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

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

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
Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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  1. Aimee Stiggins
    September 19, 2012 at 8:18 am —

    Joined the group. Can’t wait to learn more tips!

  2. September 19, 2012 at 8:19 am —

    i like photos that are less posed as well i had a group of 5 smaller kids, the oldest was 9 so i took balloons and bubbles. would love to win the guide!

  3. September 19, 2012 at 8:19 am —

    I’m a member of the FB group!

  4. September 19, 2012 at 8:20 am —

    Interacting with the man of the family and making him absolutely comfortable!!

  5. Jessica
    September 19, 2012 at 8:21 am —

    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.

  6. Jessica
    September 19, 2012 at 8:22 am —

    I pinned a photograph to pinterest.

  7. Jessica
    September 19, 2012 at 8:22 am —

    Just requested to join the new group!

  8. September 19, 2012 at 8:22 am —

    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!

  9. Sevan
    September 19, 2012 at 8:23 am —

    I have trouble making keeping everyone in good lightt without losing someone in the shadows.

  10. Deana smith
    September 19, 2012 at 8:23 am —

    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 🙂

  11. September 19, 2012 at 8:24 am —

    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.

    • September 19, 2012 at 8:34 am —

      Thanks for the quick reply on the Facebook group! I am really looking forward to learning a lot!

  12. Konya
    September 19, 2012 at 8:25 am —

    I would love to learn more about natural posing.

  13. Pamela
    September 19, 2012 at 8:25 am —

    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

  14. September 19, 2012 at 8:27 am —

    Would love help with what to do with kiddos at a family session!

    Pinned, retweeted and a happy member for the FB Group! 🙂 Thanks!

  15. September 19, 2012 at 8:27 am —

    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.


  16. September 19, 2012 at 8:30 am —

    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!

  17. September 19, 2012 at 8:31 am —

    Woohooo Facebook share, now I have done all I can do!!
    Good luck everyone!

  18. September 19, 2012 at 8:32 am —

    I’m doing a family shoot for a friend this weekend, and it’ll be my first time doing one, so I need help with everything!

  19. September 19, 2012 at 8:33 am —

    Oh, and I pinned one of the pics, and I am already a member of your gourp 🙂

  20. Lieke
    September 19, 2012 at 8:33 am —

    I have now also joined your Facebook group 🙂
    Thanks again!

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