50 Family Portrait Poses

50 Family Portrait Poses

Are you looking for creative family portrait poses for 5 or 10? I have gathered a list of the 50 best family portrait poses that are universal and easy to do, so you can try to bring them to life and take funny and creative family photos.

Family Portrait Poses For 2

free cards by fixthephoto

The below ideas for two people mainly concern portraits of one parent and one child. There are also several variants for portraits of two children.

1. Child Leading Parent by the Hand

leading child family portrait poses

Let the kid walk ahead and the parent will follow him/her. This pose is excellent for children who have just started taking their first steps. Keep in mind that toddlers may get tired very fast. Also, they may decide to run suddenly, so it is important to keep your gear safe and be very attentive.

2. Play with a Child

playing with child family portrait poses

If you want to see a kid smiling, let the parent play with the child. It will make the picture more dynamic!

3. Baby Lift Pose

baby lift family portrait poses

The baby lift is one of the classic family photography poses that every client wants to try. I highly recommend taking such a picture if the parents have played with their baby like this before. Make sure it is comfortable and safe for both parent and child. It is better to take such photos from eye level as well as from down to up.

4. Embrace Portrait

embrace family portrait poses

Parents often hug their children, so you don’t need to give them any instructions here. This is one of the cool family portrait poses that looks better when the parent is on their knees. This way, the child can hug the adult’s neck.

5. Focus on Details

focus on details family portrait poses

Take artistic pictures by focusing on the details, while cropping the image. In the photo above the family members are staying close to each other, so you can emphasize the difference between the adult's and the kid’s feet. It is possible to take similar shots with hands or other similar features.

6. The Child Gives Piggy-Back Ride

children near sea family portrait poses

If you are shooting two children, arrange them so that the eldest child holds the youngest. Please note that this is one of the family portrait poses that emphasizes that one child is stronger than his/her sibling, so it works best for children with a big difference in age.

7. Two Kids Hugging

two kids hugging family portrait poses

Another great family pictures posing idea is to ask children to lie down next to each other. This pose is good because it is the most comfortable for shooting kids. To prevent children from catching a cold, lay down a blanket, and then cover it with leaves.

8. Parent Holding a Walking Child

parent holding child family portrait poses

This is a good variant to show parental care. Capture the moment with a parent holding a walking toddler. The adult may be either standing or kneeling.

9. Father and Son Shaking Hands

handshaking family portrait poses

This is one of the male family photos poses ideas, where the father shows pride and confidence in his offspring. It is suitable for an important date, for example, a graduation party.

10. Parent Reading a Book

reading a book family portrait poses

This is a fairly common family photo posing idea, which shows how caring parents are. You can choose any location, for example, near the crib or even outdoors. The main thing is to create a natural, comfortable setting.

Family Portrait Poses For 3 And 4

Family portrait poses for 3-4 people are the most common, as they include both parents and their child. Check out the following course about Capturing The Modern Family Portrait by Tamara Lackey to take natural and lifestyle family photos.

  • Check out other family photo ideas you can use for your upcoming photoshoot. Simple but creative photography ideas for small and large families.

11. Smiling Parents Holding a Baby

holding a baby family portrait poses

Ask the parents to sit close to each other. One of them will hold a baby. There should be eye contact between the parents and the child.

12. Full-Length Portrait near the Bench

family portrait poses with bench

Ask the father to stay behind the bench, the mother to sit on the bench, and the child to stay near them. It is possible to change the position of the family members. The main thing is that the person standing behind should be higher than those sitting on the bench.

13. Outdoor Portrait with a Blanket

outdoor family portrait poses with blanket

Family photo poses like this one are good only for areas with a natural landscape because sitting on the pavement is not the best idea. Let the family sit on the blanket so that you can visually arrange them in a single horizontal line. One of the spouses must hold the child in his/her hands.

14. Full-Length Portrait with Height Progression

height progression family portrait poses

Let the tallest member of the family stay behind and his or her partner move a little closer to the camera. Ask the kid to stay in front of the parents. Each person should be a little apart from each other.

15. Half-Length Portrait with the Kid on the Back

kid on the back family portrait poses

Ask all three family members to stay in a horizontal line, one after another. One of the parents is holding a child on the back, and the other is standing behind.

16. Portrait on the Couch

family portrait poses on couch

This is one of the most convenient family posing ideas when the whole family is sitting on the couch. The biggest person should sit in the middle and hug the rest. 

17. Portrait on the Couch from Another Angle

family portrait poses on bed

To get an unusual and interesting family portrait, make a U-turn. In other words, take a picture of the family on the back of the sofa and see what a huge difference you will get as a result.

