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Family Group Posing

Lesson 13 of 33

Shoot: Family With Furniture

Vicki Taufer

Family Group Posing

Vicki Taufer

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Lesson Info

13. Shoot: Family With Furniture


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:09:12
2 Favorite Family Group Poses Duration:12:45
3 Plan the Photo Shoot Duration:04:08
6 Review Images from Shoot Duration:04:37
8 Family of Three Shoot Recap Duration:10:05

Lesson Info

Shoot: Family With Furniture

In talking to the clients ahead of time, I just said this is a fun one, like couches, like go fun, like outfits, go fun, whereas the first one was, you know, maybe a little more, you know, simpler clothing. I said have fun with it. It looks like they did. I'm seeing all kinds of fun patterns. Oh I love it, polka dots and leopard print. They look ready. Do you guys want to come on over? Yay. Perfect. And I know we only met for one second. Do you remember my name? Yep, Miss. Miss Suzie. Miss Suzie. No, it's Miss Vickie. But I remember your name. Your name was Lilly. No, Kiocoa. Kiocoa, I love it. And you said you were 10. No, four. Oh four, four, she's four. And it's Riley and I can't. Kai. Kai, because I have a very good friend named Kai. I will remember that. I love your guys's outfits. Did you pick those out or did Mom? Mom. Mom, your mom has some good style. And my dad bringed me this. Your dad brought you that? Do you think it will fit me? No. No? But I love it. Are you sure? ...

