It doesn’t matter if you are using your phone or a $5K professional camera, it won’t pose your kids for you. Either they are making a silly face or look absolutely miserable. There has to be a better way, right? Actually, there is. Today, I’m discussing how to solve the giant problem of posing your kids.
When my son started day school, I was asked if I’d be interested in taking the school portraits. Y’all, I cringed. This isn’t my jam. I explained to them that traditional studio portraiture (you know, the kind with all the lights, a backdrop, and little black chair you sit on… I know you remember) isn’t what I specialize in. However, if they were up for some outdoor portraits, I could definitely try. I did it, and it was like getting a crash course in posing kids from age 0-5. It’s taken me years, but I finally nailed a few good methods to get almost any kid to pose. After reading this post, you will learn how to quickly and easily pose your kids for photos without the stress.
Be Clear When Posing Your Kids
First, be clear in your instruction. Like, crystal clear. Saying, “stand over there” isn’t going to cut it, sister. If you want them to stand by the scarecrow, say exactly that. Better yet, say “you see that pumpkin in front of the scarecrow? Go sit on it for me.” See the difference? Clarity is key. Ask yourself before taking any photo, “What do I want them to do?”. The answer should be crystal clear instruction to set up your photos for success.
Something to Hold
Seriously, anything. I don’t know what it is. When someone has a purpose with their hands, they feel more confident in front of the camera. This holds true for adults as well. Simply giving them something to hold is the easiest solution. You can plan this in advance by having something that goes along with the “theme” of the photo. For example, on their first day of school, you could have them hold an apple. Don’t overthink this though. No matter where you are, you can find something for them to hold. A picked flower, their favorite toy, even the straps of their backpack will work if they are wearing one.
Put their hands in their lap.
This is an easy instruction that most children understand. It not only gives them something to do with their hands (giving them confidence and keeping them still) but it also will improve their posture. Speaking of posture, let’s talk about how to correct that with the next tip.
Sit up tall.
For whatever reason, “sit up straight” doesn’t register with kiddos. Try saying “sit up tall” to get good posture. This little change in my wording has made a huge difference. This can be used when they are sitting on the ground or in a chair. I purchased this children’s rocking chair when my son was little, and we have been using it for years. It is so versatile and easy to throw in the back of the car if I want to take on location. Simply adding a chair to ordinary locations can take the photo to the next level!
Take the photo from Above
This pose is actually more about posing you as the photographer. When the child is seated, take a photo from above looking down on them. Typically we shoot from the front. That’s great! Now let’s get a totally different shot of that beautiful smile by moving in closer and taking the image from above. Need help getting your kids to smile? Check out this post on 7 ways to get your kids to smile!
Cross your Arms
If your child is a little older and/or you have nothing for them to hold, ask them to cross their arms. Little ones might not understand what “cross your arms” means. Showing them how by demonstrating what it looks like works every time.
There ya have it: how to solve the giant problem of posing your kids with just a few easy steps. You can now quickly and easily pose your kids for photos without the stress. Ok, mama, it’s time to get photographing! Want to be able to use your camera to its full potential? Check out my signature course, Mastering Manual Mode. Yes, mom, you can learn what all those buttons do on your camera! I’m here to help.