Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions

The contest has ended – but make sure to read the article below to learn 3 keys for successful portrait sessions.

The 3 winners are:

Entry 504 – Karen Halbert

Entry 302 – Jeanette Soffe

Entry 54 – Craig Burlingame

For everyone else, Angie was kind enough to give all MCP readers a $50 off code toward the family posing guide, good through September 26th. Use the code MCP at checkout to get 50 dollars off the posing guide

Three keys for successful family sessions:

1. Get on the same page as to what you clients expect and want out of session. Of course I would like to believe that every client of mine wants exactly my style of photography, but this isn’t always the case.
Communicate with your clients and ask them what they want from their session. I try to gauge if they want more posed (traditional) images or if they want more candid images. I usually do some of both, but
it’s always good to know what to focus on more. I will ask them, “do you want most everyone looking at the camera and smiling for most of your family images”? BE SPECIFIC. It’s the worst feeling after they have seen
their images and feeling like you didn’t capture what they have imagined. If they say to me that they just want me to do my thing… then I basically do what I have posted on my blog (a good mixture of posed and candid images).
posing families
2. Be prepared. Bring an assistant if needed. There is so much going on at a family session and it’s completely overwhelming at times. Having an extra set of hands really does make all the difference.  I have my assistant get the children’s attention so I can focus on posing families, light and my camera settings. She also hands out smarties for every little good thing the kids do! Works like a charm.
be prepared for family sessions
3. Have the families interact a lot to create natural expressions. Making up fun games for the whole family to enjoy makes a huge difference. Just telling them to interact or act natural simple doesn’t work. You have
to have them interact! I shoot away while they are playing away and then right after they are done playing I have them look my way while they are still laughing and enjoying each other.
how to pose families

Now it is your turn to enter to win the new family posing guide by Simplicity Photography. We have three guides to give away – so three people will win!

To Enter:

  • Leave a comment in this post on the MCP Blog letting us know either 1) the thing you need the most help with when it comes to photographing families or 2) your favorite family photography tip.
  • For extra entries, pin something from this post to Pinterest and/or share this post on your Facebook page, Twitter, etc. Then leave a comment letting us know you did.
  • For one more bonus entry, join our ALL NEW Facebook Group – where you can interact, learn and help photographers from all over the world. This is more interactive than our Facebook Page, so check it out. If you request an invite to join, we will approve you within 24 hour. Add a comment to this blog post letting us know for your extra credit.
  • Check back on Sunday night, September 23rd, at the top of this post, to see if you are one of the lucky three winners.


Posing Families Guide

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. Lieke says

    I need the most help with posing. I can’t seem to succeed in getting natural looking pictures of the kids looking in my direction. Thanks!

  2. Lynn Stoops says

    Just starting to do family sessions and need all the helps, tips and hints I can find!

    Posting this to my Facebook and joined your new Facebook group.


  3. says

    All great points! I am also not afraid to break out the treats for the kiddos. I like to use a longer lens for families with little ones. Sometimes getting a little more space from the camera helps everyone feel more comfortable and at ease with just being themselves.

  4. Dotti says

    I need tips for posing…I run out of ideas…everyone around here wants traditonal poses…and I find that hard to do…I love the interactive photos!

  5. says

    I would LOVE to have this guide. I think anytime you can expand on what you are already doing and provide more options for your clients, it’s a good thing. I’d love to feel more comfortable in making suggestions and thinking outside the box with my posing directions for my clients. I’ve earned extra points by pinning and joining the new Facebook group! Thanks for this opportunity!!!

  6. Kerry Gibson says

    All tips welcome but would love to learn more for the shy teens – how to help them feel more comfortable in the family photos session.

  7. says

    1) the thing you need the most is a positive and friendly attitude, it will help in the all cases.
    2) Always pay attention with kids and be super safe.

  8. says

    1) I have really been struggling with the “neatness” of my family photos. A lot of the time, I will line everyone up, and think it looks great, only to get home, and realize that someone is slouching, or maybe I should have had someone scoot over a few more inches. I also do a lot of young families, with two children under the age of 4. I can’t afford to pay an assistant, so it’s very hard for me to focus on the technical aspects, while trying to get such small children to look AND smile. I would love to learn some tricks for this!!

    2) Great blog post, and photos! I pinned this article to my “Photography Inspiration” board! :)

    3) I also joined the MCP Facebook group, and I am really looking forward to interacting with other photographers!! This will actually be the first photography group/forum, for me…. I wish I would have done this sooner!

