Posing families is a skill that can take many years to master, but a few simple techniques can make a big difference in the quality of your family portrait poses. In the pose above I directed mom and dad to lean in to show the affection that this young family has for each other.
Outdoor family portraits, like the one below can present special challenges in terms of lighting and finding a location. The more you practice, the more experience you get in similar situations.
In this family portrait pose above, my client wanted to have the photograph be appropriate to enjoy all year long as well as a bit festive for the upcoming Christmas holiday.
She chose red shirts and jeans as a good choice for the portrait clothing. I chose this location in her back yard because of the tall ornamental grasses and more distant evergreen trees as a good background for this family portrait.
I designed the pose to be low to the ground so the grass would show in the background. The ground was a little damp, so my subjects that were down on the ground were sitting on plastic bags, that were tucked underneath and out of site.
It was a cloudy day so the photo lighting was a little too flat from overhead, so I added some fill light by placing a very large white reflector in front of my subjects, just below the camera's view.
I really enjoy posing families outdoors when I can, but it was too windy on the day this family got together for their family portrait.
In this pose I kept the individual families grouped together within the entire group photograph. Sometimes it is difficult to remove artwork or other objects that are mounted on the wall, so it is desirable to retouch the photos after the photography session is done.
Look at the two side by side photos carefully. Can you tell what three photo retouching techniques I used to improve this family portrait?
1. I removed the two wooden wall hangings by using the "clone" tool in Adobe Photoshop.
2. I cropped in closer to have my subjects take up more of the photograph and eliminated a few distracting elements form the edges of the image.
3. I darkened the bottom and surrounding edges to center our focus more on our subjects and less on the home environment of the family portrait pose.
Sometimes when doing group photography, you have to adjust the pose because of clothing choices made by your subjects. If the color of one of your subject's clothing stands out a bit, it preferable to place them somewhere near the middle of your portrait.
If you have an interest in more information on family posing ideas,you may be interested in reading this Family Portrait Ideas page or read the reviews I've written about a few of my portrait photography books.