When I am working with a family, my main goals are to capture love and connection; a glimpse into the essence of what makes a human relationship.
I do not want my clients to have images that are stiff and uncomfortable (albeit well-dressed) versions of themselves. I want them to end up with images that convey a feeling, and that bring them back to a fleeting moment in time.
Without a sense of connection you are simply capturing the pose and their outfits. Perceivable connection gives family photos a human feel, and makes everything contained in them appear genuine.
Once you give yourself the creative freedom to go beyond traditional, stiff and posed family portraits, you can create artistic and emotive images. I like to think of my approach more as guiding than posing.
One of my favorite ways to achieve this is through movement. Capturing connection with movement creates a captivating portrait. I will often ask the parents to hold hands and stand back and ask the children to hold hands and walk or run toward me.
Posing tip: to get the whole family involved in movement, I ask them to hold hands and spin around in a circle slowly while singing a song. Another option is to ask them to hold hands and walk away from or toward you, or engage them in an activity like playing in the waves.
Simply encourage them to play, run, jump, or splash. They will have fun and you will capture a real moment.
Movement creates a dynamic layer of connection. The viewer is drawn in by the authentic facial expressions and body language that come out when the family is moving. The viewer is connected to the activity, even if more static, perhaps pondering what the primary subjects are doing. It is as if the viewer has a private glimpse into the family’s unique relationship or dynamic.
Family portraiture can be artistic and intimate. I encourage you to relax and enjoy your family sessions. Explore the deep love and connection that is present in every family, and discover how to convey these emotions through your creative work. A successful session will often inspire a family to invite you into their usually private, intimate world.
P.S. I have a FREE family posing guide just for you! Hit the button below to get it straight to your inbox.