  9. Joy Beers says

    I am fairly new to photography but it is my passion. I love getting their memories in photos to have for a lifetime. I love…love your webpage, I have learned so much for ya’ll. I just alot of help with interacting & posing the families to get that great photo for them. Winning this would be such a big help for me and put me on my way to where I would like to be in photography, but I still have along way to go. With your help I have been doing good. Thank you for all of your help!! JB

  10. Aimee Stiggins says

    I need help with trying to make the family relax and be natural. I feel like I help to pose them but they are so stiff. *sigh*

  11. Alison says

    I need help making everyone happy. In every family session, I have at least 1-2 family members that do not want their pictures taken at all. How can I get everyone to enjoy it?

  12. says

    My favourite tip for family photography – talking to people while I photograph them helps them to relax, especially if you show interest in who they are and what they do…clowning around to get the childrens’ attention also works well…

    Pinned this to my Pinterest page and joined the FB group – hope I’m one of the lucky ones!!

  13. Jessica says

    It helps me TONS to make sure I explain to parents ahead of time that it is OK if we have a child who is slow to warm up or who isn’t doing what we need immediately. I let them know it is my job to get the kiddos to do what I need and I will ask for their help if I need it. The children seem to respond better to my requests and the parents seem way less stressed out knowing that I have told them behavior like I listed above is normal and their children aren’t abnormal in that sense. Also, I make sure that I state that we aren’t to make this session feel rushed because kids sense that and react to it.

  14. says

    Ahhh, wow…didn’t think my picture would post up there like that…ohhhh well I know it will be okay and forgiven especially by like minded folks at the Shoot Me facebook page!!! Gonna really love that page!

  15. Deana smith says

    I would love to get tips on doing a big family group session!! Where your doing 4-5 different families then having all of them in one big group shot :-)

    Also I pinned a picture, and I’ve requested to join the all new fb group for extra entries :-)

  16. says

    I need help with the older kids that can’t sit on mom and dad’s laps. I have been working with a lot of younger kiddos and I have a 6 yr old daughter. Never had a teenager and am a little stressed over working with them.

  17. Pamela says

    I’m just starting out and have a family ready to go with their session. I’d love as many tips as I can to send me in the right direction!
    Thank you for the opportunity & good luck to everyone xx

  18. says

    I would love more concrete tips on how to get them laughing…what kind of games they can play…how to help the kids have fun and open up.

    And, I’ve requested to join the FB group.


  19. says

    I would like to know more about light settings, I always have trouble with light when shooting families! And some new posing tips would be great too!

  20. says

    I would love to win :)
    I feel difficulty in photographing family, to involve everyone, because children destraem is very easy, and not always the father wants to participate, it is usually the mother who hires the service.

  21. Lori Walker says

    I really just need help with posing families! I like more of the candid pics and have trouble knowing where & how to position people, especially when there is a large group.

  22. says

    I always get down to eye-level with the kids first and get to know them a bit..then I focus on the adults. And I have a bag full of mini beanie babies and I let the kids know that if they are good during the session, they get to pick a beanie baby to keep at the end! (no shame in bribery!) But I DO need help with posing and this guide would be awesome!

  23. Katrina says

    I love the handing out smarties idea! I just did 4 back to back family sessions this past weekend and man oh man – and idea like this would have been AMAZING! So simple – yet – not something you immediately think of with everything else going on!

    I pinned one of the pictures from this to my pinterest account –

    I’ve also shared this page on my facebook – and I’ve already joined your brand new group on FB. Thanks so much! ^_^

  24. Lauren J. says

    I’m pretty knew to photography and I’ve just completed my first family session, so any and all help is needed! I also pinned this post and joined the Facebook group.

  25. says

    The thing I need the most help with when it comes to posing families is not going blank. After a few shots I sometimes feel a bit of panic trying to come up with the next pose. Would love to win the posing guide!

  26. says

    I need the most help with posing adults! Kids are generally natural, adults tend to focus too much on how they look and plastering the fake smile onto their face. So getting adults more comfortable and natural is a skill I need to improve upon.

    I also joined the group on FB.

  27. says

    So helpful, I have my first family session coming up in a week and am really nervous especially about the posing in a way that looks natural!

    Pinned two of the images from this post and checking out the group now!

    Thanks for this post!

  28. Kathleen says

    I would love to have the guide to help me pose older children (think between just past toddler, but not yet teen!) or tips and tricks on getting tweens more comfortable in a studio setting.

    I have also joined the group on FB.

    Thanks so much for all your work!

  29. Janelle Belk says

    I need the most help with 3 things: Getting clear images for group shots; keeping kids ages 18 months-3 years happy and engaged in the photo shoot; exactly what the guide is supposed to offer-ideas for natural ‘poses’ because I see it and love it from others and have a hard time duplicating it and this sounds perfect!

