My 5 Favorite Prompts to Help Families Have Fun
These prompts can help even when things don't go the way we hoped

A story about when a session went wrong:

One day last fall I had an evening full of back-to-back mini sessions scheduled. Before I could even get through my welcome information with one family, the 3yr old fell and skinned both his hands. Just like that the mood shifted. He was hurt and all he wanted was to be held by his mama. The mom attended to him, made sure he was not seriously injured and decided to keep going. I was certain at this point that I wouldn't be able to take any images with him not huddled in his mom's neck. There were just 15 minutes to turn this around and get a few great family photos before the next family showed up.How could I possibly save this? I alternated between checking on him and using my regular playful prompts with them and it worked. Thankfully, I was able to offer a number of really great shots to my client.

Let's face it, not everyone is always on board with having a photo session. No matter how much you prepare them, things don't always go as planned. I have a few tips, tricks, and prompts I've developed over the years to help the process go more smoothly. I start the session off with a few of these and it works almost every time. These prompts help everyone get used to the situation, warm up to me as the photographer, and to the idea of having a camera constantly trained on them.

5 Prompts That Work

Who is the...

Look at the person who is the messiest. Now, look at the person who is the stinkiest. Who is the best dancer? Who is the best cook? Worst driver? Snores the loudest? Who does the dog prefer?!!

This always gets big laughs and participation from everyone present. Who doesn't love to blame someone else in the house for being the stinkiest?!

Potty Language!

Potty language! I say “For the next 30 minutes you won't get in trouble, what word are you not allowed to use? Yell it as loud as you dare!” For younger kids the word is usually “stupid” or “fart” and for the older crowds yelling “damn” or “shit” usually elicits huge laughs. One time I even had a teen run through his entire list of known cuss words in one long run on sentence. He then immediately doubled over in laughter. Are you smiling just reading this?

Exactly! Works every time.

Fake Laugh...

Fake laugh until you really start laughing. Have you ever found laughter to be contagious? Even when it begins as fake laughter I guarantee you it won't take long but eventually everyone is giggling.

Inside joke or family nicknames

Inside jokes or nicknames. Every family has them. Tell me an inside joke your family has that no one else understands.


Celebrate like you just won a million dollars!

Depending on the age of your children some of these might work and some might not. I always tell my clients that they have complete and total control over choosing if these prompts work well for their family. If for some reason one of my prompts makes them uncomfortable they need only to say "SKIP!" and I'll move on to another prompt.

Want to learn more about booking a session with LR Photos?
Fill out my contact form to get in touch with me.

What does a session with me feel like?

What to Expect Guide

Not ready to book but still want to stay informed?

Email List Sign Up

Using Format