The Best Photography Prompts for Natural Photos

by David Em

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A good portrait shows the subject in a flattering and authentic way. An excellent way to make a subject relax is to use photography prompts.

Person wearing sunglasses and leaning against the front of a van.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

As a photographer, you must be able to create a comfortable environment.

Unless you’re taking pictures of a model, your subject may be nervous in front of the camera.

You can make your subject feel at ease with positivity, kindness, and compliments.

Also, use photography prompts to help you achieve natural-looking poses and interactions.

The following is an extensive list of photography prompts to try.

What’s a photography prompt?

Photographer taking a picture of a model in a studio.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Photography prompts give your subject instructions for a pose.

Traditional posing guidance can lead to stiff and uncomfortable subjects.

Prompts allow you to evoke emotions and guide people through a pose.

It’s a way to cue a reaction or movement as you capture photos. It involves moving, leading to candid shots.

Aside from better pictures, it provides a better client experience.

Since the prompts are generic, a subject can move as they usually would. It ensures they feel natural and comfortable.

They won’t feel out of place or awkward throughout the session.

Photography prompts for individual portraits

Person wearing a hat and touching their hair outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

One-on-one portrait sessions can intimidate a client.

Before taking a photo, build rapport and make the subject feel comfortable. Then, you can use photography prompts to capture stunning portraits.

The following are the best prompts to capture natural photos of individuals.

  • Pretend to be the person who inspires you the most.
  • Take three steps forward and three steps back.
  • Think about your most embarrassing moment as you were growing up.
  • Tell me your favorite dad joke.
  • Adjust your shirt.
  • Adjust your watch.
  • Look at the nearest sign and give it your best smile.
  • Run your fingers through your hair.
  • Twirl yourself in a circle.
  • Who’s your favorite actor or actress? Smile for them.
  • Walk away from me and turn around when I say, “Turn.”

Photography prompts for families

Two kids hugging their parents from behind on the couch.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Family photos cherish a moment in the family’s life. Each family is unique, and showcasing their personalities is essential.

Happiness, love, and trust are significant aspects to capture in a photo.

The following are the best prompts for family photos.

It ensures everyone in the family has something to do and looks authentic in the pictures.

  • Stand behind your parents and give them a big hug.
  • Tickle the kids.
  • Hold hands and walk towards me.
  • Everyone look at the same person.
  • Talk about your favorite meal to eat as a family.
  • Let’s have a dance competition.
  • Parents, touch heads while holding your kids.
  • Do you see what’s in my camera?
  • Whisper a secret.
  • Let’s have a no-laughter challenge.
  • Hold someone upside down.
  • Look at your parents and tell them that you love them so much.

Photography prompts for couples

Couple sitting on a bed on the beach.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

When photographing a couple, you must capture the essence of their relationship.

Love, passion, and connection are crucial aspects to focus your attention on.

The following are excellent photography prompts for couples.

  • Softly snuggle your noses.
  • Gaze into each other’s eyes with a gentle smile.
  • Find your partner’s most ticklish spot.
  • Lift and spin your partner around.
  • Hold each other’s hand and run.
  • Do your first dance.
  • Give your partner a piggyback ride.
  • Sniff your partner’s ear.
  • Walk towards me and bump hips.
  • Give a hug from behind.
  • Lean in for a kiss but stop right before you kiss.
  • Walk towards me like you’re drunk with your arms around each other.
  • Play with each other’s hair.

Photography prompts for groups

Group of people standing in a line and laughing.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

When shooting group photos, you must be able to tell everyone what to do and ensure they look good.

Posing each person is challenging. So, use prompts to make it straightforward.

It can be a group of friends, coworkers, or people at a networking event.

The following are the best photography prompts for groups:

  • Everyone jump on the count of three.
  • Switch places with someone else.
  • Pick someone in the group and pose as they would pose.
  • Let’s do a giant group hug.
  • Look at the person who takes the longest to get ready.
  • Stand facing the right and tickle the person in front of you.
  • Everyone, look at the tallest person.


The goal of posing is to make a subject look natural and genuine.

Photography prompts are an excellent method because they evoke emotions. They offer an easier way to pose without frustration.

Aside from the photography prompts, compliment your subject and always be positive.

Now you can capture natural-looking photos your client will love.

Related: How to Give Photo Credit

Featured photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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