Family Photography Inspiration – Posing with Babies
Posing with babies can be a daunting task for the family photographer. Most posing guides will tell you to direct kids to sit here, stand there, walk over here, run towards that … but what do you do when your littlest clients are babies that are still non-mobile?
We’ve assembled some photo inspiration for you to take you beyond the “hold baby on your hip” standard and put some variety in your family posing with babies!
Let’s start with the basics…
The easiest way to pose babies is to simply not pose babies! Let a parent hold baby while you pose the rest of the family, and baby then becomes a “accessory” in the main setup.
Basic, but different
The downside of treating baby as an extra is that it can cause baby to become a transparent member of the family. So figure out things that will make baby stand out. It can be as simple as wrapping baby in a special blanket, or as dramatic as letting them go au natural! Noone is going to ignore that little bum!
Get close to baby
Don’t be afraid to crop tight on the parents! Change your angle and use a shallow depth of field to maintain the focus on the little one.
When you embrace family sitting poses, it doesn’t matter that little babe can’t stand or walk! Just put everyone on the same level, cuddle in close and capture their connection. And sitting poses don’t have to be just traditional “look at the camera” photos – encourage tickles and play, and your candid captures will be on point.
… or lie down!
Get horizontal – baby will most probably end on top of the parents!
Come down to their level
Keeping the same concept in mind as with traditional sitting poses, you can put baby down first, letting them lie or crawl or sit whichever way they prefer. Then add the adults to the mix.
The assisted walk
If baby is strong enough to stand with assistance, you can capture this very classic shot by simply having the parents hold baby’s hands. It emphasizes just how small in stature these little ones are. You can include one parent as in this example, or have 2 parents on either side each holding one little hand.
Dads love it, moms usually gasp, but this shot is always a winner! Shoot from a low angle, and the height will look exaggerated for an even more dramatic fun family image!
And if they are too little for a full toss, just a little flying will work beautifully too!
Focus on the details
Not every family photo needs to have everyone’s faces in it. Take time to focus on the little things that mark this special time, when their baby is still so little, and capture that. Snuggles into mom’s neck, protective arms scooped under baby’s bottom, tiny baby toes – those are all fleeting moments that are such valuable memories to capture.
Attention from the siblings
If an older sibling is part of the session, asking them to focus some attention on the baby makes for some sweet images. Absolutely try for a kiss, but know that not all kids are willing to kiss their siblings. In that case, asking the sibling to smell the baby’s head because it smells like strawberries/chocolate/poop (whatever works!) will still result in an intimate portrait.
One-on-one with Mom or Dad
Make time to capture just a parent and their baby without other family members to pay homage to the special individual relationship. A tummy-to-tummy pose (or half-tummy) ensures the two people can look at one another and interact, which is exactly what you want to capture.
Not only does dancing keep kids engaged and chuckling with laughter, the movement captured makes for a romantic, candid image that shows off all natural expressions.
Try to find activities that the whole family can be involved in for your candid shots. Sure, baby will need extra help and the type of involvement would look different, but it still shows that this little one is very much part of the family and can enjoy activities with them.
Indoors – just let them be
If you are doing an in-home family session, posing with babies really means that you can let the family do everyday life with their baby. Diaper changes, cuddles in bed, tummy-time in the living room – families will love this glimpse into their real lives.
Come in close
In the end, allowing the tenderness and wonder of parenthood to reflect in your posing with babies is all that matters. Just ask your parents to come in real close and look at their baby. The look in their eyes and the smile on their lips are as real and honest as any photographer could wish for.