Unposed Photography Prompts Instead of Poses for Natural Photos

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Unposed Photography Prompts Instead of Poses for Natural Photos

Unposed Photography Prompts for couples are game-changers for your next romantic shoot!  Why use poses when you can use unposed photography prompts?  The answer is obvious – it’s easier and usually leads to better results!  Here’s why.  When I first meet with a client to discuss a shoot, I often hear them express worry about posing for pictures.  They are worried about feeling awkward in front of the camera or not knowing how to stand or place their hands.  The more I can set the client at ease before we even arrive for the shoot, the better the entire experience will be for everyone.  In the end, our goal is natural, relaxed-looking photos!

I'm the Most Awkward Person there!

First, I assure them that I will be the most awkward person there and that they can’t do anything wrong.  I am here to do the work; they are here to have some fun!  I may give them some basic instructions, but I have found that getting natural expressions is more relaxed if I can get them interacting with one another and just having a good time.

Here is a list of my top 10 unposed photography prompts for couples.  Give them a try!  You might be surprised at how natural the whole process feels.

Unposed Photography Prompt #1

Sexy Cereal

This couples prompt is a perfect place to start!  Have your clients snuggle up close, hip to hip, and have him lean into her ear and whisper the name of his favorite breakfast cereal in his sexiest voice.  You’ll quickly see that the trick with any of these prompts is to be ready with your camera as soon as you speak. You will get an array of expressions, from horror to humor, and all of them are natural and not forced.  This unposed prompt is especially fun to start with because of the element of surprise.

Prompted Maternity Photo used in Promptography Blog Post

Unposed Photography Prompt #2

Blow Raspberries

This unposed prompt is guaranteed to get a hearty laugh, and the men love it!  Prompt the couple to keep snuggling.  While they are nice and close, have him lean in and give her a big ole raspberry on her neck just beneath her ear.  In case you don’t know what a raspberry is, it’s what you do to a baby’s belly when you blow air to make a tooting sound on them (or as my 10-year-old son says, “It’s not tooting, mom, it’s FARTING!”).  Either way, the sound and sensation usually leads to giggles, both with babies and with couples.

If your couple doesn’t seem like the type to enjoy a good, old-fashioned raspberry, you can opt for a soft kiss instead.  A soft kiss on the neck is still an delightful surprise and may give you a whole different expression.

Unposed Photography Prompt #3

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific

This unposed prompt almost always results in some strange looks, followed by a few snickers and some sweet smiles.  The idea is to get your couple cozied up together and then have him lean in and sniff her hair.  Some dudes will take this quite literally and suck up a strand or two, but then others will give a tiny, delicate little sniff.  Either way – it usually leads to a great, relaxed, and fun photo. 

A prompted maternity photo

Unposed Photography Prompt #4

Surprise Attack

Time for some fun!  This time you’ll want to have your lady take the lead.  Have her grab her man from behind and blow gently in his ear. A whisper or a kiss to the ear also works.  It is especially fun if she can jump on his back piggyback style.  No worries if that’s not a great idea.  Not every couple is built for piggybacks and that’s okay!

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Unposed Photography Prompt #5

The Carousel

If your couple is already piggybacked, then this is the perfect time to do a carousel shot.  While she is on his back, have her straighten her legs out in front of him then hold his shoulders and lean back while he spins around in a circle.  Safety first – be sure they are on even ground and ask if they are comfortable doing this.  This shot is really fun if your subject has long hair to catch the wind when they’re spinning around.  Since this prompt is a bit more physical, it may not work for every couple.  As in all sessions, you will want to be sure you’ve had your clients sign your contract, including your safety waiver.

Unposed Photography Prompt #6

Dance, Dip, and Twirl

Prompt photo of a maternity pregnant couple in Promtography Blog Post

Just in case your clients aren’t ideally suited to piggyback rides, here’s an alternate unposed couples prompt.  If they are all about the piggyback, then double up and add this one to your set!  Prompt your couple to act out the first dance from their wedding (or prom, or best friend’s wedding, in case they haven’t enjoyed their own nuptials as of yet).  As they snuggle in for a cozy couples dance, ask him to give her a twirl or a dip.  This unposed couples prompt is super romantic and super fun!

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Unposed Photography Prompt #7

The Soul Stare

Now that you’ve got your couple feeling all romantic, you can quickly move into the Soul Stare couples prompt.  Ask them to stop dancing, touch foreheads, and stare deeply into each other’s eyes as if they are staring into one another’s souls.  Another take on this is to ask them to stare deeply into each other’s eyes as if they need to memorize them, or as if it is the last time they’ll be able to do it.  You might get some deep emotion here.  Or more giggles.  Either way – run with it!

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Unposed Photography Prompt #8

Kiss with Your Teeth

Couples love a romantic photography prompt.  Prompt your couple to share a gentle kiss.  After they’ve enjoyed a sweet smooch you can lighten the mood back up with this next request.  Ask them to kiss each other with their teeth.  I know – it sounds strange, actually, downright odd, but you will get some exciting expressions, I promise!  Remember, it’s not about the pose, it’s about the moment you’ll capture with this unposed photography prompt.

Unposed Photography Prompt #9

Nose to Cheek

We’re closing in on this photoshoot, but you’ve got a couple more unposed couple prompts to work though.  This time, have one partner draw a shape with his nose on the other’s cheek.  This works great for either guy or girl.  The nose knows no limits here (ya see what I did there?)  You can also have them spell something…  be creative and make these prompts work for YOU.  There is no science in prompting – it’s all about having a good time.

Photo of a couple posing with a prompt

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Unposed Photography Prompt #10

Walk This Way

Maternity photo of a couple for a promptograpy blog post

Unposed prompting is all about getting your couple to interact with one another.  As your couple walks away, take a few snapshots of them from behind.  When they get far enough away, and you’re ready, ask them to turn around and walk back to you, but to keep holding hands.  Snap away gloriously – these shots are golden.  You can zoom in close or pan out wide to get a variety of shots.  You can even ask them to lean in for a kiss partway back to you.

For more incredible prompt ideas, check out 10 Photography Prompts For Natural Family Sessions from Simply Snapping Mom!

Couples Prompt Results

The Most Natural Photo Shoot EVER!

By this time, you’ve likely used enough unposed photography prompts to call it a day.  If not, keep going.  Be creative and come up with some new ideas for prompting interaction.  Remember, when your clients are having fun, it will show on their faces and in their body language.  When your couple sees their portraits, they will have great memories of the day they spent together and their time with you.  Be sure and hand them a few business cards before you part ways for the day.  They’ll be so happy with their results they’ll want to send all their friends your way!

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2 Comments

    • Wonderful! I’m so excited to hear about your results. Be sure and join my FB group where you can share them! Oh – and have fun!

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