Family Portrait Posing Ideas for Every Family Photographer


s a family photographer, it’s important to be quick on your feet, fast with your posing, and intentional with your entire client experience. Toddlers move fast, and having a plan in place before you walk into a session will ensure that you leave each family portrait experience feeling accomplished and confident that you have created images your clients will cherish for generations. 

To help you prepare for your next family session, we’ve partnered with some talented family photographers in the CloudSpot community to share some of their best posing and gallery delivery tips. From must-have poses to building confidence as a newer photographer, we’re covering a lot today!

Must-Have Family Portrait Poses for Every Family Photographer

While we encourage you to be creative with every family session you photograph, it’s also important that you create images that your clients expect to see in their final gallery. While every family gallery will be unique, there will be a few classic images that each client will hope to see in their final gallery. Here are a few must-have images from the CloudSpot Community! 

“My absolute must have pose for every family session is having the family sit down together. Bringing the parents down to the kids level makes for some of the best images! It allows the parents to interact with the kids comfortably while you are able to get those awesome shots!” - Natalie Dupre

“I love having parents lift toddlers up into the air! It gets laughs and natural reactions from everyone and helps shake off any nerves the littles may have. Once they are warmed up, I love telling littles to "sneak attack" their parents!” - Sandra Henderson

Photo by Sandra Henderson

“My must-have pose for every family session is at least one photo of everyone looking at the camera and smiling. These are the photos clients put on Christmas cards, grandmas print and hang in their living rooms, etc. Beyond that, anything that comes naturally and really shows the family's love and connection.” - Sadie Peterson

Advice for New Family Photographers

Are you new to the family photography niche? Everyone starts somewhere! Keep these tips from family photographers in the CloudSpot Community saved for success at each session you photograph!

“One thing that helped me tremendously was creating a “family photos” mood board on Pinterest! Doing this has allowed me to have inspiration right at my finger tips and also allows me to include my clients in picking out poses they liked as well! There is no shame in taking your phone out and looking at other images for guidance… we all have to start somewhere! - Natalie Dupre

“When you're working with littles, the more instructions you give, the harder it is for them to understand. They'll get overwhelmed and lose interest fast! Instead, keep it simple, and demonstrate what you want them to do so they can copy you!” - Sandra Henderson

“Have 2-3 poses picked out beforehand that you can remember. Coming prepared and not having to make up poses on the spot is super helpful for everyone! I try really hard to make it as organic as possible while still providing plenty of direction and really letting the kids take the lead as much as possible. A few of my other favorites would be having mom and dad back to back, each with a kid, and snuggling, hugging, and tickling them. Throwing the kiddo up in the air is always a winner, and then of course you can't go wrong with a good walking picture, especially focusing on the kid(s) in the middle or in the foreground.” Sadie Peterson

Photo by Sadie Peterson

Creative Family Posing

Having fun with your family clients is one of the best parts of the job! Looking to add a new spark of creativity into your typical family posing workflow? Save these tips to use at your next photo session! 

“Play the game of telephone! This works great for families with kids ages 3-10. I have found it to be most successful when I pose them sitting down and give specific instructions. I choose a child around 8 years old and tell them to think of a funny sentence to say. The sentence must have 3 things: an animal, a place and a person from their family. Then they whisper to one person, who whispers the message to the next person, all the way down the line until everyone has heard the funny sentence. The last child to hear the message gets to say it loud for everyone to hear. This gives me lots of opportunities for capturing genuine emotion and cute candid photos and it also makes it a fun experience for the whole family.” – Kyla Shurtz

“One of my favorite prompts to capture laughter is to make a sandwich— mom and dad each on a side of the kid(s) and then squishing faces together, kissing, hugging, etc. This usually captures some fun faces and genuine smiles and laughter. I also love to bring a blanket to sessions and use it for kids to run under or even make a hammock out of. The more games the better. And ultimately, the kids take the lead!” - Sadie Peterson

Photo by Sadie Peterson

Using CloudSpot for Your Family Galleries

Families are busy! After their session, it is important that downloading images and purchase prints is an easy client experience. With CloudSpot, you’ll impress your clients with grandma-proof downloads and a print store designed to help them visualize which products they should order for their own home. You’ll save time from back-and-forth client emails with this easy process and earn more money through print sales in the process!

“CloudSpot has changed my business for the best! It allows me to deliver my clients images to them so easily and keeps the image quality beautiful!  I love how I can customize each client’s gallery with the many features it has! My clients are a huge fan of the app feature which allows them to have their gallery right on their Home Screen!” - Natalie Dupre

Photo by Natalie Dupre

“I don't remember a time when I didn't use CloudSpot for delivering my photos! It has made the delivery easy for my clients to access and download their images.” - Terrence Wong

“It's made things like mini sessions so much easier! I love being able to give my clients a discount code so they can easily self-guide themselves through downloading the photos included with their session, and order any extras if they'd like to.” - Sandra Henderson

“CloudSpot has made everything so much easier for me and my clients! From how easy it is to download the photos directly from the email, printing photos from their gallery and even the ease at which they can share their gallery with other family members and friends has been amazing. My clients never have questions about how to download, share, or purchase prints, which ultimately makes for a user-friendly experience.” - Sadie Peterson

Photo by Terrence Wong

“The two things that really make a difference for me are the client app and branding matching. Every single client of mine gets a personalized app where they can easily access their photos with one click from their phone! It is so convenient and my clients LOVE it! I can also customize my galleries to match my branding. When clients access their gallery, they see my logo and my branding colors, so it really carries a professional look through every step of the client experience.” - Kyla Shurtz

Simplify your family portrait photography experience by getting started with CloudSpot!

Post Cover Photo by Sandra Henderson