5 Simple Steps to Posing Families

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Group Photography, Portrait Photography

family of 4 posing outside

Do you have a large family photo album with vacation photos that all seems to be the same? Here is the line of family members next to Black Diamond ski lift. Here is another one of everyone lines up in front of Old Faithful. Here is one… well, you get the idea. Would you like to be able to take better family portraits and add some pizzazz to your albums? You might be surprised to learn it is not really as difficult as you might think.

Isn’t Natural Better Than Posing?

Capturing your family when they are relaxed can give you some fantastic pictures. However, professionals know that subtle positioning can make your staged photos better. Remember the last time you had a professional photograph taken? The photographer put you in front of his studio background; asked you to sit down and swing your legs to one side. That was posing. Below are five simple steps that lead to better family portraits with posing.

Five Steps to Better Photos

1. Create Interesting Angles

If people turn to face each other, or turn sideways it creates fewer straight lines. This also helps reduce the “10-pound-weight-gain” that the camera adds. For a slimming effect, turn one shoulder toward the camera to eliminate hard lines. Softer angles between the head and shoulder add interest.

Photo Credit: Ashlee Raubach Photography

2. Use Your Subjects to Create Tight Groups

Eliminate as much space as possible between individuals. This works outdoors, in your home or in a studio in front of a photographic background.

Photo Credit: Photography by Alison

3. Tackle Those Bothersome Hands

For some reason people have trouble keeping their hands still during photography sessions. Hands create all sorts of problems when you’re trying to pose for family portraits. Generally kids are willing to stick them in their pockets. Ladies can clasp hands behind the back or holding a purse or flowers. Gents can fold their arms, or hide them behind the closest family member.

Photo Credit: DeidreLynn Photography

4. Tilt Heads Together

This will create a more intimate mood.
faimly portrait

Photo Credit: Alisa Florence

5. Ask Some Subjects to Stand and Others to Sit

Create levels by having your subjects pose at different heights. Choose an interesting photo backdrop. Think large trees or a picturesque muslin background scenery. All these ideas will add a unique flair to your photo.

Photo Credit: Richard Pizzuti via Flickr

For less cheese and more smiles, take lots of pictures without warning everyone when the shutter will snap.

What are your favorite techniques to posing families? 

Interested in reading more about family portraits? Check out Tips for Taking Family Portraits!

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

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Comments (2)

  • Gail Jones


    These are good tips. Thanks! What about animals? I have an adorable Yorkie that I love to take photos of. Any ideas?


  • Backdrop Express Photography Team


    Hi Gail! Stay tuned, we will post a pet photography blog soon!


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