  30. says

    Oh my gosh, I love shooting families, but sometimes it makes my head hurt! I need help with posing “in the moment” using the setting in front of you. Whether it’s 5 different ways to use a rock or a fence or simply just a big open space, thinking quickly and using what’s right in front of you to make for natural poses with easy transitions would be soooo helpful. My best tip is for the Dads. I usually explain to them up front that I may ask them to do things that make them feel a little silly, but that’s okay. The session is a little acting, a little silly, but a lot of fun. Just giving them permission to feel dopey at first is really helpful. That way they know you know what they’re thinking and it helps them loosen up (and then it’s not acting)!

  31. Reggie says

    I really need help with posing my subjects, particularly men. My tip is always have your subjects/family be in their natural surroundings.

  32. says

    1. I always try to talk with the clients during the session. It helps them relax and act more natural. This is also great for sessions with kids. finding out what they like to do, play, etc.
    2. Great page on fb! Just joined.
    Love your site.

  33. Trisha says

    Would love some tips on getting families to interact with each other in order to get the most authentic, natural looking poses.

    Joined the FB group!

  34. Alesa says

    I need to remember to slow down at family shoots. I get so busy worrying about rushing to get them done that I don’t catch the little things. I need to remember to take a deep breath and slow down.

  35. says

    My number one tip for photographing families is FOCUS on fun for MOM. I used to focus on the kiddos as my main challenge…getting them to naturally smile, or be still, or look right at me. WRONG. I now focus on mom having FUN and being relaxed. When that clicks into place, the entire session mood changes in an instant. The kids relax, dad chills, everyone plays together…mom is the key and glue to the family.

  36. McKell S. says

    I would benefit from learning ways to have families interact with one another. I love a good combo of both candid and posed!

  37. says

    It would be great to see Angie’s insight into posing. With the holiday season coming up, it would be nice to get some fresh ideas. I’ve been shooting more weddings lately, so I could use some inspiration. Thanks for the giveaway!

  38. Erika K says

    I love families and young kiddos but I have trouble trying to get them all close enough together to interact naturally and still in focus. I would really love to win the guide and can’t wait to learn more!

  39. caitlin ventiere says

    I would say the thing I need the most help with is getting more comfortable posing families. I always have so many ideas but am not good at voicing them.

  40. Heather Bybee says

    I need help with. Getting more natural expressions at my photo shoots. I love the tip about creating a game for the family to play and then shoot away. Great advice!

  41. says

    I need huge help with little ones – oh say about 3 years old! Some are easy, some are not so easy. Going with the flow, I’m sure, is a great thing, but more than that…I’d love tips and things.

  42. says

    It seems like the family photos posted with helpful articiles like this always have a mom, dad, and 2.5 young children …. cute, little, and fun. Since many of the families I shoot are families from my kids’ school, and my own kids are teenagers, that means the families I’m typically shooting have older kids …. or even young adult children, home from college or whatever. No one is sitting in any laps, or hanging out on Dad’s shoulders …. unless Dad wants a hernia, ha!! Would love to see some fun, casual posing suggestions for groups with older and/or young adult children. Thanks!

  43. Amanda Sword says

    I would say I need help with making it the family pose more natural instead staged. Also like things to say to get the expressions on there face. I Have been working more on making it more fun.

  44. says

    I need help with ideas for large families. I live in an area where 4+ kids is normal and it gets hard fitting them all in sometimes. Worst when they are insistent on traditional poses and their kids are all older.
    Pining and Joining also!

  45. Natalia aka Maygirl says

    Thank you for giveaway!
    The most thing I need during family session – posing and how interact Dad when he is not very willing to make photos

  46. Heather Clark says

    I need to win this posing guide! I have trouble thinking outside the box with families, and I need some fresh inspiration!

  47. Melanie Morton says

    I am a very green photographer who, like a starving wolf with fresh kill, is devouring every tidbit of information I can get my hands on. What do I need help with the most in relation to family photography? Posing would be awesome!

  48. says

    The thing I need most for my family photography is new ideas! A better way to plan out poses would be fantastic. I think I have gotten in the rut of staying with a few safe poses and forget to go outside that comfort zone.

    I pinned the 2nd photo to Pinterest, and I also joined the new Facebook group! I’m loving all the information available there! Great page!

  49. says

    I love the “natural unposed” types of family poses, but I struggle–especially with dads to get the family to act as if I’m not there. I love the idea mentioned above of giving them a game to play or something to do specifically–I’d like more ideas in this area!

