Poses vs. Prompts

Poses (instructions for a static photo) and prompts (instructions for a candid photo) are both important parts of a photoshoot. Without one or the other, the session feels incomplete. The Fitzgerald Family Photos are a perfect example of using both poses and prompts to get a full representation of the family.


Poses are great for getting traditional photos that everyone wants. These photos look professional and are beautiful when hung up on a wall. They're something everyone wants when getting their photos taken and have always been very popular. And for good reason, they look great. As a photographer, I often prefer looking at a posed shot because it generally looks more professional. Below are two of the poses I used for the Fitzgerald Family.


Poses are great, but they can get a little stiff and unnatural at times. This is where prompts shine. They bring back personality to the smiles and feel much more natural. They also add a lot of fun memories to the day. I've had clients that didn't necessarily like getting their photo taken, but during the photoshoot they had huge smiles because of the playful prompts I gave them. Prompts change the mood of the session and of the final gallery, and clients love looking at the big and natural laughs that come from them. Poses are great, but prompts should not and cannot be forgotten when preparing for a session.

Is one better than the other?

Poses and prompts are both great! It's hard to say if one is better than the other because it often depends on who you're shooting. For a single person or senior portrait session, I use mainly poses with a few prompts. For couples, engagement, and family sessions I prefer to use mostly prompts. If I had to choose only one for a shoot, I would choose prompts. You can't beat the natural feel you get from them and the memories you create with your client, which I believe is more important than a beautifully posed portrait.

To see more photos of the Fitzgerald Family, click on the image below