How To Pose Families During a Photoshoot For Natural Authentic Results

Posing is not a simple task, especially with kids or big family groups. And when it comes to authentic posing, it becomes a real challenge since people will default to their performative posing instead of going with the flow.

Posing families during photoshoots is an important part of creating authentic results because it helps to capture the family’s unique connections and dynamics. It can be difficult to get families to relax and feel comfortable in front of a camera, so it is important for photographers to create an atmosphere that is laid-back but still professional.

Photographers should strive to foster an environment where the family can be themselves and interact naturally with each other.

In this article, I will go through some posing ideas and tips to use to get authentic results

Grandpa & Grandson by Johnny Cohen

Why authenticity matters for family photoshoot posing

Family photos are different from other photos you take, mostly because a family photoshoot session is about capturing the family’s love as much as possible. 

Your assignment is to freeze into image the connection and the love of the family members with whatever emotions they display. It’s a lifestyle photography assignment but in a family setting.

Remember that people expect you to guide them, so be prepared with the working flow. It is even recommended to create a routine to follow but by routine, I don’t mean boring. It’s just you need to master the flow of the photo session.

Another challenge is to keep in mind that families have a short attention span in photoshoots, especially with kids. If you want to keep them engaged you need to cap your photoshoot duration between 45 minutes to 1 hour. The last thing you want in a photo shoot is bored people’s faces; at this level, you have lost the sole aim of getting their joy captured.

So in the following section, I will give you some tips and hints to get natural photos.

Tips to capture natural emotions during photoshoots

  • Get to know your subject: Spend time with your subject before the shoot to understand their personality and what makes them feel comfortable.
  • Communicate clearly: Make sure your subject knows what you’re trying to capture and what you expect from them.
  • Creating a chill atmosphere: Creating a relaxed atmosphere is important to capture the family in their most natural state. This can be achieved by making the family feel comfortable and at ease, by playing music or by having them move around.
  • Tickling kids
  • Spinning holding hands ( Parents spinning holding a kid..) Spinning with a dress.
  • Holding kids up in the air
  • Scaring kids from behind
  • Kids circling parents
  • Casual walk, or tell them to bump into each other or talk to each other as they walk. Let them walk longer than small steps; first steps tend to be awkward as everyone is trying to be natural and as they are trying it becomes unnatural.
  • Kids in front and parents in the back
  •  Whispering little secrets
  • Telling kids jokes: Don’t be conventional, we all know that telling people cheese only produces plastic unnatural smiles: instead throw some genuine unexpected jokes, and let them crack out of natural laughter.
  • Ask kids to tell you a little story and pick the story in the middle and find whatever is exciting in the story to interact more with them.
  • Unless needed, don’t look into the camera
  • For more than 3-people families; you can tell them to look at someone; this makes each one of them find someone to look at. They will often change their minds and look at someone else. This creates a variety of photos to capture and choose from at the end.

Final thoughts

Creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere during family photoshoots is essential. Photographers should strive to make the experience enjoyable for everyone involved, from adults to children.

This can be done by having conversations with each family member about their interests or life events and providing light-hearted props. Photographers can also ask open-ended questions that can help break the ice, such as asking kids what they look forward to doing after the photo session or inviting them to tell a joke.

Engaging in these activities can lead to genuine smiles and help capture those special candid moments of connection amongst family members during their session.