Family & Wedding Formal Posing

great example of interacting with families for portraits

How to Pose Families for Portraits and wedding formals

great example of interacting with families for portraits

Get Everyone To Smile

Posing a family for a portrait may sound easy enough, but when it comes down to it, it can be one of the most difficult tasks for a photographer.  Especially when you have large groups such as wedding formals. To read more about shooting weddings visit, wedding photographer long island, Jasmine. A lot must be considered when devising a family portrait sitting, from location of the shoot to the individual personality of family members to the arrangement of each person in the frame. To get the best portraits, consider these quick and easy tips for posing families.

Traditional Poses

Traditional family photos usually involve a cluster of family members in various stages of sitting, kneeling, or standing. To make such portraits feel more dynamic and alive, consider the following:

  • Find an uneven surface such as a staircase or a gently sloping hill. Have each family member stand (or sit, or kneel) in a manner such that each person is on a different plane, thus avoiding similar eye and head levels, which increases visual interest.
  • Force small personal bubbles so people aren’t awkwardly far apart. Even families will start out with far too much distance between them; your job is to get them looking as if they like one another!
  • Ensure no one is covered up by staggering each person in the composition of the photograph. Remember it’s not just the eyes that you need to see; it’s their whole face.
  • Use triangular composition to give interest to the photo. Place more people on the bottom to give width, and place one person at the top of the pose. Doing so gives the impression of the family being a single unit.

Candid Poses

Traditional posing has lost some luster in recent years in favor of more candid family photos. Letting the group interact with one another more casually can allow you to capture some truly beautiful moments. When utilizing candid poses, keep the tips listed above in mind, while also giving these techniques a try:

  • Running toward the camera can garner nice movement and flow. Just be sure no one is covered up!
  • Encourage physical contact such as hugging or cheek-to-cheek posing. Having children piggyback their parents is another fun technique.
  • Have families look at one another, rather than at the camera, to give photos a more natural feel.
  • Get the family laughing in order to capture truly genuine smiles, rather than those that can seem forced in more traditional portraits.
family posing examples

Bad Example- only the kid is smiling

These same tips work for engagements and weddings as well.  Especially for the dreaded formal wedding pictures after the ceremony.  These can prove to be some of the hardest types of portraits to take.  The reason being is you have very little time to take several separate groupings.  To make matters worse you will be responsible for posing between 20-100 people.  Yes, you read that right, 100 people.  This is one of the most difficult things that wedding photographers have to deal with. So before you start shooting weddings you are best to have a lot of experience in posing families!

Ultimately, the type of pose you use will come down to what the family wants. Some clients will want something traditional while others will want nothing to do with such formal photos. Whether you pose a family in a traditional or candid manner, you’ll employ the same basic techniques for getting the best shots and creating memories that last a lifetime.  To understand more about what goes into shooting weddings and many of their nuances make sure you check out my friends blog who is a wedding photographer in long island.

For further information on posing family’s check out this youtube video



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