What is a prompt?
I like to explain prompts as being guided candid photos. I help set movement and offer direction for couple to play out in order to produce natural photos that highlight their relationships dynamic.
Every couple's dynamic is uniquely different from the next, therefore the prompts and approach I use for them varies. That being said I do have my 'go to' prompts.
Walk together like you're tipsy
The majority of us have been in a state of intoxication where we're a it wobbly on our feet. Walking in a straight line takes devoted concentration. Maybe we're grabbing for our friend or partner's shoulder or arm for balance. That's essentially what you're going to play out in this prompt. A joyful and flirtatious tipsy stroll with your person.
Whisper something in your partner's ear
This one is pretty straight forward. I'll be at a far enough distance so whatever you say is only heard by the two of you. It can be silly, sweet, or even seductive. I think this is a perfect general prompt to use in order to really let the dynamic of a couple's relationship shine. Some couple's say something to make their partner laugh, other's say something intimate that make's them melt. No matter what route a couple takes, the photos always end up being so complimentary to their love.
Twirl & Dip
This is another one that's rather self explanatory. The classic twirl and dip is a fun way to bring playful movement into a session. I promise you don't have to be coordinated to make this one look good. Have fun with it, and the photo will create itself. I love the individuality that is bred from this prompt. Some couple's shots turn out elegant and poised while others end up looking playful and have an almost childlike lighthearted energy.
Laugh into your kiss
I'll be the first to admit that this one sounds and feels so odd, but that's honestly part of what makes it work so well! Ultimately you're going to go in for a kiss with your partner, and as you're going in for the kiss, just start laughing. The laughing becomes so effortless and natural, because who wouldn't start laughing at something so unnatural like this, and I promise you the photos (though it may not feel like it in the moment) come out so beautiful and flattering.
Airplane arms into an embrace Probably the most goofy feeling prompt out of the bunch, but it produces these fun and playful shots that end with a heartwarming slow embrace. How it works is one person will stand behind the other. Both people bring their arms out and entwine their fingers with each others, swaying their bodies back and forth, and from side to side while keeping their arms out and moving like an airplane. It's playful, so laughing, silly faces at your partner, etc. are all encouraged! After a bit, you'll have them bring those arms into a dramatic embrace, slowing down the movement, and allowing the couple to take a moment to just be close with one and other. This prompt offers so much variety in emotion, and the constant movement helps keep couples from feeling too stiff and unnatural in front of the camera. It's honestly a guaranteed success!
The list of prompts could go on and on, and I'll most definitely be making more of these posts in the future of so many others I love to use with couples. I hope that the biggest takeaway you get from this post is not the prompt themselves, but the trend in all of them. No matter the prompt, the ultimate goal is highlighting a couples personal dynamic with each other and making sure they have a great time during their session. I never want a client ending a session with me feeling unhappy or having not enjoyed themself, and prompts offer a way to produce beautiful moments to photograph without the stiffness static poses can sometimes provoke!