Emotive + Authentic Posing | PA Based Couple + Elopement Photographer | Rachel Bond Photography

Emotive + Authentic Posing

Discovering your style along with what makes your soul and heart sing while shooting is tricky, and it takes time. When I first picked up my camera in 2011, I thought all photography was the same. I didn’t realize that there were so many different styles, avenues, and directions to go in. When I learned that, I then wanted to shoot everything and dipped my toes into it all. After many years of shooting, I finally got a grip on what I wanted to specialize in – couples, elopements and emotive storytelling. Now after all of that and what I thought was the hardest part of my journey, next came learning how to get those natural and organic interactions in photographs that I wanted so much.

Most of what I’ve learned came from tagging along with local photographers that inspired me, following photographers whose work resonated with me, joining a few Facebook groups, and investing what felt like all of my money into workshops (both online and in person). But it was well worth it! I learned so much and was able to build my skills and knowledge and apply what I had learned into my own business.


Movement prevents stiff images and awkwardness, even the subtlest movement. Have them look back and forth, sway, walk, run, etc. I always tell my clients to pretend I’m not there, and to not look at me unless they’re just naturally glancing in my direction. I have this conversation at the very beginning of our session.


Using prompts instead of poses helps foster those genuine reactions and avoid the stiffness of the “look here and smile” pose. If you give them a task/game to play, it’s easier and more enjoyable for them, (especially for men, who usually get dragged to a session by their wives and are only there to please them. #happywifehappylife). Here are some of my favorite prompts!

For couples:

·      Piggy back ride

·      Pretend you’re drunk and walk towards me

·      Wrap her up and smell her eyebrow

·      Go in for a kiss in slow motion

·      Twist yourselves into a pretzel

For families:

·      Ring around the Rosie

·      Bear hugs

·      Cuddle up and tickle fight!

·      Whisper a secret into mommy’s ear

·      What color are daddy’s eyes?


Get silly, tell jokes, play music, compliment. Doing things like this helps make your clients feel more at home with you. I’ve done some questionable things while shooting to make people laugh. I have a playlist on Spotify that I play during a session to break any awkward silences. I always tell them after every few shots how perfect and great they look to help boost their confidence.

·      Oh! I didn’t know you were a model!

·      You look so great! Keep it up!

·      DON’T MOVE! You guys look perfect! *click*

Also, always make sure they’re comfortable physically and aren’t in a weird position or pose. If it doesn’t feel natural or it hurts them, it’ll come through in the images. Which is the exact opposite of what we want. So always try to stay mindful of that. 

Here are some examples:

“Go in for a kiss in slow motion!”

“Go in for a kiss in slow motion!”

“Wrap your arms around her and sniff her eyebrow!”

“Wrap your arms around her and sniff her eyebrow!”

“Cuddle up and have a tickle fight!”

“Cuddle up and have a tickle fight!”

“Pretend like you’re drunk and walk towards me.”

“Pretend like you’re drunk and walk towards me.”

Another great tip is to write down all the poses you want to use, and then take a picture of it on an empty memory card, so when you blank or freeze up trying to remember all of your poses (it happens to the best of us) you can just flip through on your camera and find it quickly, and your clients wont know the difference!

Some other helpful resources are the Promptography group on Facebook (free) and the India Earl Posing Workshop ($450 but well worth the investment!)

Here are the links:

While I specialize in couples, these tips can be applied to any genre of photography. I hope they helped you in some way and I can’t wait to see how you use them and how they work for you and your biz!

It is more important to click with people than it is to click the shutter.
— Alfred Eisenstaedt