Family Portrait Poses - Wonderful Ideas and Tips for Family Photos

Are you seeking great ideas for family portrait poses?

Getting the family together to pose for a group photo is difficult enough, and trying to find the correct family portrait pose can be tricky. Below are some guidelines that might help you to create something memorable.

If you are posing the children for a family portrait, it's no good expecting them to all line up, smile at the same time and look natural; you have to find a way of distracting them and be ready to capture their natural smiles while they are having fun. You will need a fast shutter speed in case one or more of the children move.

Find an area or background the children are comfortable with, such as a play gym in the garden or a tree that they love to climb and that will provide natural framing for your photo if you can get them all to peek between the branches at the same time - this is much more fun for them than having to pose in an awkward group and smile for the camera.

Making a pose with one adult and child always looks more intimate if they are facing each other and looking into each other's eyes than if they are standing or sitting side by side and facing the camera. If you are taking a picture of an adult and baby, have the adult gaze down at the baby, who hopefully will respond with a smile.

Groups of people are more difficult to arrange for family portrait poses; it's so hard to get everyone in the picture and looking natural at the same time. One rule of thumb is to make a 'pyramid' shape, or as close to a pyramid as you can get, with the taller family members at the back and the smaller ones at the front - this may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many people get it wrong!

Place the parents and taller people at the back, either sitting or standing, and have the children arrange themselves in front of the parents - if the taller people are sitting on chairs, have the children sit on the floor in front of them and spread them out to form a wide 'base' for the pyramid. This is a variation of the standard 'staircase' family portrait pose, where the taller people stand at the back with the shorter ones, or children, standing in front.

Another idea for a family portrait pose is to have everyone wear the same colored clothing. I have a beautiful photo of my nephews and nieces where they are all pictured wearing dark sweaters and are posed against a dark background. The resulting photo shows all their faces without any distractions and is printed in sepia tone. It is a very striking photo, and much admired.

You've heard people say that a video of someone always adds ten pounds - well, the same can be said of photos! The easiest way to solve this problem is to have everyone turn one shoulder slightly towards the camera - that way, everyone appears to be thinner than they would be in a head-on photo. This trick makes the photo a little more interesting - as does having people tilt their heads towards each other. And we all know the secret of hiding that double chin - tilt your head up a little while turning slightly towards the camera!

Here's another tip for family portrait poses - once you have everyone where you want them, start to talk to them while you're snapping your pictures – that way, they won't stiffen up and look like mannequins on parade. The resulting photos will appear much more natural.

So get everyone together and organized into the grouping of your choice and snap away. The results should be an improvement on past family portrait poses.

Have fun!

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