Sitting Poses for Family Sessions

Sitting poses for families are beautiful (and practical!) for so many reasons.

Firstly, it shortens the bodies so that the focus falls on their beautiful faces (which is what they want from a family photo after all!). Many parents who are self-conscious about their bodies will find some security in sitting poses, as they are not body-centered at all, and you can position the kids to be in front of the parents. As much as we assure our clients that they are beautiful just as they are, moms especially are hard on themselves, and it’s our job to make sure we pose them in the most flattering way possible.

Also, for younger, active kids that are on the move all the time, sitting poses will allow them to stay in one spot – plus they are usually held by a parent.

Be sure to provide a blanket or quilt for families to sit on (or let them bring one if they have a piece that is special to them). Not only will it keep them dry and clean, it adds a feeling of homeliness to the family photo.

sitting poses for familiesThis is the classic 2-parent, 2-child pose. Begin by asking the parents to sit “side saddle”, with their legs to the side and behind them. You may have to help Dads with this one by showing them! Their hips should be together and their heads as close as possible. Then just add a child to each lap.

Once you get the posed shot with everyone looking at the camera, you can then let them interact for some more candid shots. Ask the kids silly questions like “Who has the stinkiest feet – Mom or Dad?” to get genuine giggles. Take turns for “Everyone look at Mom. Now everyone look at Dad”. Lastly, give the signal for the parents to tickle the kids, and capture the joyous chaos that ensues!

So many possibilities with just this one pose!

family posing with 3 kids

This is a variation of the classic family pose that works well for families with 3 (or any odd number) children. The 2 parents are still posed the same as in the classic pose, with a child each on their lap, but one child is standing between them.

Make sure that the standing child isn’t too tall – no more than one head taller than the parents. This will allow you to still adhere to the posing triangle principle of making triangular shapes between the heads of the people in the photo.

Because the parents are now not connected to one another in this pose, it is important to ensure that the standing child provides the connection points by touching both parents.

family posing with one child

What if there is only one child? Tummy-to-tummy sitting poses where the child is squished between the parents creates a huge amount of connection.

I usually have only one parent and the child pose like this for some special one-on-one images, then simply add the other parent to make it a family portrait.

They can simply turn their heads to the camera for a more posed look, then carry on interacting face to face for some darling candid images.

family posing with older child behind dad

For families with slightly older children, who may block out the parents when sitting on their laps, having them stand behind the parents works well. This pose can work with one, or more than one child, and can be combined with a smaller child sitting on a parent’s lap in front.

family posing with baby and toddler

With 2 children, I like to assign a child to each parent. I will usually ask “Who wants to sit with Daddy/Mommy?”, and there is bound to be one child with a preference for each parent.

Then it’s simply a matter of keeping them on the same blanket, but only interacting with that one child – play, jokes, tickles, flying – whatever engages them with that child.

It creates a focus on an individual relationship between parent and child, but since they’re still in the same frame, maintains the cohesiveness of the family unit.

family photo with three children

Don’t be afraid to use some props in your family sitting poses. Remember that the session is about telling the story of them as a family, and if that means draping their grandmother’s heirloom knit blanket around their shoulders and cuddling in close, do it!

Sitting poses are also perfect to add that special someone extra … maybe a beloved stuffed animal or blankie, or even a family pet! It all starts with just  knowing a simple family sitting pose!

Pin this for easy finding:

related

Posts

divider

A Passion for Pet Portraits: Making Furry Friend Photography a Profitable Business with Nicole Begley

Contracts, Copyrights, and Copycats: The Must-Do Legal Tasks for Your Photography Business with Kiffanie Stahle

Marketing Mindset Makeover: Why It’s Time for Photographers to Rethink Their Marketing Strategies with Carolina Guzik

The Profitable Photographer: Pricing for Profit in Your Photography Business with Jamie Devlin

The Procrastinating Robot with Lisa DiGeso: Strategies to Deal with Overwhelm & Procrastination

Picture Perfect Productivity: Strategies for Streamlining Your Photography Business with Brittnie Renee

Countdown to Success: Using The Rocketship Blueprint to Propel Your Photography Business Forward with Senior Photographer Sean Brown

Focus on Inclusion: Empathy and Advocacy in Neurodivergent Family Photography with Stacey Feasel

Learning Curves: How Maintaining a Lifetime Learner Mindset Can Help You Master Your Fine Art Maternity with Esther Kay

A Kid at Heart: The Art & Business of Preschool Photography with Trina Julius

The Business of Being Yourself: How Embracing Your Uniqueness Unlocks Your Creativity & Helps You Stand Out in the Newborn Niche With Natasha Simpson

Better Together: How Hiring a Team of Associates Can Help You Grow Your Photography Business With Jill Smith

From Scrubs to Shutter: Balancing Nursing, Photography, and Passion with Shannon McTighe

The Wild Side: Embracing the Beautiful Mess, and Capturing Authentic Connection with Tiffany Crenshaw from Animal House Photography

Golden Moments: Elevating  & Nurturing Client Relationships with Maternity and Newborn Photographer Kellie Golden

The Heart of Photography: Josie Tan’s Approach to Client Connections & Building Relationships in Your Photography Business

Advice From the Pros: Lessons and Reflections From 16 Photographers on What They Wish They Knew as Beginners

Giving Up the Ghost: Releasing the Stories Holding You Back in Your Photography Business.

Practicing Presence: The Healing Power of Slowing Down & Tuning into Mindfulness & Creativity in Photography with Joy Prouty

Inkpot Insights: Crafting Web Magic for your photography business with KP and Jessie from Inkpot Creative

Creating or Consuming: Education as More Than Entertainment, Taking Intentional Action Towards Your Creative Goals

The Art of Elegance: Elevating Your Photography Business Through Client-Centric Strategies with Kayleigh Ashworth

Making Maternity Magic: Empowering Women, Staying Profitable, and Nurturing Creativity in Photography with Karli Braaten

Guiding Stars: 6 Truths from 14 Years in Business & Photography with Lisa DiGeso