One of the classic family photo poses is having the family stand together. “I have everybody standing together. They smile at the camera, and then they interact with each other,” explains family photographer Olivia Matia. “I like to do the first grouping with everyone looking at the camera, smiling — think of your classic Christmas card family photo.”
Babies and toddlers held against a parents’ hip opens the adult to face the camera more directly. Try positioning taller kids beside a parent, while putting the shorter kids directly in front, highlighting the physical dynamic without creating too much distance between family members.
Posing ideas involving hugging and cuddling are essential, especially with younger children and babies. If the kids are on the shy side, let them cuddle up to their parents — it’s an opportunity for a more intimate, quiet moment.
Have fun with it. “Hold the child almost Lion King style, lift them up, and get the kiddo to laugh,” Matia says. “Sometimes I’ll say, ‘On the count of three, everybody tickle…’ and then I’ll name one of the family members. They’re usually shocked to hear their own name, and then everybody is tickling and laughing.”
Parents walking while kids frolic in the foreground can create a depth of field effect for dynamic family photos. For a side-by-side walk, have parents or kids hold hands as they stroll, and encourage the family to observe their surroundings, especially during outdoor photography.
After some wandering, capture some beautiful family photos in a more relaxed setting with sitting poses. “Wherever it is, I’ll lay a blanket down and I’ll have everyone pile in,” notes Matia. Hint: Get the entire family on a cozy couch and take an opportunity to snap some close-ups while the kids stay still and parents can relax.
A family photoshoot is a great opportunity to capture candid moments that explore the family members’ personalities. Once your subjects are comfortable with the camera, opportunities for unexpected photography poses often present themselves on the fly — so snap away.
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