Family Portrait Poses
"The best family portrait poses help reflect the emotional bond,
closeness, and character of the family members."
Posing Parents or Couples
My favorite pose for couples is the close head and shoulders shot shown here.
Have the female partner look towards the camera and lean in towards the man. Have the man look more towards the woman in a calm adoring manner.
This reflects much more of a bond than both of them looking at the camera. It may take a while to get the right look but it is worth pursuing.
For more in depth explanations and examples of good poses, professional photographer Malcolm Boone has written a wonderful book called 'Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide' . It covers just about every aspect of posing a subject.
One of his techniques explains how to simplify the human form into body lines and a silhouette. It is really cool.
For more about this book and how it may help improve your portraits Click Here.
More about Family Portrait Poses
Posing Just the Children
Find an activity that the children like to do. Allow them to play and, when they are close together, be ready to capture natural smiles that reflect the blissfulness of childhood.
Note: This technique may require shooting at a faster shutter speed than normal just in case the children are moving.
Another good technique for posing children is to look for natural framing that will help reflect their character.
My son enjoys climbing so I let him climb a tree and captured the photo to the left. The opening in the tree offered a great natural framing opportunity.
Other great natural frames are windows, openings in playground equipment, and even front load dryers. Just keep your eyes open, these opportunities pop up all the time.
Posing One Adult and One Child
One way of reflecting the closeness of a parent and child is to have them look at each other while smiling or laughing. Direct eye contact conveys familiarity and bonding.
If the child is an infant, try to schedule the shot for when the baby is normally sleeping. Have the adult hold the baby below chest level and look down at the baby in a caring manner. Take shots of this at several different angles.
Group Family Poses
For these family portrait poses, I am not talking about a family reunion size group, but about 3 to 5 family members. For this you can never go wrong with the classical staircase (shorter members up front and taller members near the back). Shoot for more of a diamond positioning than a square.
For this type of pose, direct contact such as hands on shoulders conveys closeness. To spice things up a bit, go for a theme.
Another technique for posing is to schedule the photo shoot during a family activity that everyone likes. If the family likes camping, take the shot with a campfire setting. For more on this, check out
Family Portrait Ideas.
The main idea is to experiment with poses that go beyond the normal classical studio poses. While they often do produce a nice portrait, classical studio portraits tend to blend in with all the other ones that we see.
Experiment with some of the family photography poses that I have presented and you will notice that your family portraits will start to stand out more. Above all, have fun!
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