  50. says

    I have such difficulty knowing how to direct families. I know what I’m hoping to achieve in my head, and I know where I want people to sit, but I never know how to get them to be truly themself. Thanks to your tips, I now realize I need to get them to INTERACT. Get them to play together and tell eachother jokes perhaps? Thank-you so much for that insight with just these three tips! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the guide is like! :)

  51. says

    I need most help with posing families in an interactive fun way (along the lines of what Angie does) – love her work and very happy to have found this blog!

  52. Randi says

    The things I need help with most is posing groups, like families. Especially large multi-generation groups. But help with getting the kids to cooperate and the mom’s to relax into less traditional and stiff poses would also help!

  53. says

    wow – so, totally aside from having discovered your blog from Angie’s FB post, I have to say that i am SO excited to have discovered your blog and company! I love your PS Actions!!

  54. Sarah says

    favorite tip for keeping families relaxed is to keep a constant conversation going related to something else other than what you’re doing at all times:). Going to pin and join the group now.

  55. Rebbecca says

    I would love posing tips for larger families. I seem to do well with small family groups but when larger than 5 seems more difficult.

  56. Casey says

    I think my biggest problem when photographing families is posing. I like the more candid shots, but my clients usually want both. I have a hard time coming up with unique poses for families with different ages. What works for a family of little ones doesn’t work for a family with teens.

  57. Kali says

    i always bring an assistant when smaller kids are involved. If someone can be helping me with smiles and attention while I focus on everything else it works wonders. My husband is the best at this! Also, have each family bring a prop that symbolizes something about their family. People get really creative and it’s amazing how a prop can help break the ice.

  58. says

    I have the most difficulty keeping everyone in a flattering pose when shooting families. It seems like by the time I get kids looking in the right direction, mom or dad has moved or some body part is sticking out in a weird way.

  59. Laura Dilley says

    The thing I need the most help on is keeping things on track when there are really little ones in the family. Toddlers who want nothing but to,runaround and explore. Those make for nice portraits stand alone, but not as family.

  60. Kristena says

    The thing I need the most help with is making the families look more natural. The ideas above were great.

    I honestly am not sure if I have any tricks to help anyone because I feel like family pictures I could really use the most help with.

  61. says

    With little ones I start off with the most important shot that mom wants (generally all looking at the camera smiling)…then we head to the fun games and get the wonderful candids

  62. says

    I LOVE the part about where you say to have them interact – My mind started reeling with ideas on how to get them to do this! I CAN’T Wait to have them play “if your happy and your know it…” and I SUPER love the last image of the girls dancing and the daddy kissing his baby – ADORE!
    I also pinned the last photo on Pintrest and shared it on FB and will join your group in a moment! Thanks for this contest! I can’t wait!!

  63. shaleena says

    I definitely need most help with posing multiple people. My style of shooting is very candid and natural,but I would like to learn how to pose people and it still have a sense of relationship, fun, and “naturalness”… lol

  64. says

    Hmmm…some tips I’d appreciate are how to engage dads and some ideas for getting families to interact together. I love Angie’s work and would love to win the guide.

  65. Lori says

    When there is kids – I try to start with something cool with them – and then I show it to them (if they are old enough) then I find they try to stay involved…well at least for the next five minutes!

    I too struggle with groups larger than 5.

  66. says

    I did my 5th group shoot this weekend and while I think they came out ok I know I need HELP! I need ideas on posing and also importantly, is what do you say to the family to get the fun started. How do you engage them?

  67. says

    This guide looks great! I could use help on what to get families to do to interact, what fun games or what to say to make them laugh, etc. There is a lot going on, any assistance would be awesome!

  68. erin says

    I need to know how to get more interaction with families. Everyone is always so stiff. Waiting for me to tell them what to do.

  69. says

    I love to visit with the family briefly first before I start taking pictures. It always seems to help put them at ease. Especially the kids. I am looking forward to learning new ideas for family posing. I pinned both pictures to my photography family board and requested to join the fb group. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to communicate with other photographers!

  70. Steph says

    I would love more info/ideas on how to get the family to relax and interact naturally so that comes through in my photos.


  71. Laura Dodson says

    I LOVE the new FB group!! I am looking for new and fun ideas for larger family group. I agree an asst. is a great help!!

  72. p says

    I requested an invite to your FB group. I’m new to Portrait photography so I’m really looking forward to being part of your group, and I would love to win a free copy of this guide, I need all the help I can get. Thanks!!

  73. says

    I need the most help with super large groups and working with the difficult child. I have had two back to back. Very few smiles.

