How to Pose Subjects for Family Portraits

One of the most important aspects of family portraits is the pose. You do not want it to look forced or stiff. At the same time, you do not want everyone scattered about the photo or some people hidden behind others. Below are some idea for poses that you may want to consider will taking a family portrait.

Natural Interaction

Sometimes, the best pose is one that is not posed at all. Have the family interact together, tell some jokes or even dance around. This may take away from the jitters of having your picture taken or entertain a child who is apprehensive or just refuses to smile. These candid shots may be the most special because family members will look natural and in their element.

Tilt Your Head

This creates an instant intimate feeling. This will also allow the subjects to feel more in control of their portrait. Having the subjects' heads tilting toward each other brings the photo together, instantly transforming it into a photo and not just a group of strangers posing together.

Hide the Hands

There are few things more awkward in a photo than the position of hands. Whether the subjects are shoving them in a pocket, holding them flat against their legs or place them in their lap. The best advice as to what to do with their hands is to hide them. Have men fold their arms and women simply place them in their lap.

Use Props

A favorite classic pose is that of the family lined up on a staircase. You can line them up from oldest to youngest, tallest to shortest or however you like. Using a couch or other familiar object will help a famil recall those special memories and make the portrait more special.

Use a Theme

If the family all enjoys the outdoors, consider taking a shot outside during an event such as skiing or snowboarding. This will help a family feel more comfortable in their element. They will not feel as if they are posing as much as they are having fun in an activity. If the theme is Christmas, try to think of poses other than a family in red sweaters, standing in a line. Have the family stand around the Christmas tree, staring at the lights in awe. You can also attempt to face the elements for a few minutes to get that perfect shot of the children making snow angels.

Get Close

Have your subjects put their arms around each other or even embrace for a picture. A big sister kissing her little sibling always makes for an adorable shot. A nice shot is also of just the hands of the family, all clenched together. This will symbolize the closeness and bond that the family has.

No matter what pose you decide, it should never look forced. A happy, sincere family makes for the perfect shot. Experiment with various poses to decide which is the best for you. Taking several shots will help you decide on which look the best.

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