Posing Tips for Big Families


As a mom of 5 and film photographer, I’ve learned a few things when it comes to what makes for a smooth family session. We’re talking special needs, big feelings, big messes, and lots of love. I’ve seen it all and heard it all, so there’s very little that surprises me when working with young ones.

Some people think we’re crazy, but daily life with five boys under the age of 10 makes for a beautifully full life. One that I want documented with beautiful photographs. 

I got to thinking about what makes for the smoothest sessions when working with families like mine, and here are a few posing tips for big families from one mom and photographer to another. 

Grace Paul Photography posing tips for big families

Six Posing Tips for Big Families

  1. Sit down

If you’re looking to get everyone in one place and looking at the camera, have your clients sit down. Chances are someone will still be wiggly, but at least they won’t be running.

2. Utilize sibling relationships 

If a young child or toddler isn’t cooperating, have an older sibling step in and help out. It makes them feel special, and the littlest ones will respond much better to a brother or sister than a stranger or mom and dad. 

posing tips for big families

3. Take breaks

This goes for all sessions, but take frequent breaks to allow a breather for all parties involved. If one child needs some time to regroup, this is a great time to focus on smaller groupings or relationships, like mom and baby, or even individual photos of other children. Let kids run around or get a quick (non-messy) snack. Then bring everyone back together to keep going.

4. Give mom and dad a chance in the spotlight

Alone time can be few and far between, but helping parents remember the importance and beauty of marriage helps families stay together when things get tough. I often hear that mom and dad haven’t had photos of just them since their wedding, so they’re often elated to get some new images highlighting their love.

5. Highlight each individual relationship

Often times larger families are viewed as a whole. And it’s easy to get lost and forget individual personalities. As a mom of multiples, I love when photographers take the time to highlight each of my children’s unique personalities.

6. Have grace for yourself 

It’s a lot of work, but the gift that you’re giving your clients is priceless. There is no one size fits all workflow when working with big families. You have to be able to move and adapt as things unfold, and that’s okay! Parents of lots of little ones are used to rolling with the punches. Having grace for yourself, and for them, goes a long way. 

how to pose big families

At first, working with families with several children may seem a little overwhelming, but a big family means lots of love to photograph. Remember to get families sitting, utilize siblings, take breaks, let mom and dad shine, highlight individual relationships, and have grace. You’ve got this!

Grace Paul is a mama to five boys, blogger, educator, and photographer in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves using her knowledge to teach other photographers how to build fulfilling businesses and create art that makes their hearts sing. To learn more about Grace’s educational offerings and mentorships, click here.

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