Photography Tips

The 5 best basic poses for family portraits

Getting the whole family together for a portrait session can be tricky enough as it is. Then you have to figure out how to pose everyone?! That’s a whole new challenge. Thankfully, there are some simple poses that look beautiful, no matter the size of the family. Check out the top five ideas below!

Line up with the oldest generation in the middle

This pose works beautifully for any family session, whether it involves three people or 30. All you have to do is put the oldest generation in the middle, such as grandparents or parents, and line up from there. Multiple kids can go on either side of a set of parents, as seen above.

If you have several generations in the group, you can section everyone into smaller families. Think “family tree.” Just remember that if you do have a big extended family, you might have to put people in rows rather than one straight line.

Hug the parents or the siblings

Photo taken for Ashley Canning’s family in 2020 by Shannon Christopher Photography

Hugging photos are perfect for splitting the family into smaller groups. This way, the photographer can get close-up shots of siblings, or maybe children hugging the parents. Just make sure everyone is comfortable with that — not everyone is a hugger, and that’s okay! You can always do other poses in these smaller groups, too, like smiling at each other or candids.

Candids — especially with younger kids

Speaking of candids…embrace them! Especially with younger kids involved — a toddler might not pose perfectly. Rather than forcing them to pose and ending up with a stiff photo, let the kids explore a bit. The photographer can get some shots of the children making funny faces or holding something up for mom and dad to see. Any time there’s a smile, that’s a good photo op!

Sit together on something

Photo taken for Ashley Canning’s family in 2020 by Shannon Christopher Photography

Depending on the location, sitting photos are always good, too. This works well if you want to split the group into a standing row and a sitting row. Or, for smaller groups, everyone can simply sit beside each other with similar foot and hand positioning. The more natural it looks, the better.

Tallest in the back, shortest in the front

With a really big family, creativity can get difficult. Your best bet might be to get at least one photo of the classic “tallest in the back, shortest in the front” scenario to ensure everyone fits in. If you want to spice things up a bit (and if there’s enough room), you can space everyone out slightly and do a mix of sitting and standing, as seen above.

Contact October Dreams Photography to schedule a family portrait session!

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