    My favorite tip is Smarties because they don’t color the tongue. But I always get permission from the parents first.

    I posted this to Pinrest AND joined the new group.

  74. says

    One “trick” I have found useful for a family that seems a bit tense or awkward in front of the camera is to tell them to all look at each other and laugh. When they start their “fake and awkward” laugh they realize how silly it is being awkward and then they genuinely start to laugh and relax.

  75. Michelle says

    I struggle with locations for families that give variety and are safe and good for children without too much moving around.

  76. Kirsti Fleming says

    I feel like I’m in a rut when it comes to family poses…especially this time of year. I also struggle when “dads” are just not flexible enough to pose in most positions. ;-)

  77. Jill says

    I am always up for new ideas – it’s so easy to get in a rut with the same ‘safe’ poses with families and I’d like to see some new ideas.

    One tip I’ve found useful – make sure mom is not in front of everyone. Women tend to feel more natural and comfortable when they are not the one closest to the lens. Or if you are shooting a family with a larger individual, make sure they too, are not closest to the lens.

  78. says

    I need the most help with getting families to interact with each other. I have a lot of families that really lean on me setting them up in a very exact way. I could use advice on things to say/tell them to do to help them get into a more interactive, natural pose such as the games that were mentioned in this post.

  79. Kathy says

    Really interested in more ways to get clients to relax and have fun. Or maybe that’s me. :-) Either way, this guide sounds terrific. Also requested invite to the FB group, thanks!

  80. says

    I am most in need of new poses. I feel like I use the same 3 poses with all my families I photograph these days. I would also like to know her secret to what ‘games’ she has the family play. I feel like you can only play ‘peek-a-boo’ with the littlier kiddos.

  81. Liz R. says

    What a great give away! I feel like I need help posing the adults so they look relaxed and natural with the kids. Thanks for this great opportunity!

  82. Liz R. says

    I have joined and been accepted to the new FB group! Can’t wait to see all the learning going on in there! Fingers crossed on winning the posing guide!

  83. Mandy French says

    My biggest tip would be don’t shoot too wide open. Bokeh is great, but not if members of the family are out of focus!

  84. laura jacoby says

    The thing I need most help with when I photograph families is how to handle the dads. The moms book the appointment and are happy to be there and the kids normally get into it after a few minutes, but a lot of time I get grumpy dads who think it is a waste of time to get out of bed so early. I have the hardest time getting dads to relax and have a good time. Tips? And I’m pinning this to pinterest. Love you Angie! Thanks!

  85. says

    I need help with natural posing. A child is easy, but when you get mom and dad, oh boy!
    My tip would be…don’t shoot a family in a grass…unless you like color cast.

  86. Cretia says

    Getting outside my comfort zone & trying new poses is sometimes hard for me. Getting everyone to interact “naturally” is another.

  87. Sylvie says

    My favorite tip or tips are in reference to how to capture genuine and natural, yet beautiful and timeless photographs of families.

  88. says

    I need the most help with getting everyone to look good AT THE SAME TIME! Often I have one frame where Mom looks great, then the next one is great of the kids, and so on. It’s hard to get everyone coordinated, especially with littler kiddos.

  89. says

    Ohh, boy do I need help! I mostly seem to wind up with everyone grinning at the camera … the same grin in every frame. I love the more natural photos with real emotion, but never can seem to get everyone to loosen up enough. I’ve made the mistake of just saying “be natural, just be yourselves, do your thing” though. ‘__’

  90. says

    My biggest struggle with families is getting a shooting list/itinerary and making the whole session flow without feeling like I’m fumbling my way to the end.

  91. says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I most need help with posing young children (1-3 years old) and making sure they enjoy the session–I’ve experienced several meltdowns simply from me just pulling out the camera… Thanks!

  92. Stephanie says

    Im so excited about this give away. The biggest piece of advice is to have fun. I think if you enjoy what you are doing and are having fun it will show through your clients enjoyment in the photos.

  93. Tammy Sullivan says

    Being asked more and more to take pictures of families any and all this advise is more than welcome. Thanks for the help.

  94. says

    I shared and joined the group! Excited to learn more! I wish I would have read all the above tips about a 2 weeks ago. I took pictures of a family of 12. 6 of those 12 were kids under 6 years old! Hope to have the oppurtunity to do it again! I love photography! :)

  95. Virginia R. says

    Awesome giveaway! Hope to win! I struggle with helping the families be more relaxed. I shared it on Facebook and pinned it on Pinterest

  96. says

    I need some help with posing that looks natural. I like the idea of the games for the kids and family. Great contest and pinning this and joining group as well! thanks

  97. kelly borgman says

    I am a member of your new group already ! You rock ! And I left some helpful comments. At least I hope they were helpful.It is things I have done to get better images.