18. Family Walking Hand In Hand

walking hand in hand family portrait poses

Take pictures of a family walking hand in hand. Use serial shooting mode and select the photo in which the position of the legs in motion looks the best. Do not forget to adjust the focus when the subjects are approaching you.

19. Portrait of the Family Lying with Lifted Heads

lying with lifted head family portrait poses

The family is lying on the ground close to each other. Ask them to rise slightly above the ground, using their hands as support. Shoot from a low angle.

20. Friendly Hugs

tilted heads family portrait poses

This is how a group of friends is usually shot. Yes, this is the easiest, most common way of posing for family portraits. Why not try it if it really works?

Family Portrait Poses For 5

Portraits of five people can include not only parents and children but also grandparents. Therefore, it is important to find the right approach for each age group.

  • If you are going to take photos of a large family, I recommend you read about these group photo ideas that you my use for funny and creative photographs.

21. Group Portrait with Tilted Head

friendly hugs family portrait poses

Here is an interesting composition for a large family. Ask the family members to stand very close together and tilt their heads slightly towards each other and towards the camera.

22. Circle in a Lying Position

circle family portrait poses

Ask family members to form a circle when they are lying on the grass or on the floor. It is better to shoot from above.

23. Dynamic Sequence

dynamic sequence family portrait poses

One of the most interesting family photo poses ideas is shooting a small group of people when one person is in the front. Choose the leader and ask him/her to stay in front. The rest should join the leader one by one. Each member of the group should stand behind the previous one, looking at the camera over their shoulder.

24. Look Out From Behind

look out from behind family portrait poses

This is a variation of the previous pose. Ask the leader of the group to stand in front of the rest of the family members. Those who are standing behind should look out from each other. 

Take pictures with different aperture settings, so that there is either the leader or the rest of the group in the sharpness zone. Everything depends on your preferences.

Click! [kids photography]

click1 book

If you are going to take baby photos, read this interesting guide to posing and photographing children in the easy and funny way. Want to take beautiful child photographs? Don’t miss this useful photography book.


Take pictures with different aperture settings, so that there is either the leader or the rest of the group in the sharpness zone. Everything depends on your preferences.

25. Group Jump

group jump family portrait poses

This is a kind of extraordinary family portrait. For best results, ask the group to jump after a short run.

26. Portrait with Depth Gradation

family portrait poses with depth gradation

This is one of the most useful and interesting family portrait poses for 5. Ask your clients to form a line. Make sure that each member of the group is clearly visible in the shot and take a close-up photo with an open aperture, focusing on the first member of the group.

27. Group Portrait on the Ground

group family portrait poses on couch

A fairly common way to take a picture of the whole family is to seat everyone on the sofa or on the ground if you are outdoors. Very tight framing is the easiest way to improve this classic scene. It is necessary to remove this cute sofa and other furniture from the picture. Fill the entire shot with family members and nothing else.

28. Portrait with a Family Sitting in a Horizontal Line

sitting in a line family portrait poses

Ask the parents to sit behind, bending their legs to the center. Each of them should hold a child. Ask the third child to sit in the center of the composition. Thus, all five family members will be in the center.

29. Children in the Foreground, Parents in the Background

two rows family portrait poses

To show parents as a support for children, ask them to stay in the background, with the children in front of them. Children and parents should be on different sides of the scene. It is important that the parents look at their children.

30. Cropped Frame

cropped frame family portrait poses

This is a very unusual pose. To demonstrate the difference in age between children and parents and bring it to the absolute, you can crop the upper part of the frame, as if the parents did not fit at all.

Family Portrait Poses for 10 and More

Such portraits are less variable when it comes to the composition, as it is necessary to pay attention to each family member. However, there are also some interesting family pic pose ideas.

31. Classic Full-Length Portrait

classic family portrait poses

When you shoot large groups, often the only possible composition is a full-length photo.

Such portraits are usually taken as documentary or official photography. Your main goal here is to ensure that all people are clearly visible in the picture.

32. Shooting from Above

family portrait poses with shooting from above

For a change of angle, shoot from a high point. You can use the balcony or clamber up on the roof of the car. Your efforts will definitely be rewarded because instead of a boring group photo, you will get a more interesting and attractive frame.

33. Portrait with a Short Distance between People

family portrait poses with short distance

There are cases when it is more appropriate for group members to stand apart from each other, keeping a small distance. This pose works very well while shooting a small team, for example, a musical band or colleagues. If there is a leader, ask him/her to stay in front to make the composition better.

