Posing Techniques For Flattering Family Portraits

When it comes to family portraits, ultimately the quality of the end result will largely depend on the posing techniques that you and your family use during the shoot.

Posing might be something that you only associate with models, but it is critical for family portraits too. Especially if you want to end up with professional-looking photographs at the end.

Posing Techniques For Flattering Family Portraits

There are lots of different posing techniques that you and your family could use for the photographs that you have taken.

From poses that will clearly make a photograph look staged, to poses that will make the photographs look like a moment captured in time, you can choose from many different options.

In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of 9 beautiful posing techniques that your family should utilize for flattering family portraits. Read on to find out more! 

1. Stand Side-By-Side

The first posing technique that we would recommend is a somewhat controversial one. Generally, posing models side-by-side in photography is a big no-no. But when it comes to family portraits, we find that they can work incredibly well. 

Standing side-by-side in family portraits is great because it really showcases the differences between the different members of the family.

Mom and Dad will typically look significantly taller than their children, and there will often be lots of height differences between the children in the family too. 

No matter whether you stand in height order, age order, or just in a random order, standing side-by-side is incredibly effective in family portraits. 

2. Sit Together

Another great posing technique to use for family portraits is sitting together. Sitting together is brilliant for family photos because it looks very natural.

You expect to see parents sitting with their children and interacting with one another. Sitting together for photographs really allows you to showcase this. 

Some of the best family portraits will be family photographs that look and feel natural. Very staged portraits can sometimes look a little too official and fake.

But sitting together for a photograph allows the photograph to look like a moment captured in time. Almost as if the photographer simply stumbled upon a natural moment with your family.

Just as with standing, sitting together will allow the photographer to utilize angles and shapes that naturally form within your family. This pose will definitely get you some beautiful family portraits. 

3. Stand In A Group

We’ve already looked at standing in a line, but another great posing technique to use for your family portraits is to stand in a group of people. Standing in a line is a staged photograph, while standing in a group can often look a lot more natural. 

Within this category of poses, there are tons of different poses that you can utilize for your family portraits. You can opt for a clearly posed style of standing in a group, or you can opt for a more relaxed style. 

You could simply interact with your children and have photographs taken of you all interacting with one another and smiling or laughing.

Or, you could have photographs taken where everyone in the shot is looking at the camera. No matter the style you opt for, this pose can make an excellent photograph. 

4. Utilize Diagonal Lines

If you have a professional photographer taking photographs of you, then they will likely try to utilize diagonal lines within the photographs.

Diagonal lines make photographs more aesthetically pleasing, and they are brilliant for adding depth to a photograph. 

Utilizing diagonal lines essentially just means that the participants in the photograph aren’t all simply sat together side by side.

Instead, you might have one child laying down in their mother’s lap while their father crouches beside them holding a baby. These lines make the photo more interesting to look at, and easier to take in. 

Utilizing diagonal lines is a little trickier if you aren’t using a professional photographer, however through trial and error, you can easily create effective portraits using this posing method. 

5. Photograph From Behind

Alternatively, if you want a family photograph that looks incredibly fancy, then a photograph from behind is a great idea. If you are having a bunch of photographs taken, then taking a couple of shots from behind is a great idea. 

Photographing from behind is incredibly effective during outdoor photography. If you want to place a small amount of focus on the beauty of the location (as well as your family) then photographing from behind is a great way to do this. 

No matter whether you are taking photos in a place of outstanding natural beauty, or you are shooting at sunrise/sunset, taking photos from behind can be an effective way to get beautiful shots of your family.

6. Close Up Photographs

Another great perspective for photographs of your family is close-up photographs. Most photographs will be taken from a distance, but having a couple of close-up shots is also really fun. 

When a photograph is taken up close and personal, you will get a totally different perspective. This style of posing is perfect for smaller families and could involve close-up shots of the faces of the family, the hands of the family, or even the feet. 

Close-up photographs are totally different from all the other styles of posing we have looked at in this guide, and they are perfect for detailed shots. We would definitely recommend giving them a try! 

7. Candid Shots

Perhaps the most precious photographs that you will get of yourself and your family are candid shots. You cannot really pose for candid shots, but getting yourself into position is a great way to get started with this style of photograph. 

Ensure that you and your family are all standing or sitting in a position that allows for everyone to be seen by the camera. As long as everyone can be seen, the candid shots will be able to capture real-life moments of you and your family. 

Some of the best candid shots will show family members laughing together, tickling each other, or sharing a hug.

Candid shots should capture natural moments of interaction between you and your family, which is why candid photographs will often be your favorites. 

8. Crouch Together

Crouching together is another great way to capture natural moments between you and your family. Standing and sitting together can easily look very staged, but there is something about crouching that just seems incredibly natural. 

If you have young children, then it is totally normal to crouch with them to make yourself closer to their height. You might do this when you speak to them, hug them, and lots more. No matter what you are doing, crouching can look very natural. 

Just like with candid photos, crouching in a family portrait will make the photo seem a lot more natural, and a lot less staged. That is why we would recommend trying out this pose! 

9. Play With One Another

Finally, playing with your family is a great pose for a family portrait. While posing as if you are playing is incredibly difficult, if you simply play with one another, a photographer will have a field day getting natural, beautiful family portraits. 

There is something incredibly beautiful about watching parents play games with their children, and a photograph of this really will take you back to that moment in time. 

So, if you want family portraits that will always make you smile, you should consider posing for some photographs where you play with one another. 


In short, there are lots of excellent posing techniques that you and your family can use for your family photo shoot.

These different posing techniques are perfect for family photographs, and utilizing the proper poses will ensure that you get the correct vibe for your family photos.

These poses are great because they allow you to create natural-looking family photographs without any awkwardness. With lots of different poses to try, you’ll end up with tons of different family photos to choose from. 

Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Stand In A Family Photo?

When it comes to standing in a family photo, the best thing to do is try out a lot of different stances.

Moving around during the photo shoot with the help of a photographer allows you to find the standing position that works best for the photograph.

Often, it is a good idea to utilize angles and shapes to get a picture that is incredibly pleasing to look at.

How Do You Arrange People In A Family Portrait?

Arranging multiple people is the hardest part of taking a family portrait. How you do this will often depend on how many members of the family there are to photograph.

At the center of the photograph, you will usually put the parents, and then the children will be placed around the children depending on how many there are, and how old they are.

It is a good idea to work with different heights to give the photo a lot of depth and character. 

Laura McNeill
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