  98. Kirsten says

    I love the natural play of families and subjects that aren’t posed “hard”. So I would love to learn more about that. I have pinned to Pinterest, posted to my wall on Facebook, and joined your FB group, because you can never have too many resources. Good luck everyone!

  99. Dave Haas says

    definitely getting the adults to realize that they need to be looking at the lens, not trying to get the kids or babies to look that way!

  100. Alexandra says

    LIke the advice on having family interact to get natural
    Expressions. No like how the entire family is looking at one person.

  101. Mandy says

    I requested to join the new group on FB – Love the idea!
    I am always looking for creative anique posing ideas; especially with different aged kids.

  102. Peggy Maeshall says

    Love you Blog… I would love help with how to have families interact more for more of a natural/fun loving way with posing

  103. says

    I need help with the games you mentioned about getting everyone to loosen up! I also would love any tips to help me improve my overall quality of posing and bringing out the best in everyone involved!
    I pinned it!
    I joined the All New Facebook Group!

  104. says

    I think what I struggle with the most is helping parents to relax and understand that it’s ok if their kids are acting up a little. We can take a time out and it’s ok. I see these things all the time. I even have two of my own kids, who hate photos. They always seem so embarassed and upset which affects the mood of the session. Also, the best ways to help these kids cheer up!

  105. Becka Brown says

    Pinned it and shared it. Would love this book bc I could use any tips to help me be faster at posing families and children.

  106. Shauna Wear says

    I’ve joined the new Facebook page and also shared this post on my wall and pinned it on Pinterest! :)

    I need help with all aspects of posing. I’m not super confident shooting families (especially ones I don’t know well) because I’m not sure how I should pose them, or how I should give suggestions on how to “act natural”. I would LOVE this guide!

  107. Jessica Collins says

    The thing I need the most help with when photographing family’s is posing and directing. My tip would be to not forget to get those canaid shots!

  108. says

    I need help wrangling the kids, and getting them to smile. I’m great with kids, and I can usually make them laugh, but it’s much harder to do during a photoshoot.

  109. says

    I definitely need help with posing and having the families interact in a natural way to capture meaningful moments. I have posted a link to this contest on my personal page, business page(blushing beauty photography) and I have also joined the new facebook group! I hope to win so that I can start to actually feel comfortable and less awkward while shooting families. And just in time for holiday sessions!! :D

  110. says

    I really need help figuring out a way to get the parents to relax and have fun with a shoot instead of worrying so much about how the kids are acting! Getting that natural and relaxed and fun shoot is often more luck than skill and I want to change that…

  111. Stormy says

    I’ve pinned an image I loved :D, have joined the group, and to answer one,
    the biggest issue I have with posing is a lot I think to do with being so new to this. I’m getting a feel for it as I go, but I do better with a single subject rather than a group. I really do want to grow as a photographer, and though I know I should not try looking for easy outs and short cuts, I would love some experienced tips from a pro I already admire in this field! Considering the work she has & how much I already love watching her page, I just know this book is a must have for me! If I’m not one of the lucky three to win I’ll admit to being disappointed, but I hope who ever does receive it will try and use it to its fullest boosting potential :D
    thank you so much for the chance!

  112. Kathy Pilato says

    Mu struggle is nailing focus with the different people but getting that great dog. My secret is to let the 10 and under kids get 3 shots of making the silliest faces they can. Then I get the rest. It gets them giggling and the family also…sets the mood

  113. says

    I really need the help with posing. I always feel like the family feels awkward. I want to make them feel comfortable in front of my camera and get more natural looking shots.

  114. Tania says

    Oooh, I LOVE Simplicity!! I desperately need help with getting natural images where the family aren’t worried about posing and can just relax!

  115. Megan Horner says

    I have just recently been thinking about learning how to photograph families, so this would be excellent! I think the hardest thing would be making the family comfortable, relaxed, and natural in front of the camera, so this would be awesome help!

  116. Suzanne D. says

    I would love a posing guide! I never know what to tell people to do with their hands. I tell them to touch whoever is around them, or tell the guys to put their hands in their pockets. Not very helpful!

  117. Randie says

    I am just starting out so need all the tips I can get. I also joined the facebook group and am learning a lot on there already :)

  118. says

    What do I need help with? juggling the changing light and not getting distracted by technicalities, whilst trying to keep clients engaged. Your tip about the assistant and smarties is pretty clever. The other sneaky thing I get kids to do is to whisper secrets to each other – it looks super cute and usually results in lots of smiles, giggles and spontaneous fun. Getting mum and dad to over-exaggerate the poses also is fun for the kids, and gets some great outtakes that are good for fb. But I do need help with posing groups! It’s so hard.

