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  • Writer's pictureBianca Jo

Must-Have Family Portrait Poses

When a client is booking with me, I send them a questionnaire. The questionnaire is important to fill out not just for me, but also for my clients. Why? Well, it helps my clients think about the session and what they may need to help them prepare for the shoot. That information helps me know who is coming and the ages of everyone so I know how to handle the session poses as well as making sure I get all the images I can from the session.

I wanted to share a must-have list with you about the poses I plan for when I have a family session.

The Whole Family

This is a given, however, I have a few different things I also like to do with whole family portraits. Once I have that traditional everyone-smiling-at-the-camera pose, I like to get interaction portraits. I have a few prompts based on the ages of the kids that help get that level of interaction I am looking for as well as activities to have the families focus on while I am snapping away.


Sibling portraits are the sweetest and are perfect for showing the dynamic between the siblings. Having them shows how they have changed as well as how they haven't and are great mementos of these years.


I love taking a few minutes to capture couple portraits during a session. We may not get many and they might have different looks (kids hanging onto parents' legs) but they are great for parents to connect. Sometimes I ask the kids to help make the parents smile or laugh and that adds to the fun during the session.

Guys and Girls

This portrait series goes together with the next series but it's more of a group shot than two people. This also depends on how many people came to the session.

Parent with Each Child

For this family, I couldn't get a boy's portrait because it would just be an individual of a dad. I did get a girl's portrait but to include dad I had the parents take a portrait with each of their daughters. There are sweet moments you can capture.


Getting individuals of each person can show their personality. Depending on how much time we have for the family session, I will ask each person to do a few different things. One is to stand how they feel comfortable, to smile how they like (or not), and something fun that will get them to react without thinking too much.

What do you think about this shot list? At the end of the session, I ask if there were any specific poses or a combination they had in mind just in case I missed something. Sometimes they will try and recreate a portrait from years ago or a pose they thought would be fun, like a jumping photo.

Are there any combinations I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

I would love to create a stress-free family session that showcases your family's joy! You can book here to schedule your session today!

Need more time? You can see more sessions here or you can subscribe to my newsletter below to receive updates on new sessions and be the first to know of deals and mini sessions.


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