Demo: Large Group Posing


Family Group Posing


Lesson Info

Demo: Large Group Posing

Hi, and it's Darien, awesome, thank you, and your are Mom to these two sweet twins which, let's just introduce everybody. Tethis. Tethis. And Hero. And Hero. So, okay, Tethis and Hero, and then we have aunt, and it's Lola, perfect, and then we've got Mom and Dad. And it's -- Steve. Steve. Carrie. And Carrie, okay. So, what I'm going to do, just for the demo purposes, I'm going to actually get all the stools kind of up here so I kinda have an idea of what we've got. So, perfect. Oh, I know you're wanting to stand, huh? Okay, so, let's go ahead and think what we'll do is get ... Mom first, so Darien, yup. You are going to sit, I'm thinking right, let's actually have you sitting right there for now. This is where I literally say it's a puzzle, so we're gonna just talk about posing right now. I'm not going to worry about the lights at this moment. Then we've got her two kiddos, so let's get Hero. Okay, so Hero, so Mom, I'm going to turn her. Her back is going to be to the light source, and...

then her face, though, is still going to need to turn back to me. So if she's looking too much this way, you're not going to have great lighting. It's going to be very broad lit, so when she brings her face back this way, we're going to have this beautiful wrap around light. So then, we've got Hero. You get to stand right here. I'll just pose a couple people, stand back, add a couple, stand back. Tethis, can you stand right in front of Mama? Just like this. Like I explained to you guys before, I'll just kind of reiterate some of these things. A lot of times what people do, I'm gonna have you put your hands underneath your arms for a minute, that's super common. I prefer hands actually on top. And you can just stand nice and tall. Can you scoot your feet all the way back, sweetheart? Nice and tall, so bring your arms, Darien, on top. There we go and then bring your sweet arms up there with Mama's. I think that's a lot sweeter, I love that. We'll actually shoot with these guys, too, but like that for sure. And bring, I want this arm, let's see those fingers, those cute fingers and you can put this hand behind Mama. Yup, just rest it behind her, yup, that's great. This would be a sweet image right here. Mom could close eyes, look at the camera. Then we're going to bring in sister, Lola. Lola, I'm just going to bring you right back here for now. Let's start with that. You get to bring your arm up here, your sweet niece, great. Then we're gonna have, I'm going to need all of these, but then I will add you guys in here, too. Then we've got Dad, Steve, we're gonna bring you back. Let's see where this puts you, just start off here and let's see where you are. I love that. Perfect, so I'm gonna probably have Steve straight on at the camera, and then we're going to bring Mom right on over here. Great. And then I'm gonna probably have you turn this way so your body's going to be turned here, but your face is still gonna turn straight back that way towards the camera. You guys are all set. Okay, so right now what I'm seeing when I'm looking at this, I actually really do want them, like, snugglier. That for me would mean you kinda lean over without hunching your shoulders. Bodies are actually touching, guys. You are a snuggly, close family here. I love it, that's great. Then Darien, your job, yup, sit nice and tall. Dad, you're going to lean, come this way a little bit. And then really lean over family, yup, right here. I love that. You can hold your granddaughter's hand, too. Really sweet. That, to me, would be a really sweet shot right here. And then we're going to start adding in some people. And I didn't get to actually meet everybody, so tell me your first name. Kristen. Kristen, okay. Kristen, one of the things I would do, it's not always about adding them in this way. I'm thinking Kristen would actually look kind of cool. This is your new extended family you didn't know you had. Kristen, I love sometimes adding the back, then they're leaning back this way. You're going to lean back that way knowing these are more up close, so don't worry about what hands are doing unless I tell you let's change some things. Then we'll, yup, volunteers, yup, perfect. And tell me your first name again. Terry. Terry. Terry, let's see if you're over here what happens. And I'm just going to look at height-wise. The one thing I do have at the studio, this is super great, I do use and have a lot of posing stools that can go up and down so if that height needs to adjust just that little bit, I do have that, and then I have some boxes and things. I mean, this is working out fine, but boxes and things that kids can stand on to be a little bit higher. I did that in the last shoot with Kai and had him stand on the stool, but I knew he was holding on to Mom and Dad to be safe there. I can already tell, yup, this is great. What's happening here, and I don't worry about people holding a pose. I know that finished pose I want, but I don't want people hugging and close and uncomfortable and hot and sweaty. I wait until I'm ready to shoot to make them go into that. They're just kind of staged ready to get into that pose. What I will eventually have you do, though, you're going to really lean back into your cousin, Lola. And then, I love this, that's great, I love your hands up here. The back row, especially shooting this way with the lights this way, what's really important, one of the things that will happen and a challenge you will run into is the shadowed side. If people are falling, they're casting shadows on the people behind them, so I do a lot of, I tell people kind of the up and over, cause I don't want people leaning over with shoulders. It's more of a, knowing it's an up close, it's an up and over with their bodies. Yeah, like that'll be good, but you don't have to hold that pose, I'm just, like I said, I'm just kind of looking at each of you. I feel like what I want to do with you guys, I feel like, Steve, I feel like I've got you too far back here. What if you guys scoot this way a little