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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. September 19, 2012 at 9:33 am —

    I could really use help posing! Plus, how to get them looking natural. I just love it when I ask them to interact and they look at me like I’m crazy… you would think they’ve just met! 😉

  2. September 19, 2012 at 9:33 am —

    I joined the FB Group. =)

  3. carolyn
    September 19, 2012 at 9:34 am —

    I’m always trying to capture my kids’ real smiles. The older ones “over pose” as soon as a camera comes out!

  4. Erika K
    September 19, 2012 at 9:34 am —

    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!

  5. carolyn
    September 19, 2012 at 9:35 am —

    Also, I pinned all the tips – for extra entries, but also because I like them!

  6. September 19, 2012 at 9:35 am —

    Joined the group! Super duper pumped about that 🙂

  7. Rebecca Saniga
    September 19, 2012 at 9:38 am —

    I think I need some help with knowing how to relax and slow down during a family shoot and to help the clients relax also.

    Also, joined new facebook group!

    Pinned to Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/rad196/


  8. September 19, 2012 at 9:38 am —

    Pinned an image on Pinterest!

  9. September 19, 2012 at 9:40 am —

    Shared on my Facebook page.

  10. caitlin ventiere
    September 19, 2012 at 9:42 am —

    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.

  11. Heather Bybee
    September 19, 2012 at 9:43 am —

    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!

  12. September 19, 2012 at 9:43 am —

    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.

  13. September 19, 2012 at 9:43 am —

    Sent request to join FB group. Looking forward to utilizing such a great group.

  14. September 19, 2012 at 9:43 am —

    I need to work on having every family member in focus and in good light. I’m also working on finding my flow with family sessions in the home.

  15. September 19, 2012 at 9:44 am —

    You know I definitely joined the FB group!! 🙂

  16. Heather Bybee
    September 19, 2012 at 9:46 am —

    I pinned a picture to pinterest! Can i just say, I love pinterest!

  17. September 19, 2012 at 9:46 am —

    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!

  18. Heather Bybee
    September 19, 2012 at 9:47 am —

    Sent a request to join the Facebook group. I’m excited about this group!

  19. Tracy Guinn
    September 19, 2012 at 9:47 am —

    My biggest pain point so to speak is natural expressions that don’t look forced or posed. I love non traditional pics but they seem to be the hardest to master… I did join the facebook group and pinned to pintrest….



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