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A Guide to Posing for Your Family Photos

The key to taking genuine and authentic family photos is knowing how to pose in front of the camera.

If you’ve never taken professional family photos before or if you simply want to improve on your last session, here is some advice on how to pose that will leave you with exceptional images.

Get Close

The last thing you want is a family portrait that looks stiff and awkward. The secret to creating a beautiful, intimate family photo is to get close. Snuggle up with the people you love if you want the best photos. If there are people of varying heights in the photo, take a few photos on the same level so that you can get your heads close together too.

Have Fun

Your photos always look more authentic when your family is genuinely having fun and laughing. Spend time talking about your favorite vacation or a memory that makes you all laugh out loud. These candid moments always make for the best photos.

Keep it Natural

When you overthink posing, it takes away from

the genuineness of your photos, which is why it helps to shoot your family photos in a setting where you’re all comfortable and where you can go about your lives as naturally as possible. For example, if you’re in an outdoor setting, take your little one for a walk. If you’re shooting at home, bake something together or snuggle up for a story.

Use Your Surroundings

Very often, standing upright in the middle of a room or garden will make your photos look and feel stiff. Use your surroundings to make yourselves more comfortable. For example, if there’s a wall in the vicinity, lean up against it. If there’s a bench or chair available, pose on that for a few shots.

Make Use of Props

One of my favorite ways to get candid shots of kids is to let them play in their surroundings. That might mean running back and forth, playing with the rocks and leaves they find on the ground or even bringing along a favorite toy. When you give kids the space to be themselves, you’ll end up with cute and natural poses and smiles. And- once we are ready for that more formal shot, the kids will be more likely to be agreeable if they‘ve had their chance to play.


I love to start out my sessions with a walking pose. I find that walking and talking together while I use my zoom lens, lets your family open up and feel relaxed. From there, we may find a sitting or standing pose or whatever makes sense for your family. You won’t see me do a whole lot to get you into an ”exact” pose; although I may adjust your posture or position slightly. Don’t stress about angles, that’s my job! I will be giving tips as we go along, but mostly we will just have fun!

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