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    My 3 Favorite Family Posing Prompts

    I love capturing beauty in everyday life. When families come to me for photography, my job is to capture their joy, love, and laughter in this season of their lives.

    During every session we try to get a shot of everyone looking at the camera and smiling, but I LOVE capturing candid moments in-between.

    Here’s a little secret: Adorable candid moments hardly happen by accident. *gasp!*

    True, I can’t force their giggles or genuine smiles, but I can set up an environment for those things to take place. My favorite way to do that is with POSING PROMPTS!

    Posing prompts are simply verbal cues I give my clients to get them to do something. They aren’t difficult or complicated. They’re actually super simple! But they’re designed to allow for those sweet candid memories to happen.

    Here are my favorites to use:


    “Run and give Mom/Dad big hugs!”

    boys with their dad in a family photo session

    This one is SO fun! If I’m having a hard time getting a kid to cooperate, this is a great prompt for them to get a little bit of energy out.

    I’ll have Mom and/or Dad stand in a spot (kneeling down if the kids are smaller). Then I’ll have the kids come stand by me. I tell them to wait until I say, “Go!” and then run and give Mom and Dad hugs!

    (The kids love the anticipation, so I try to drag the countdown out a bit to get them more excited.)

    The end result is priceless! I like to have them do it twice so I can get a few different angles. I always put the focus on whoever’s face I can see. It’s the BEST!


    “Tickle fight!!”

    Tickle fights are always a blast! Sometimes I have the parents tickle the kids, and sometimes it’s the kids tickling each other.

    I’ll have the grouping sitting together and smiling. We capture that shot first, then I’ll tell them to give tickles! I make sure to be specific so everyone knows who is tickling who. (i.e. “Mom and Dad, give the kids tickles!”)

    Once the tickling starts, I snap TONS of shots to make sure I get at least one good one! 


    “Mom & Dad kiss…Kids, cover your eyes!!”

    4 kids with parents kissing at harlinsdale farms in franklin tn by nashville family photographer

    This one kills me every time!! It’s one of those shots that HAS to be framed. I love it because it captures an intimate moment between the parents, but also a silly moment with the kids!

    I’ll have Mom and Dad stand pretty far away from me facing each other. Then I bring the kids about 8 feet in front of them facing me. I tell the parents to kiss, and the kids to cover their eyes. I egg them on with a little “EWW!” and “GROSS, COOTIES!” to get some great reactions. The sillier their faces, the better!!

    Make sure to put your focus on the kids here. It’s super important to have a shallow depth of field (lower f-stop) so the kids are in focus and the parents are blurry. I get down to the kids’ level and frame mom and dad in a place where I can see most (if not all) of their bodies. 

    The end result is to die for!!



    If posing families isn't a strength for you (especially for mini-sessions), check out my Complete Family Posing System! It's PACKED full on resources, and it's just $27!! Inside I share…

    • My family posing workflow that I use in every single mini-session
    • 60 posing prompts for you to use to get real, genuine moments to capture
    • A sample full gallery so you can see those poses in action
    • BONUS: Up-selling crash course (Because once you get that full gallery, you HAVE to up-sell it!!)
    • BONUS: Up-selling email template (so you know exactly what to say and how to say it)


    Click HERE to find out more!

    You  may  also like…

    “4 Tips for Shooting Family Mini-Sessions”

    “How and When to Reschedule Mini-Sessions”

    “How to Price Your Mini-Sessions”




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