  119. Kristie says

    Hi, thank you for the opportunity to win such an awesome prize!! I requested to join the new FB group, and I also shared the original post to my personal FB page for extra entries :) thanks again!!

  120. says

    Love the idea of this giveaway! When things get stale, I tell everyone to fake laugh really loudly. After the laughter dies down, there are some really sweet, comfortable smiles on their faces to capture.

  121. Kristie says

    I have difficulties trying to get the family to “act natural”. Especially when there are little ones involved. The parents can get annoyed quite quickly when the little ones aren’t cooperating.

  122. Laura says

    I need help being confident in posing so that when I’m actually photographing a session, I can apply my knowledge without hesitation. I always have great ideas before and after a session, but seem to lose it all when I actually need it.

  123. says

    I love all 3 tips . I like the family interaction outside the best .I pinned it and shared on facebook. I do struggle on posing between baby and 18 months because they can’t sit or stand and are wiggily. Also I would like to see more collages that you can just plug in your pictures..

  124. KellyN says

    I’m always looking for ways to help Mom and Dad relax. I feel like I connect well with the kids but I end up with stressed looking parents…

  125. Sarah Dixon says

    The thing I need the most help with is getting my families to look more natural and to interact more naturally with each other. To have every one loosen up a little.

  126. says

    I dread working with families with more than 3 people, because it seems that either the kids are NEVER under control OR they’re too old and aren’t into it. It’s hard to make a teenage boy smile for a posed photo – forget about getting a cute candid. I’m young, so sometimes I try to connect with them, but it doesn’t always work.

    I really need this guide!

    I pinned and shared on facebook!
    And also included a photo on this post that I took of a mother and her 3-month-old. I LOVE one-one-one candids :)

  127. Michelle says

    Without an assistant it’s really hard to get everyone to look at the camera and smile. I think it’s kind of cute when some are smiling and some are looking elsewhere but its been my experience that mom’s generally want everyone looking directly into the camera and smiling. I try and keep the mood light and fun, which usually helps. Props for little ones, like a hula hoop, also helps loose everyone up and produces great, natural smiles.

  128. AdrianaG says

    the thing I need the most help with when it comes to photographing families is creative still natural “poses” to refer to.

  129. Eboni says

    I love families! But I want to know how to capture them interacting naturally. Also want to learn how to keep kids busy, yet engaged and comfortable. This posing guide would take the guess work out of composition and allow me to focus on the family. I joined the MCP FB group, pinned it on Pinterest, shared and posted on Facebook and posted it on my Twitter page. I really hope I win!

  130. Rachael says

    The area I need help in most is knowing what to do. I get so freaked out, I feel like I dont know ANYTHING! Getting started is hard, I feel like I cant “run the show”.

  131. Liz says

    Sometimes I find it difficult to doing families or large groups because I tend to get into a zone and dont talk as much. When I work one on one there is a direct focus and I communicate well with the client but its harder when the group is larger since I feel like everyone wants you to be funny or comical. Its said often to make small jokes and what not but I find it intimidating since I have never been the best joke teller. I laugh at myself most constantly but when it comes to my art/work environment, I tend to settle in a focused state if that make sense.

  132. Marnie says

    Always looking for new ideas to get everyone interacting and the parents to relax! But then I need to be able to remember it under pressure – that’s always the hard part ;)

  133. Jeane says

    I’m new to this and just had a family shoot last weekend. It was hard for me to get the little ones (who was exactly 1 year) happy. She wasn’t in the mood at all and didn’t want anything to do with the pictures. I’d also like to have an idea of what other poses than the usual all-in-a-row one.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  134. Rebecca Kuhn says

    I need help with the right questions to ask to understand exactly what the client wants, then things to help them feel more comfortable. Thank you!

  135. Christine Rinebarger says

    What an awesome opportunity! Love this post. I joined the new group and I pinned the photo to my pintrest photography folder!

    What I need the most help with is figuring out how to make dad enthusiastic about the photoshoot. Most dads act like their wife dragged them along and after just a couple of poses or if the younger children start to get the least bit cranky it shows on their face. It seems that dads often set the tone for the shoot. I can act silly for the kids, but not sure how to get dad to cooperate. Any suggestions??

