A mom and dad holding a baby boy walking hand in hand in a beautiful garden.

Family photography poses – for families with young children

Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for great family photography poses to use during your family sessions or simply just want better pictures with your kids these tips guarantee natural smiles and loving, connection filled moments. These are all easy to incorporate into mini sessions, as well as full sessions.

11 family photography poses

The simple spin or spin & squeeze family photography poses

These are my absolute favorite prompts for natural smiles. Kids love it and parents enjoy the ease at which it gets their children to smile. I ask my clients to spin with their child individually and stop/pause in front of the camera while interacting with them or looking at the camera when the spin stops. If I need to get the child’s attention I make weird noises or have a subject not being photographed help. This usually takes a few tries to make sure I have gotten the best shots.

Variations include having another parent squeeze in when the spin stops. Kids can be between the parents or on the sides.

The twirl

This is a great prompt for girls with either parent. Have them “twirl like a ballerina” by themselves or holding a parents hand. A variation for boys is to have them hold their parents hand and jump or try to pull them. Have multiple children? Try twirling 2 or more.

The nose to nose

This family photography pose needs no explanation but is sure to create natural, joyful, loving moments. I’ve never had a kid tell me they didn’t want to love on their parent.

The cheek to cheek

I often take the nose to nose an cheek to cheek photos back to back while the parents are already on the ground and switch out the children if other children are involved in the session. This works for multiple children, as well.

A great variation of this pose for smaller children who don’t take direction is forehead to forehead. Babies usually love this.

The Hand in Hand

This is a great prompt for any child with 1 parent or both and is especially handy for babies who aren’t quite walking on their own. Parents can be hand in hand holding the child(ren) or holding the child(rens) hand(s.)

The airplane

This works with 1 parent or 2. Try it with multiple children for some added sibling fun. I find it best for 9 month olds (or so) and up as it, often scares younger babies.

The shoulder ride

This prompt is typically best for children 2 and up.

In the air

This prompt works well for babies 6 months and up. Variations include adding a parent and brining them down for a kiss.

Pile it on or “attack”

Have a parent kneel and place the child(ren) out of frame. Then have them run and give the parent a big hug from behind or from the side. I like to make sure they know to turn their face towards the camera. You can, also, have both parents kneel and have the children run up and hug both or try to run through them.

Over the shoulder

Babies love to look over their parents shoulders. Add in a twist with a spin and stop facing away from the camera while somebody grabs babies attention. Parents can look at or away from their child and even throw in a kiss or two.

Simply hold them or get down on their level

Holding them or kneeling beside them and finding something to look at or do is a great way to capture authentic, awe filled moments.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and are able to incorporate them into your photography session or photo moments with your kids.

Laura Cardan is a Maternity, Newborn, Children and Family photographer offering studio and on-location session in and around the Birmingham, Alabama area.