bit more. Yup, keep coming, keep coming, I might add somebody else in here, one of your long lost cousins. Okay, that goes, and tell me your first name again. Amy. Amy, okay. Amy, I'm thinking you're pretty tall, yeah, okay. Arms are going to go down by your sides. Now, yup, Lola, I'm gonna have you scoot a little bit. So Steve, let's actually do this. I want you and your lovely wife to turn towards each other. This is where I would just keep adjusting the pose, what's looking good. Actually like your bodies, just relax, scoot this way a little bit. Your front hands, it's the prom pose they say. You guys can just, you knew that one, see, the prom pose, there you go, snuggly. I love that, I think that looks a lot more relaxed. He's forward a little bit better. It makes room right here and then here's those mystery fingers I talked about. Right, so that's one of those things I watch. Your hands are great, but we don't want to see them in the photos, there we go. We won't know who they belong to. You're going to, again, you can wait until we're ready, but back here isn't going to really work as well with the depth of field. She's gonna need to kind of turn her body and lean up and over, but doesn't have to do it quite at this second. So, like, how many people are we up to right now? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Really? You guys can already see it. Where's a great spot to put somebody? Right here, so is there a volunteer? Come on up. Tell me your first name again. Barbara. Barbara, awesome. You're gonna sneak in here, and then I'll just kinda keep tweaking it. I'm probably going to, actually you would have this little spot, you can just see right here. You'll tend to wanna do this, but I'm gonna make you do this. And I would actually, my stepladder isn't here, potentially shoot this even a little bit on a stepladder. What I would do, just looking at this, this looks great, I'm gonna still tweak this. You guys are doing awesome. I'm gonna have you guys slide a teeny bit this way, just a little bit, that way you can really sneak in now. Let's make room for everybody, all your relatives, yup. The back row, I really only have two rows going on here. The key is, I tell the front row, you guys are sitting nice and tall. You're leaning, I want those arms crosses, a little bit sassy, yup, leaning back a little bit. And actually, Lola, I think this hand can just rest down by your side. Uh huh, yup, in fact you can, actually, I like you snuggled up against Mama. That's great. And then we're kinda just holding fingers here. Hold his hand, you got him, there we go, perfect. Actually, let it drop down. There we go, perfect, I love that. That's good, up and over, that back row. I would just keep tweaking up and over. Really, yup, you've got it. I can see that shot right there. That's gonna be great. The lighting, what I would do, I would change a couple things. If you guys wanna relax back, you can. But I would probably raise this up a little bit. Bring this around a little bit. This is still, pretty much you can see this is going to be lighting their background and it will be catching the sides as it's doing a little separation on the back of their hair, but it's a really soft light. And that would actually be great, and I think that would even be better a little bit from above. Cause what will happen on a shot like this, everybody's looking straight at me, completely fine, right? But if I just come up and just show people, okay, back row, up and over, lean in. Okay, like that and then I'm shooting down at them like this. It's just a more flattering angle on everybody. And you're going to love this, guys. Huggle, get in close, snuggle. Look at the laughs, look at that, and it's just tighter, tighter group, beautiful. I'm going to shoot that, hold on. Let's see. I know you guys want this as a wall portrait on your wall, I know you do. (laughing) I know you do. Let's see if everything I've set is set to do this, but oh, and I don't have my reflectors back in. Let's grab some reflectors, guys. Perfect, everybody's snuggly. This is where, but you can see, though, look how sweet that is. That's just a great, that would be a great, looks pretty good. But, yeah, the reflector's going to help fill in some of those shadows. Actually, looking at this, let me just talk to you about this for a second. You guys can relax for a minute. Looking at this, I mean, that was just a quick one shot based off of how I had it before, but that's really one light lighting them. That light in the background is lighting the background. Things I would adjust and change in this, I actually kind of love all of this. You can see a face. This is here, Tethis, Tethis. So, Tethis face is turned a little bit this way and the reflector's not there. Had the reflector been there, this would have been fine, but if she had shifted her face a little bit this way would have been some really beautiful, just wrap around light that would have reached the side of her face. This all looks good, you guys look great. Maybe I could have had Steve maybe turn his face a little bit this way, but I think all that would have actually been taken care of with the reflector. Let's do that one more time, okay, and then you guys will get to breathe and relax. Tethis, I'm going to have you turn your face a little bit this way. Hero, can you bring your chin up and turn your face a little bit. Actually, I like you laying against Mama, that's sweet. Laying against Mama. And, up and over, tight, huggle, snuggle. Oh, best family, I love it. Hero, chin up a little bit. Tethis, where's your smile, Mom's gonna tickle you. There she is, beautiful. And let's do a serious one, a little tighter, everybody leaning in. One, two, three, and Hero, so you know what, this will happen a lot. The kids will stick their feet out and then they start hunching and leaning on Mom. Bring your feet back to Mom so you're standing nice and tall still, Tethis, yup. There you go, beautiful. Huggle, snuggle, perfect, that's gorgeous. I want real smiles, no fake smiles, no fake smiles, right there, I love it. Perfect.