  136. Maria Snider says

    I feel like I need help finding the correct poses and them not looking so stiff. also ideas on how to interact with each other. I have also pinned all the tips and joined the new group (earlier today). :)

  137. Lorna Petersen says

    I have a daughter with 5 kids. I would LOVE to know how to make a family picture cute. I take a fam pic every year for their Christmas card. The kids are 2-10. I need a cute pose…

  138. says

    I like to “pose” a family and get the ‘everybody looking at the camera and smiling photo for Grandma’ out of the way. Once that’s in the bag, I give a nod to mum or dad and they start to tickle. The formal arrangement falls apart instantly, the giggles begin, and we get great images!

    Hardest person to get relaxed in front of the camera is usually Dad, though. Tips on working with men would be welcome!

  139. says

    Where do I begin… I need help with posing the families together, especially with toddlers. My style is more photo journalistic and I love telling a story through candid shots. I desperately need help with posed shots.

  140. Annette Krause says

    I need to be able to remember different types of poses. I think it probably looks a bit amateurish to look at a cheat sheet! Also a bit of self-confidence in posing people wouldn’t hurt either.

  141. Denise Contreras says

    Yes, I def. need help when it comes to posing. I get really nervous I sometimes my mind shuts. So, if I win I’ll be very bless :)

  142. Susan Ulep says

    my favorite photography trip: have the family dress in coordinating outfits in complementing colors! everything looks put together when the family looks cohesive

  143. Angie H says

    Parents always tell little kids to “say cheese” and you get a cheesey grin, I tell them to say ‘peanut butter”, this always makes little kids laugh

  144. says

    I would like to learn how to get that very relax look in family photos. Pinterest, done! Facebook, done! Joined the FB group!!! Keeping my fingers crossed ;) Thank you!!!

  145. Tara Kieninger says

    Shared on FB, Pinned to Pinterest, and I requested to join the FB group. Would so love to win this as posing is my weakness. Thanks!

  146. says

    I need help with fun, different, non traditional ideas for families – I got the posed ones down but would love to have ideas for different shots.

  147. Megan says

    I just started my photog business and love families! But I freeze when we get started and feel like I have no clue what to do with all those people!

  148. Maartje says

    I have some difficulties getting subjects to loosen up (usually the dads). Oftentimes I get a lot of deer in the headlights expressions from the dads.

  149. Katie says

    I need help getting families, especially those with older (school-aged) kids to relax and interact. Thanks for the giveaway!

  150. Kailee Bickford says

    Also, I am just starting out with photography for a fun thing and photos for family and stuff. I could use a lot of help! haha. But posing maybe is probably the biggest thing I need help with. And just more practice!

  151. says

    The thing I need most help with when posing families is the settings…what is the magic aperture and shutter spped setting so that everyone’s in focus while little ones are still wiggling around?

  152. Meissa says

    My biggest problem is how to get them from sitting vertically – when I point it out and demonstrate the “relaxed” look they bend over awkwardly. We need to get up, shake it out and start again!

  153. Michelle R. says

    I guess the think I need the most help is coming up with fresh and original family poses. Also, I joined the FB group a couple days ago (love it BTW!)and pinned pic #2! Good luck to all!

  154. says

    The thing I need the most help with is directing families into natural and fun poses. I want them to look real and relaxed, but most people need direction. I’d love to learn some techniques for getting casual, complimentary poses. And I’d love to be able to be a little more assertive. Not bossy, but definitely more assertive! :)

  155. says

    The biggest thing I need help with for the family session is how to get young children to cooperate, now and again I come accross some that don’t want to do anything… And posing guide would be fantastic! I would learn so much from it!

  156. Savanna Tate says

    I need to work on my post processing a little more. I feel like composition wise and lighting wise, I do ok, but that last extra punch of editing is where I lack!

  157. says

    Shared on Facebook, and joined your awesome group!!
    My favorite family posing tip= to let some things happen naturally, like the moments between son and father. Just a simple moment when a mom looks at her child can be an awesome shot.

    • Colleen Pardun says

      Arg! That did the pinning one twice. So can this one count as my Facebook group entry? I joined the Facebook group.

  158. Christie Darago says

    I think it is most difficult when there are children of varying ages. Seems like I can get one focused and ready but not all at one time!

  159. says

    I get that to get good candids the family needs to interact but how to get them on a positive track when mom is stressed about how everyone looks and not getting dirty and dad is just waiting to be TOLD what to do still eludes me. I’d love some help with how to get them on a happy right track without it taking so long.

  160. says

    Finding a good balance between sticking with poses/locations that work and trying something new and creative. I also have trouble giving outfit advice (I get asked EVERY TIME) and coming up with something I like that is also the client’s taste. Especially difficult when you don’t know the client!