47: Posing Your Kids

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One of the most coveted pictures parents hope to take is a beautiful image of all their children… together. 

Easier said than done, which is why we are practicing this week! The best way to accomplish a posed portrait is to find ways to bring them as close to one another as possible, all while staying within the same plane of focus. That is, posing your children so that they are all an equal distance from your camera.

After finding a pose that works for your kids (see ideas below) take a moment to add the touches that pro photographers use. Angle everyone slightly inward toward each other. Look over shirts and collars to make sure they are laying nicely. Hands should be relaxed and natural. Feet should be angled so that you can't see the bottom of the shoe. And finally, make sure hair is pulled off the face.

Now let's talk about camera settings. You may think you need to use your lowest f/stop to blow the background out of focus behind your children. HOLD ON. A low f/stop increases the risk of also getting your subjects out of focus. We recommend hovering around the f/3.5 mark, and experimenting with one stop higher or lower, depending on your lens. 

The most important tip of all is to keep your "posed portrait session" fun and lighthearted. Tell your kids what a good job they are doing (even if they aren't) -- perhaps even showing them some of the pictures on the back of the camera to engage them. Most failures begin when tempers start to flare. If your kids go off the rails, take a break and try again another time!

Finally, we are offering this lesson this week because the holidays are around the corner. Use your children's posed portrait on your cards, as gifts for grandparents or as a new piece of art in your home to mark the year.

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Creative Prompts

 A few of the best tricks for getting your kids to come together are:

  • Have them put their ARMS AROUND EACH OTHER. This communicates a feeling of closeness, all while keeping faces on the same plane. 
     
  • Lay them together on their TUMMIES, lining their faces up side-by-side. This trick works perfectly for younger children because it’s a bit more difficult to jump up and run away from this position. Hint… put the most active child in the middle and have the other kiddos put their arms around her! 
     
  • Have them put their CHEEKS together. Not only does this evoke a powerful feeling of intimacy and closeness, it also keeps little heads within the same slice of focus. Hint… tell them that their cheeks are stuck together with imaginary glue! 
     
  • Walking, running, or skipping side-by-side. This strategy positions children on the same plane while allowing MOVEMENT. To make sure they stay close, ask them to hold hands as they move.

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Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!