When I first started my career as a family photographer in Boston, my work felt stiff and formal. I quickly realized that in order to get the look I wanted to achieve, I needed to incorporate prompts into my work. Prompts are the key to a Lifestyle Family photographer’s magic. Once I have a family in an attractive position in beautiful light, including prompts brings individuality to the images for each unique family. Figuring out what types of prompts to use can be tough! Today I am here to share 5 of my favorite prompts for family photography sessions.
I know, the most ridiculous prompt there ever is. I never promised you these would be innovative! Here’s the thing though, you’re not looking to capture the moment right when you say this and they awkwardly try to fake laugh. What you want is the moment that comes after this when they actually laugh because the fake laughing (particularly when kids do it) is so funny/ridiculous. That’s when the genuine smiles happen!
Next up in my list of favorite prompts for a family session deals with closeness. People tend to stand/sit laughably far apart from one another when posing for a picture. Everyone knows that when you’re in your own home and comfortable, your kids are ALL OVER YOU, all the time! We want to recreate that feeling of comfort and love and familiarity. This requires getting families CLOSE together. The way you prompt this might differ depending on the family you are working with. Some ideas are:
Walking adds life to photographs. People who feel nervous in front of the camera also tend to relax when given a movement task. For families, a great way to get active kiddos to stay with their family (instead of running away) is to have everyone link hands and give each person a turn “pulling” their family member. I shot these particular images from the side for a silhouette, but you can also have kids pull their parents towards you.
This prompt is typically a big hit in the 2-6 year old crowd. They love being tickled and trying to “get” their siblings and parents. While kids don’t usually *need* these prompts to loosen up, parents typically do! Once I situate everyone, I’ll make sure to snap a few frames of everyone looking and some calmer, more snuggly images first. Tickling comes last because it always riles everyone up ;).
Although the above prompts for a family session involve motion, it bears repeating! Over 50% of my session prompts involve motion because little kids need movement. If you want to get the 5 and under crowd to have fun and be excited for an hour family session, you’ll have a hard time if you’re not playing active games. Some of my favorites are:
"To say that I love each one would be cliche and a total understatement, but seriously... She nailed it. Being a photographer myself, I am very picky and searched dozens of photographers before coming back to lyndsay and booking her and I am so glad I did. I can't even remember the last time I hired a photographer and was this in love with the images and unable to pick just a few favorites. Thank you, lyndsay, for making the photo session easy (with 3 kids), fun and providing this mama memories for a lifetime.”
"Our images are so special and really captured our joy and the sweet personality of our little girl. Lyndsay did a great job going beyond the typical posed shots and making our photos feel authentic. We will treasure them forever."
- amanda, northborough
"We have done multiple sessions (family and newborn) and we’re so happy with the results. Lyndsay makes you feel comfortable and is able to truly capture the moment. We will have her prints hung in our house for years to come."
- beth - framingham
"We've done it all - newborn, maternity, cake smash, family photos - and every single time we are amazed by the quality of the end product. Lyndsay captures beautiful moments that we will treasure forever!"
- nicole - framingham