Class Description

Taking a great portrait of one person can be a challenge, but how do you capture an entire family looking their most authentic selves? Well-known family and children photographer Vicki Taufer will show you how to focus on the relationships and keep your clients relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera.

Vicki will show you:

  • What props and gear you should have on hand to bring out the best in your group posing
  • How to shoot with natural light as well as in the studio, and what lighting you’ll need to highlight all group sizes
  • How to make your clients feel comfortable before the shoot to get authentic images
  • The most efficient workflow to make your post-processing work for you

Whether it’s a group of children with pets or the extended family with grandparents and cousins, Vicki will give you the confidence to tackle any situation and provide your client with images that they’ll want to purchase and hang on their walls for years to come.


DOlores RUsso

All I have to say is - Vicki you are a saint. To handle four kids, dog and their parents too, not to mention a class of students watching...AND YOU'RE TAKING PHOTOS, GOOD ONES!! All I know is, I could not handle that as you have even though I was a teacher for 25 years (K-12, all of them) - and wonderful people like you are far and few between. May you stay healthy and happy and continue interacting with kids and parents - you really have a talent! (I had to turn the sound off on the vid because it was driving me crazy,, with kids, dog, etc etc!)


Fantastic posing class, loved watching Vicki in action. There are so many little things she said to the families she was photographing that really made all of the difference. Jed's product template creation and backend streamlining segment was great too!

Elizabeth Harrigan

I absolutely loved the course!!! The teacher was extremely engaging, so much so, I lost track of time... I learned more from this course than any other I have subscribed to. Both Vicki and her husband are positive and passionate in their delivery. They also have developed a level of expertise and a passion to share their knowledge honestly. It wasn't about ego, but rather, a genuine helpful attitude, which was so refreshing!