides and resources, so you can strengthen your skills (and your portfolio).

Explore new posing ideas, inspiring galleries and learn how to sharpen your business skills – download the free app now.

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What are prompts in photography?

When photographers prompt their subject, they are giving them a cue to act or react to as they take their picture.

What are some photography prompts for family photos?

“Give them a kiss!”, “Group hug!” and “whisper a secret” are popular go-to prompts for family photography.

What is a fun photo prompt for groomsmen?

Capture the group dynamic by asking them to tell a funny story about the groom!

What is a romantic photography prompt for an engagement photo session?

For your next engagement session, ask each subject to whisper what they love about their partner in their ear.

What is a fun photo cue for young kids?

During your next child portrait, ask your subject to make their funniest face!