lesson: creating raw emotion | with neka rae

Have you ever seen an image and think ‘WOW’ how did they capture such RAW emotion

Today I am going to share with you a few of my favorite prompts in order to achieve raw emotion from your subject. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to capture my clients in an emotional raw state-of-mind, the same way I shoot for myself. I would like to show you how to ensure your subject is comfortable in front of your lens; leading to emotive images. I will share how I capture emotion within various genres of photography since I don't have one particular niche of photography, but rather showcase a "certain" emotive style. 

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Prompt: RUN from the water. I love movement. Any kind. It brings natural emotions.

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Prompt: Now jump in the water really fast. Sit on his lap….look for a wave...embrace each other! (I tend to say random things in the moment)

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Prompt: I want you to cuddle how you normally do, now think about the first time you two said "I love you" to each other for the first time.

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Prompt: Sink bath with lots of bubbles….not let's blow bubbles.

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Prompt: Bring her in close...now tell her 5 reasons why you are marrying her.

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Prompt: Tell her 5 reasons why she will be an amazing mother. (He grabbed her shoulder like this due to the prompt I gave him.)

Prompt: RUN to mom and dad, make sure you give them a HUGE hug from behind!!!

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Prompt: Sit and play with baby, just be in the moment, you want to remember this…

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Prompt: I had asked him what that was on his feet.

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Prompt: Walk up to him and hug him. Nestle your nose into his neck.

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Prompt: Just sit and be in the moment. I want you to remember this moment exactly as it is…(tell them to let the wind blow in their hair. Remind them you are not there.)


The next three images are from my intimate work. I was debating whether to share this work with you, but I realized these sessions are a big part of my "art". The prompts I give during these sessions are very natural and empowering, and also work well when taking self portraits.

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Prompt: I decided to share a self portrait first. I wanted movement in this image, so I made sure to slowly move my arm and shook out my hair. It gives the image such a powerful emotive feeling.

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Prmopt: This image was taken using a lamp for lighting. I told her to roll around on the bed. To feel her inner fierceness.

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Prompt: More movement. We had music playing and I told her to just feel the music, and use her shoulders to flirt.


There are so many more prompts I would love to share with you all, but that would take up this entire blog. I am currently working on a photographers retreat and will be teaching & mentoring over the year and beyond and would love to share more with you!


Thank you for having me hello storyteller. It was amazing to share!

xoxo, Neka