I really did just use the word “poses”!! GASP!!! Haha 🙂 Just kidding…but, as a “lifestyle” photographer, I pride myself on not offering super “posed” shots! In fact, at the beginning of my photography career, I kind of refused to say that I posed people. However, I have learned – and completely accepted – that poses are not bad!! 🙂 In fact, I use poses as my starting point during all of my family sessions.
The poses simply allow the clients to know they’re doing a good job! It helps get the look you want, to stay organized, and to have a flow for your session.
Here are 3 go-to poses that I use at almost all of my family sessions.
I always put mom & dad in the center, close together. Then, I place the taller children on the sides, and the smaller children in the front. I try to separate colors (like the 2 black shirts) whenever possible. You can also have mom or dad hold the baby/toddler. You still get the same idea. Make sure everyone is close and that their hands have something to do (no one likes awkward hands)! Have them put outside hands in their pocket, hold someone’s hands, put their arm around someone, etc. Just NO AWKWARD HANDS! 🙂
If the children are little, I have them all hold hands and walk. If the kids are bigger, I just have them close to each other. Sometimes with older children, the parents can have their hands on the child’s back as they walk…or the kids can hold onto mom or dad’s arm (if hand-holding is uncomfortable). But, for littles, holding hands always works! I have them walk away and then walk toward me. You may have to modify like the image above. Dad is holding one of the little boys because he was upset. That’s ok!! It’s still precious and shows love & connection!
When I have them walk toward me, I often ask them to stand still for a second so that I can take a portrait of them holding hands, like in this image. I’ll have them look at me for a few and then look and smile at each other. 🙂
3. SIT & SNUGGLE
One of my favorite “poses” with families with little kids is the “Sit & Snuggle” pose. I have Dad sit first however he is most comfortable. Then, I have Mom sit right next to dad (booties touching). Then, I pile the kids on them and around them! 🙂 I love the love, joy & connection that comes from this pose! The best part is all of the extra “unposed” shots you can get while they’re here!
It’s amazing how many wonderful “extra” shots you can get by just zooming in, changing your angle & perspective, etc. The clients don’t have to move! Just you!! See how a “posed” shot can lead to more?!
So, there you have it! Those are three go-to poses that are perfect for families! Even if families have older children, these still work great and can be modified!
But…as you transition from one spot to another; as you give the kids a break; as one little needs a bit more attention for a minute…just KEEP SHOOTING!!! The next images are “extras” that are not within a given pose! I got these just by watching life unfold and being there for it! 🙂
I hope you found this helpful! Whether you are a photographer or simply want to take better pictures of your own family, I encourage you to try the three main poses, to always use different perspectives within those poses, and to never stop shooting during the “down times”!!
And…just for your info…here are the stats for most of these images.
Time of Year: September
Time of Day: between 6:45-7:45pm
Camera: Canon R6 (this was my first shoot using my new camera)
Lens: I used the Canon 35 f/1.4 for this entire session
Settings: Aperture (f-stop) – 2.8 ISO – between 400 & 600 Shutter Speed – around 1/1250
If you have questions, just ask!! Have a great weekend!!