The key to taking genuine and authentic family photos is knowing how to pose in front of the camera. If you’ve never taken professional family photos before or if you simply want to improve on your last session, here is some advice on how to pose that will leave you with exceptional images.
The last thing you want is a family portrait that looks stiff and awkward. The secret to creating a beautiful, intimate family photo is to get close. Snuggle up with the people you love if you want the best photos. Playing games with your clients always helps to ease the stress of a session. I like to play games such as, “Sound game.” I ask the kids what sound does each animal make and after they make the sound, there is usually a genuine laugh or smile to capture. If there are people of varying heights in the photo, take a few photos on the same level so that you can get your heads close together too.
Your photos always look more authentic when your family is genuinely having fun and laughing. Spend time talking about your favorite vacation or a memory that makes you all laugh out loud. These candid moments always make for the best photos. Being silly yourself always breaks the ice. We have lots of convos about boogers and farts. Yes it sounds silly but we’re talking about kids here and if you know anything about children, any convo about those two topics usually makes them laugh!
When you overthink posing, it takes away from the genuineness of your photos, which is why it helps to shoot your family photos in a setting where you’re all comfortable and where you can go about your lives as naturally as possible. For example, if you’re in an outdoor setting, take your little one for a walk. If you’re shooting at home, bake something together or snuggle up for a story.
Very often, standing upright in the middle of a room or garden will make your photos look and feel stiff. Use your surroundings to make yourselves more comfortable. For example, if there’s a wall in the vicinity, lean up against it. If there’s a couch available, pose on that for a few shots. I love to look for unique walls and buildings and incorporate them into the image.
If you would like to change things up a bit or give a younger child something to do, you can also always incorporate a few basic props into your photos to get a few non-standard shots. I actually use to be very prop heavy during my sessions and lug stuff all around but now I keep it simple. I usually ask my clients if they have something at home that is sentimental within their family that they’d like to incorporate and usually they do which makes their session extra intimate.