34. Children in the First Row

children first row family portrait poses

This pose is similar to the one where you ask the family members to stand in a line. But this time you are going to create two rows. Make certain the children are close to the second row of family members. When you've taken some nice photos, ask the children to have fun and do some comical things while standing in front of the adults.

35. Few Visual Rows

few rows family portrait poses

Among the most interesting family pictures posing ideas is creating a few rows. It is necessary to properly arrange the rows to avoid the situation where somebody is lost in the frame. Pay attention to how the family members place their hands and bend the legs, especially in the front line.

36. Playful Tone

playful tone family portrait poses

When you are going to shoot a large family, there is a big chance you’ll have a great time. There is always somebody that will tell a joke, and the other family members will laugh. These are the perfect moments to capture. Ask them to jump, giggle and take different poses. You will certainly take lively images.

37. The Person to Focus On

person to focus family portrait poses

This pose is excellent for those who have a baby or a toddler in their family. Place the kid in the center to make them the focal point. Ask the other members of the family to gaze intently at their child. This creates more relaxed family photography, which, as a rule, everyone likes because of the point where the focus falls. If there is no baby in the family, you can do the same actions with the parents or grandparents.

38. Sitting Family Members

group sitting family portrait poses

If you have furniture for family members to sit on, you can take awesome photos. Ask some people to sit, and let the others stand at the sides or in the back. If you shoot outside, use the surrounding: steps, tree stumps, rocks, etc.

39. Family Groupings

family portrait poses with groupings

If you are going to shoot a large family that comprises several smaller ones, you should think over the best family portrait poses. Keep single families together rather than separating individuals based on height, clothing, etc. You can ask them to stand in a line, sit on something or arrange them in rows.

40. Free Composition

free family portrait poses

Don’t pose family members at all. Take some shots when you are finishing a photo session or taking a break. Sometimes it really works. You capture special moments and get great results!

family photography photoshop actionsfamily photography photoshop actions

Christmas Family Portrait Poses

Christmas family photography directly depends on the setting. When it comes to the poses, they are not very different from the ordinary ones, but the Christmas theme gives them a special charm.

41. Funny Composition

funny christmas family portrait poses

Everybody loves a Christmas photo session. Look at the decorations around you and involve them in the shooting. Use your imagination and take awesome photos.

42. Opening the Presents

christmas family portrait poses with presents

A present is an important part of any holiday, especially Christmas. It is better to take photos near the Christmas tree to create a festive mood.

43. Decorating a Christmas Tree

decorating christmas tree family portrait poses

The Christmas tree is one of the most symbolic attributes of Christmas. Its decorating is truly a family event, so this is a great moment to capture the family.

44. Cooking Christmas Sweets

cooking christmas family portrait poses

Here you can use different family portrait poses which are related to the cooking process –

kneading dough, decorating cookies, or taking sweets out of the oven. I advise getting acquainted with food photography tips so that the food in the frame looks better.

45. Portrait near the Fireplace

christmas family portrait poses near fireplace

A fireplace decorated with Christmas stockings will be an excellent background for a Christmas family portrait. It is important to keep safety measures in mind because your subjects will stand directly near the fire.

46. The Snowflake

snowflake christmas family portrait poses

The snowflake is a very simple pose, but using it can give you a strong shape and a beautiful composition. All you need is to choose the background (for example, the floor), clothes and accessories. Pick simple clothes that match the holiday theme.

47. Playing with Snowballs

playing snowball christmas family portrait poses

This is a great dynamic composition that perfectly matches the Christmas theme. Someone can throw snowballs, someone can run away, and others can just watch from the sidelines.

48. Scene with Santa

christmas family portrait poses with santa

This idea has several variations. Children can watch Santa, they can get presents from him or they can even drink milk together with him.

49. Outside Portrait with the Blanket

christmas family portrait poses with blanket

One of the most interesting outdoor family portrait ideas is a picture with a blanket, especially against the backdrop of nature in winter. If you want your clients to sit on the blanket, then make sure they are sitting on a warm, soft surface, lightly sprinkled with snow.

50. Christmas Fairytale

christmas fairytale family portrait poses

Ask your clients to sit on the couch or bed. Let one of them read a book, while others listen to him/her carefully.

Family Portrait Posing Tips

Choosing good poses for family photos is only part of the formula for success as there are many other options that need to be considered as well. I will tell you about them below.

1. Don’t Line Up People by Height

black and white family photography

Try to place people so that their faces aren’t at the same level. Let some people sit down, while others can stand on something. Use elements of the setting. If there is nothing at all, at least ask them to stay separated.

