Family portraits make for classic wall art for the home, but they also help cement and commemorate the family bond. Sitting together for a family portrait can be a fun event for your family, which you can combine with other activities after the portrait is taken. The question that most budding photographers who are interested in taking their own family portrait have is how to ask the family to pose for the best looking canvas print. Here are a few ideas for posing your family subjects that will look amazing on a photo canvas.
Taking a family photo with multiple generations or family branches does not have to be complex. An attractive way to pose a family group like this is to have each branch of the family pose together about a foot or two apart (think of the opening credits for the TV show Modern Family).
For a simple family portrait of mom and dad with the kids, there are a few great poses to try with the kids in the center. This symbolizes the family unit while helping to balance the composition. You can have mom and dad on either side of the kids with all family members linking hands, or for smaller children, have mom and dad hugging the kids in between. To make sure everyone is in the photo, it usually helps to take this type of shot over the mom’s shoulder while the mom and dad are kneeling.
A visually appealing vertical pose can be achieved by having each member of the family stand in front of each other in order of height, with each family member’s hands on the shoulder of the person in front of them. In most (but not all!) cases, dad will be standing in back, with mom in front of him, followed by each child in height order. It’s OK if one or more of the family members kneel to make this shot work; you can also have one of the family members laying down in front if there are two adults of the same height in the family group.
Boy-girl grouping for family portraits can be done for families of any size and is an interesting way to mingle different family branches. For this pose, family members pair off into boy-girl pairs that can be arranged in similar (child-child, adult-adult) or contrasting (child-adult) age groups. Each pair should sit or stand together holding hands or in an open hug to show connectedness. If there are an odd number of girls or boys, you can always do trios, or have one or two trios mixed with the pairs.
There is no rule that says that family members have to look at the camera for a portrait. Having family members gaze at one another instead of at the camera can actually emphasize family togetherness as much as, and perhaps more so than, body language alone. You can ask the kids to look at each other while mom and dad lock eyes, or change it up. For larger families, having one family member look at the camera while other family members pair their gazes can draw in the viewer on the final print. Or sometimes it is just fun to crack jokes and laugh at each other. Those natural candid images will translate into amazing canvas prints.
This article is written for Canvas Press. To find out more about Canvas Press’ products visit www.canvaspress.com.