family portrait poses
examples that give you good ideas for family portraits

How would you like to know how to create beautiful family portrait poses?

It's challenging to pose a family for the first time. It's a skill that takes time to master. I'm still learning, but here are a few time-saving shortcuts to good family posing. 

By viewing the sample photos in this article you will get some great ideas. Using just a few of these simple posing tips will make a dramatic difference. Most of these are outdoor family portrait poses, but you can use this article as a family portrait posing guide for inside and outdoor portraits.

The quality and impact of your final picture can be greatly improved with a few basic adjustments.

After consulting with the client, we agreed on a location for the family portrait shown below.

Family Portrait Poses - 4

We kept the clothing simple, so that it would be easy for all of the families to match colors.

Here are some more tips on Portrait Clothing.

Notice that I spaced everyone fairly equally. Adults are almost always place behind the children and babies.

Since they are so much larger than the "little people," we want their bodies partially blocked, while making sure that everyone's face is completely visible.

Five adults were standing in the back row. Three ladies were sitting on barrels or a posing stool and two men were down on one knee. One woman was sitting on the ground with her baby posed on her leg.

Three children were standing and 5 were sitting. This provides a pose that gives us a variety of heights for peoples' faces.

The photo below is another example of placing the smaller people in front of the larger people. This family of four was photographed at one of my favorite locations.

Family group of 4 posed outside

I had the two young boys pull their feet in toward their bodies.

I posed the parents so that their feet and legs were mostly hidden. This simplifies the image and allows the viewer to focus on their expressions.

Notice that the man becomes "smaller" in the photo when I angle his body a bit to the side.

use chairs or stools for larger family portrait poses

The photograph below was taken at a 50th wedding anniversary. There was no room inside the church hall, so I found an area outside in the open shade. For a definition of "open shade" go to Photography Definitions (This will open a new window.) The sun was on the opposite side of the white wall behind my subjects. The wall was plain and did not distract from my subjects.

Arrangement of 8 family members

In this photograph, I used two adjustable stools for the two people in the middle and made them a little higher than the two end people.

The children on the ends sat on regular posing stools. This makes the bottom row of faces into an arch shape, instead of a boring straight line across.

Notice what I did with the 4 people standing behind. I altered them by taller, shorter, taller, than shorter. This is another way of creating a little visual interest in a family portrait pose.

I took a few poses, then told the children to lean in cozy toward the center and got this great portrait with everyone smiling. The final photography posing tip for family portraits is the "pyramid pose."

Improve your family poses With The Pyramid 

Family of 5 posed inside their home

Once again, I placed the mom and the dad behind their children.

A pyramid is widest at it's base and narrows as you go up. Now look at the "shape" of this pose. Look at all four of the family portrait poses on this page.

Yes, it's true they are not pointed at the top like a true pyramid. But, they are all wider at the bottom and a bit narrower, at least somewhat, at the top.

Portrait Photography Books are a great resource for more information on family portrait photography as well as for tips for posing individuals. Sometimes it's nice to be able to read from a printed book with tangible photos as examples to view.

Family Portrait Ideas. These tips are not absolute rules. Experimenting a bit while you shoot your pictures is the best way to learn to take better digital photos. For some help with creative family posing, try finding some ideas and inspiration for great family portraits. Have fun and experiment as you learn to take better photos.

Family Portrait Photography. What do you need to know to create great family portrait photography? How can you tell what a good family portrait photographer should be concentrating?

Photo mistakes. You can evaluate and edit your photos after your session. You will be able to delete the ones that you consider photography mistakes. If you like this page, make sure to bookmark this web site, so you can come back another time and learn other tips and tricks about digital photography and cameras.

Basic Family Poses. If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in some basic family portrait posing tips here.

Large Family Portrait Ideas. Large family portrait poses present special challenges for photographers. Here are the 6 most common photography mistakes when posing large groups and 3 tips for better poses.

Photography Poses for 3 People. How to do photography poses for groups of 3 people and links to photography posing tips for other-sized group portaits.

There are many things to consider when discovering these kinds of portrait photography tips. If you have an interest in posing families and a few retouching techniques to improve your portraits, here is another article for you: Posing Families.

Family Portrait Books. Tangible printed books can give you a lot of family portrait ideas and information about family portrait poses as well. Here is a link to many photography books at Amazon, the largest on line retailer where I have ordered books and photography equipment.

Here is another source for great digital photo tips. This one is one that you would have to pay for. But sometimes the good things in life do involve an investment. Click Here!

Another source to use for interesting portraits is a book. Copy pose ideas from a good book written specifically about posing for group photos.   

This book has hundreds of samples for groups of three or more people.

"Hundreds of samples provide inspiration and are easily replicated, allowing photographers to customize the source material to meet any type of need."

Have fun shooting family portrait poses!

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