Coming up with posing for groups of any size is always challenging. But trying to pose large families will give you a run for your money! You want people to look relaxed, to look good, to all fit in the picture, and to have fun all at the same time! My sister Erika and her husband have 7 children, which makes for lot of fun for family pictures. You can see my tips for what to wear at a session here. Erika totally nailed the outfits!
I thought I would give a few tips for posing large families:
1. Have a good mix between formal poses and relaxed poses. It’s nice to have a formal posed picture where they are all looking at you, but getting a family to really act out their personalities is so important! Getting everyone together for a group hug is a sure way to loosen everyone up and get some genuine smiles.
2. Don’t be afraid to man handle your clients. I heard some reputable photographers talk about the horror of man handling your clients, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Instead of trying to spend 2 extra minutes telling the 13-year-old how to put his arm a certain way, just walk up and move it. Those 2 extra minutes are minutes you may need to keep the 3-year-olds attention!
3. Prepare. Look on pinterest, or google search “Tips for posing large families”. Having a few poses in mind will come in really handy when your mind goes blank!
4. Keep talking and laughing. Nothing is more awkward during a photo shoot than silence. Keep telling them how fantastic they look and do whatever it takes to get them laughing at you.
5. Don’t forget different angles. It can be a lot of work to pose 9 people in relaxed positions. Once you have them there, try moving yourself around a lot while they are in the same pose. Have them all look at each other and make a funny face. Tell them to look at their favorite sibling. And all the while, move to different places and get different angles. This will give you a few different images to proof without having to position them all over again!
6. Remember individual and couple shots. Chances are, if you are shooting a big family, the mom and dad don’t get much time by themselves! Don’t forget to get some pictures of just mom and dad. Of just the girls. Of just the boys.