2. Shoot in Manual Exposure Mode

two children family portrait poses

The inconstancy of the automatic exposure leads to additional image post-processing work in order to smooth different frames. It can also cause a slight color shift, noise intensification (in case of underexposure) and other undesirable effects. To maintain consistency of exposure during shooting, it is better to use the manual mode.

3. Lock the Focus

three children family portrait poses

Just as you do not want to change the exposure from frame to frame, you do not need autofocus in each frame. Adjust the camera in one of two ways: use focus lock or manual focus. With any of these options, focusing will not change by itself while shooting.

4. Use a Tripod Whenever It Is Possible

outdoor family portrait poses

Firstly, it automatically calms you down. You can check the settings, adjust the composition and the exposure and make sure everything is correct. Secondly, it will allow you to take your eyes off the camera so that you will have eye contact with the subject.

5. Avoid Unnatural Poses

natural outdoor family portrait poses

This is a general rule for any shooting. People tend to stand straight and tensely when you pose them. So, it is often necessary to ask your clients to bend a leg or an arm to make them look more natural.

6. Let Children Behave Like Children

childish family portrait poses

Parents should take one of their kid’s favorite toys or books with them. If children do not want to sit and smile, it is better not to force them. Let children run around, play with them, and let it be fun. In this way, you will get wonderful emotional shots. You can ask children to sit later.

7. Help People Choose Poses

classic outdoor family portrait poses

Be aware of human “imperfections” and work with them. Here are some simple tips. If someone has a large lower half of the body, do not place them close to the edge of the frame when shooting with a wide-angle lens. To hide a double chin, choose a higher shooting point that is above the eye level of the subject. If you are shooting a couple that has a big difference in height, ask the man (they are usually taller) to spread his legs. This will make him look a little shorter. For fat people (or those who are very shy of their weight), shooting on the grass with the children on top is a great choice.

8. Choose the Proper Light

smiling family portrait poses

The most essential thing in portrait photo sessions is the correct lighting of the subject’s eyes. I will give some portrait photography tips that will help you work with lighting. Choose the right time of day to take portraits! Late evening, about an hour before sunset, is ideal. If you can't shoot at sunset, look for places in the shade of large buildings or under large trees.

Do not take photos on cloudy days just because the light is less hard than in bright sunshine. Although the light is softer, its direction is not the best. If it is necessary, you can add light with a reflector or flash unit. If you do not see the glare in the eyes, then there is not enough light on the face.

9. Emotions Are Important

emotional family portrait poses

The ability to say or do something that will make people smile comes with experience. Sometimes it is possible to make an impact even on adults. If you are shooting babies or toddlers, don’t forget to attract their attention.

10. Let Them Stay Too Close

sitting outdoor family portrait poses

Finally, I would like to say that you shouldn’t take the shooting process too seriously. Take some really stupid photos at the end of the photoshoot. Ask your clients to do something foolish and let them do it. Usually, people start laughing. When they cheer up, capture these moments with your camera.

Family Portrait Photography Freebies

In order to improve the quality of your final family portraits, I suggest using the following free tools for Photoshop and Lightroom. Each of them will give your pictures a unique style and feeling.

FREE LR Preset "Old Style"

Use this preset to give a photo some warmth and calmness. This effect is achieved by raising the contrast between highlights and shadows. It might totally change the general impression of your picture.

FREE LR Preset "Sun Flares"

If you do not know how to edit outdoor portraits in Lightroom, but you really want to give the photos a muted orange tint, the orange vignetting effect is already created for you and ready to download for free. Experiment with this filter and different kinds of photos and find something of your own. 

FREE PS Action "Burn"

This action is one of the greatest free portrait actions for Photoshop because it will slightly darken your photo, emphasize and highlight facial features, and make faces brighter and more expressive.

FREE PS Overlay "Floral"

The flowers overlay creates impressive and memorable photographs in several clicks. It emphasizes the subject’s tenderness and romantic nature.

FREE PS Brush "Snowy"

This brush adds a snowy effect. Good option for Christmas family portraits taken outdoors.

FREE Photoshop Collage Template

Download this template to combine several family portraits into one beautiful collage for your clients’ family album.

FREE Photography Gift Certificate

This is a useful photography marking template to popularize you as a photographer. You can print these to offer to your clients as a gift for their friends or family members.

FREE Mini Session Template

Download this mini session template for free to offer your potential clients a short photoshoot to order your photography services later. Just input your family portraits and information.

Tata Rossi

Hi there, I'm Tata Rossi - a professional blogger, read more