Posing is not a skill that is learned overnight. Just like all parts of photography, it takes practice. Posing can be stressful, complicated and even totally awkward at times…

My name is Kylee and I have put together 5 of my very top posing tips that will help you have more success when posing families and couples.  Are you ready?  Here we go…

#1: Show Them!

Photography Family Portrait Posing Tips

You have to show your clients how you want them to pose! If you want them to sit and cross their legs, sit and cross your legs first. Not only will it prevent confusion, it will also make your client more comfortable. If they see exactly how you wanted them to pose then they won’t question how they are supposed to do it. They won’t feel silly and they won’t feel wrong.

#2: Use Your Environment and Location

Whether they are sitting on a rock, or leaning their shoulders against the wall, the client becomes 100 times more relaxed when they have something to do. If there are no rocks, benches, trees, cars or other object around, make sure at least the hands have a purpose. It can be anything from a hand on a hip or in a pocket, to grabbing their jacket or hair.

Photography Candid Family Portrait Posing Tips

If the child or children aren’t cooperating, add everyday moments! Bring their favorite toys or books, start a tickle fight or hold hands and swing. It may not be the hang on the wall photo that you were hoping for, but keeping it real with everyday elements still keeps it special for the family and relaxed for the children. After they calm down, try another pose.  

#3: Distract Your Clients From Themselves & Never Stop Talking

If they feel awkward, they look awkward. It’s that simple. You have to get the client to think of something besides how they look for the camera. Get them talking, laughing and focusing on you instead of the camera. If you put them in a pose that makes them feel uncomfortable, change it. Respect them and let it be clear that you care about how they feel.

Engagement Photo Posing Tips

From the moment you meet to the moment they leave, you need to keep talking. Get to know your clients. Ask about their jobs, schools, teachers, friends, children and what’s most important to them. If you stop talking, it gets awkward especially if a couple is kissing or cuddling. Always keep the conversation going to make them and you feel more comfortable. Step back and let the family or couple talk to each other as well. It allows them to relax as you get candid pictures.

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#4: Make Connections and Keep it Comfortable

Coles Classroom Posing Tips

As a photographer your job is to capture the love and relationships within a couple and family. Connect shoulders, hold hands, touch shoulders, or have them wrap their arms around each other. For couples, encourage cuddling nose-to-nose, forehead-to-forehead or just front-to-back. Keep them connected and keep them touching!

#5: Begin Collecting Poses From Magazine and Blogs

Top Family Portrait Posing Tips

Scroll through Pinterest, your favorite magazine or a photographer’s blog to see what kind of poses stand out to you. Cut them out or pin them and look through them often to feel inspired. Copying each pose detail for detail will kill your inspiration and creativity. Instead, decide why you like that pose and how it makes you feel.

For example, on my Pinterest account I like to pin Lifestyle family photos. Instead of remembering where the dad was in relation to the mom or where the daughter’s hands were, I remember what kind of things they did in a photo. Were they looking at each other, tickling each other, holding hands or reading a book?

If you liked this post & want more posing tips: “How to Photography People: 10 Tips Guaranteed to Improve Your Photos!”

I sure hope that you found these quick posing tips helpful and you can put them to good use right away and come up with more natural and candid photos for your families & couples!  If you have any questions or comments (or any tips to add to the list) let me know in the comments below!


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