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).
Family posing PDF IMAGES 1 600x428 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions
pin it4 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions
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.
Poole 6 600x428 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions
pin it4 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait 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.
Family posing PDF IMAGES 39 600x428 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions
pin it4 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions

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 Guide 600x935 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions
pin it4 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions
 Contest For A Family Posing Guide + 3 Keys for Successful Family Portrait Sessions

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - Google Plus

Previous Post:
Next Post:

748 Comments and 5 Replies

1 2 3 4 8

  1. 101
    Bren Dendy says:

    I pinned before I even realized there was a contest!

  2. 102

    I would love more tips on how to get families to interact naturally and relax in front of the camera.

  3. 103

    Already joined your facebook group. Can’t wait to learn more there!

  4. 104
    Bren Dendy says:

    I requested to join the group on FB – thank you!

  5. 105
  6. 106
    jordan says:

    I’d love to win! Looking for new ideas to get those natural poses, not the standard Christmas Card pose:)

  7. 107

    I need the most help posing more than 4 people- it gives me a headache! I would LOVE to win so I can improve my posing skills and create even happier clients!

  8. 108
    Cindy Palmer says:

    Pinned and shared on FB. =)
    My tip would be to stick a Pez dispenser in your hotshoe to help get the attention of little ones. =)

  9. 109
    Jessica S. says:

    I really need help posing families. I’m starting to get busy again and want to up my game for those family sessions!

  10. 110

    Also pinned this image to my pinterest board!

  11. 111
    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!

  12. 112
  13. 113
    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.

  14. 114
    Alesa says:

    I join the FB group. I am excited for this.

  15. 115
    BROOK HOLLIS 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.

  16. 116
    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!

  17. 117
    Jennifer 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!

  18. 118
    BROOK HOLLIS says:

    Also joined the FB Group.

  19. 119
    McKell S. says:

    I requested to join the MCP group on FB!

  20. 120
    Janie H says:

    I am starting a portrait business and need help with getting more natural expressions from my clients.

  21. 121

    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! ;)

  22. 122
    Jennifer says:

    I joined the FB Group. =)

  23. 123
  24. 124
    carolyn says:

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

  25. 125
    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!

  26. 126
    carolyn says:

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

  27. 127

    Joined the group! Super duper pumped about that :)

  28. 128
    Rebecca Saniga says:

    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 –


  29. 129
    Janie H says:

    Pinned an image on Pinterest!

  30. 130
    Janie H says:

    Shared on my Facebook page.

  31. 131
    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.

  32. 132
    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!

  33. 133
    Susan Dodd 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.

  34. 134
    Janie H says:

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

  35. 135

    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.

  36. 136
    Susan Dodd says:

    You know I definitely joined the FB group!! :-)

  37. 137
    Heather Bybee says:

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

  38. 138
    Kristie 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!

  39. 139
    Heather Bybee says:

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

  40. 140
    Tracy Guinn says:

    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….


  41. 141
    Jessica S. says:

    Joined the Facebook group!

  42. 142
    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.

  43. 143
    Susan Dodd says:

    Just pinned one of the awesome images! Thanks for this great contest, Jodi! :-)

  44. 144
    Amanda Sword says:

    pinned it

  45. 145
    Paula J 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!

  46. 146
    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

  47. 147
  48. 148
    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!

  49. 149
    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!

  50. 150
    Natalia aka Maygirl says:

    I sent inquiry for NEW FB group, thank you!

  51. 151
    kashuma says:

    I need help getting more natural smiles out of my clients.

  52. 152
    Melanie Morton says:

    I pinned this article. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  53. 153
    kashuma says:

    I joined the new facebook group (how exciting!).

  54. 154
    kashuma says:

    I pinned it! :-)

  55. 155
    Heather Clark says:

    I pinned the amazing family picture. Could that mama twirling her kids get any cuter???

  56. 156
    Melanie Morton says:

    I just joined your new Facebook group. Looking forward to interacting and learning even more. :)

  57. 157
    Erika K says:

    I joined the new FB group!! So excited!

  58. 158
    Heather Clark says:

    I requested an invite to the fb group! Can’t wait to learn more from other photographers!

  59. 159
    Krista 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!

  60. 160
    Carrie 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!

  61. 161
    Carrie says:

    I joined the Facebook Group!

  62. 162
    Brenda L says:

    I’m just starting out and any advice is helpful — also joined the FB group! Thanks!!

  63. 163

    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! :)

  64. 164

    I’ve requested to join the facebook group! :)

  65. 165
    Lili 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!

  66. 166
    Lili says:

    Just joined your FB group as well. Looking forward to meeting other photographers :)

  67. 167
    Christine says:

    I need help with posing! Anything beyond a basic triangle, and I’m lost!

  68. 168
    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!

  69. 169
    Adalia S. says:

    The thing I most need help with is how to plan out & structure the session for the best results.

  70. 170
    Lili 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!!

  71. 171
    Tina says:

    I could definitely use help for creative poses. I’m more comfortable with the candid shots than with setting up poses.

  72. 172
    Breanne says:

    I would love new posing ideas for family photo sessions!

  73. 173
    Tina says:

    also pinned to Pinterest.

  74. 174
    Kathy says:

    I’m just starting out and need ideas on how to get the family to relax so I can capture natural family interaction.

  75. 175

    I would love help with family groupings when there are teenagers and little kids in the family. I think little kids are easy to group with parents, it’s those older kids!

  76. 176

    The hardest part I am having with families is posing, and what to say to them to get them to “act” natural.

  77. 177

    Pinned the guide on Pinterest

  78. 178
  79. 179
    Kathy says:

    Joined the group!

  80. 180
    Elizabeth Newton says:

    I really need help with posing! Every session I always seem to get stuck as to what to do next.

  81. 181
  82. 182

    I just pinned the last picture of my friends family to my “family posing” pinterest board :)

  83. 183
    Tina says:

    and joined the fb group! Hope I win! :)

  84. 184

    I also joined the facebook group:) I am just learning that presets are so much easier than photoshop, thanks you guys!

  85. 185
    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.

  86. 186
    Sarah Card says:

    Family photo tip: be funny. they’ll laugh. you’ll get great shots!

  87. 187
  88. 188
  89. 189
    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.

  90. 190
    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.

  91. 191
    Casey says:

    I pinned one of the photos on Pinterest on my “Photo Inspiration” board.

  92. 192
    Casey says:

    I’m already a member of the new Facebook group. :)

  93. 193
    Christine Faris says:

    I need help with making my posed family photographs more natural, less forced.

  94. 194
    Christine Faris says:

    I pinned the photograph from the first tip!

  95. 195
    Christine Faris says:

    I requested to join the Facebook group. :)

  96. 196
    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.

  97. 197
    dee perrin 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.

  98. 198
    dee perrin says:

    Already joined the facebook group!

  99. 199
    Sarah Taylor says:

    My tip would be to get the hard stuff over with first (larger posed group, or photo involving young bored children).

  100. 200
    jeanine says:

    I need help with natural posing. Thanks for the chance to win!

1 2 3 4 8

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *


Image Map