Yeah. I have a daughter. Maybe it would fit her? No, I'm teasing, that is so sweet. I love it, great. Well, you know what we might do, and then I might just start with individuals of each of the kids. Actually, it would work out good. So, you know what. Huh? Oldest to youngest? Oldest to, oh, is that what you want to do? Or youngest to oldest? What do you want to do? Youngest to oldest. Youngest to oldest? Okay, okay. Well so kind of what we're going to do, so you guys are welcome to come back here or wherever you want to be. You can hang out there, and I always tell. Sometimes mom and dad, actually, if it's just a session with a group of kids, they get the choice. Like some of my clients are like I just want to be surprised at the sale, they trust me, and they just read a book in the other room while I'm working with the kids. Or so, these guys have a choice to come here. I'm going to shoot individually, one on one, whatever you guys want, so. Kiocoa, do you want to go first? You do, awesome. So I have to get my camera all ready, alright? So if you want, you can just. Do you want to sit on that couch? I don't know. You don't know? Okay, well you can dance around or you can sit on the couch. You get to do whatever you want while I get my camera. So I gotta get my holster on. So I will try to use some of these same things that I did with the little one that will probably be a little more age appropriate and get some probably better reactions, and then Chris, at some point, I may refer to you to come be my helper, only to do some of the stuff we did before, like maybe put the feather duster on my head. I, you know, one of those options. Oh, and my camera is right here, awesome. So I switched to my 70 to 200, which might be somewhat limiting. I'm going to start off with it, and if I have to switch to a wider angle, I will, but I think this should work out great because I love the 70 to 200 in that I obviously can be getting full length, up close, just that fast. So let's, real quick, you know I'm going to light meter again. Does anybody else lose their camera all the time? I set stuff down all the time in my studio and can never find it. And is it Kiocoa, is that right? And do you go by Cocoa, or is that your sister? Kiomi. Kiomi, and you're Kiocoa? Yeah, so you like to go by? I mean Cocoa. Your sister is Cocoa or you're Cocoa? Kiomi. Kiomi, okay, perfect. I mean Kiomi Gail. Kiomi Gail? Kiomi Gail. You gave her a new name? So with these individual shots, I'm also going to be shooting at two eight, at a shallower depth of field because I don't need that, obviously, for a group shot. Give me a minute here. Okay, perfect. Alright, you are so cute. So what is your favorite color? Dark blue. Dark blue? Is that a new jacket or have you had that jacket? Is it new? Yeah. It is, aw. Is there a frog on my head? What, there's not? Yeah. Oh, there is? What color is it, is it purple? No. No? What's your favorite color? Dark blue, yeah, yeah. Is it a dark blue frog on my head? Yeah, yeah. Do you like to be tickled? Does Dad ever tickle you? Yeah. You know what? I have this silly thing. Look at this feather duster. I call it the tickle stick. I am so afraid of this. You don't think your dad would put this on my head, would he? Yeah. He would? Yeah. You think so? Is Chris in here? No, so, do you think your mom would put this on my head? Yeah. Because that would make me like so nervous. I'm so ticklish. She wouldn't do that to me, would she? Okay, but you would tell me? You're my friend, right? Would you tell me if she does it? Okay. What? She's doing it. No, what are you talking about? Wait, wait, wait, oh I'm so ticklish. Oh wait, cute. She did it. Cute, cute. Oh, you are so cute. Are you allowed to stand on your furniture at home? Yes. You are? Awesome. Can you stand on that couch for me? Yes. Go stand on it. Get as tall as you can get. How tall can you be? What, what? No way. Do you have any sass? Do you know what that is? Can you stand with your hands in your pockets, oh, see, let her just do her thing? On the couch, you can stand on the couch and do it. Can you do that? Oh my gosh. Don't you look at me. Do not smile at me. Whatever you do, do not smile. Oh, she found herself, there we go. Do not smile at me. Do you know what? Do you know what a quiet smile is, though? Wait stop, freeze, freeze. Okay, stop, freeze. You know what I'm going to have you do? Can you lay on your tummy on the couch? Actually scoot all the way up to the edge. Watch, just like this. Scoot all the way up, all the way up. And then can you sit here? And then you're going to lay your hands up here. Bring your hands up, can you bring your hands up there? Just like that, but you're going to look at me. I'm going to be over here, so you gotta scoot your knees up so you're not falling down. I know that's a slippery couch. What in the world? That is the most slippery couch. Can you scoot your knees up a little taller? Yeah, you're going to look at me, and I come in and tell you a story, so a real quiet smile, okay? Just like this. Do you know how to smile without your teeth? Just like this, quiet. So I'm going to go back here. Shh, quiet, shh. We're sliding, aren't we? Where's that quiet smile? Don't you look at me. Can you put your hand down on the couch? There we go, shh. Okay, you can hide. Can you lay on your hand instead? There we go. Looking right here, looking right at me. Not at the TV, look right at me. Look right here, look right here, sweetheart. Looking right on top of my head. Oh, perfect. Let's do this. Sophie, can you actually hop in here quick and I'll just show like a mother daughter shot here? Yeah, sorry, you don't need that. And so let's do this. You're going to sit, and then we'll just keep slowly adding kids, so you're going to sit and then scoot forward on the end of the couch. Yep, right there. Can you stand behind Mom? Stand behind her and be taller than her? Yep. No way. And then watch. You're going to gently wrap your arms around Mama. Yeah, you are. Gently. Yeah, watch Mama. Wrap your arms around Mama, give her a little hug, a little snuggle, and then mom is going to bring her arms up and snuggle on you, and then oh, looking right here. I love that. Oh yeah, there we go. Outtakes. And if she can sit on your lap. Now you guys, so one thing I love to do with this is yep, I was just going to say, a lot of people wrap arms underneath their little's arms, so actually just for sake of demonstration, this happens all the time. That's okay. I prefer, yep, the arms over the top. One of the teddy. Of the what? Okay, yep, just one second. Of the teddy. Oh yeah, okay. You're doing so good, and then here. Put your hands underneath, underneath Mama's. I know, I ruined it. I should have taken the shot. It was already posed and now I'm changing it up. And then your arms, watch, go like this. You're going to hold onto Mom. Oh, you got her, you got her. Good job. So Sophie, so you don't want the choke hold. Lower the arms a little bit. That might be the reality shot sometimes, I'm sure. Okay, lower the arms, lower the arms. Okay, sit up, sweet girl. Can you look at, look back at Mama? There, lay back, lay back on Mama a little more. Look, lay back on Mama a little more. Perfect. Let's go ahead. Stay there, I'm going to add in. Who else do we got here? Riley. Let's do. Awesome. And then, so then what we'll do, and then we'll end up, we're going to end up adding Kiomi and get like mom and the girls and we'll do the same thing with the boys. So Riley, so what I would have you do. Let's make this a little more fun. You're going to do one where you sit like that and one you get to sit back and kick your feet up over the couch. Okay. Is that kind of fun? So let's bring this arm behind Mama, and then can this hand hold onto Mom? I lost my tiger. Do you have any idea where he went? On your head. No, why would I have a tiger on my head? Okay, and Riley. So watch her arm. So this will happen, like the mystery fingers around the waist I talked about. You also will get that a lot with around the neck, so Riley your arm that's around Mama, just kind of bring it down lower, yep, and I don't even need to see, yep, that's good. Just let it rest behind her. You don't even have to wrap it around her. In fact, do you know what's even better? Okay, grab Mommy's arms with both your hands. Even cuter, so like are both arms wrapped around Mommy? There you go. Just hold her. There you go, much better. I love that. Okay, everybody looking right here. Wait, I lost that tiger. Where'd it go? On your head. Oh, you told me that, you told me that. Can you guys all look at each other? Cute. Make your noses touch, Riley. Touch Mommy's nose. Kiocoa. Perfect, cute. Let's do this. Let's add Kiomi. And let's switch places. Let's let Kiomi sit on your lap. Oh, and you, here. We're going to switch places. You get to stand behind Mom. Where's your teddy? Oh, I lost it. I forgot that was on my head. So you stand behind Mom like we did before. Stand right behind Mama like we did before. Then boys will be on deck here to. Okay, so. You know what I'm going to do, sweet girl? Okay. You lost your shoe, you lost your shoe. Okay, you're going to come up here closer to Mama. Just like you lost your teddy. Yeah, just like I lost my teddy. Hold onto Mommy's arms, hold onto Mommy's arms, and actually Chris, I'm going to have you grab that on top. Okay, so remember how ticklish I said I was, and I said please do not let your parents tickle me, okay? Hands down, hands down, hold Mommy. I don't know what, I have no idea what you're talking about. Okay, freeze. Snuggle up near Mom. Freeze, snuggle up to Mom. Oh, and you guys watch. Don't hide like this. Let your arms relax. Oh, there it is, perfect. Riley, let your head snuggle in a little closer to Mama. Peekaboo, freeze, freeze. Oh. Kiocoa, one, two, three, freeze. There we go, looking right here, and lay next to Mom. Lay your head a little closer to Mama. Kiomi, let's go. Riley. Cute, that's okay. You know what, I actually got one. All I really need is one with mom and the girls. Oh wait, stay there, stay there. Go back, go back, go back. Kiomi, kiomi. That's okay, that's alright. There we go, hands down, next to Mommy. Let's do this. Let's actually get Mom with a ll the kids, so we need Kai, I want Kai here. Kai, so let's do this. So actually, Riley, we're going to switch a couple things. I want to put the tickle thing on your head. You do? Okay, you know what? When we're all done, you can do that. So Riley, you get to do this. Okay, so everybody stand up for a second. I'm going to try something. Riley, you're going to lay your back up against Mama. Put your feet over the couch. Thank you, thank you. No, you're going to put your back against Mom. And then Mom's going to scoot a little closer to you so that hopefully, is that? Okay, now watch. So right now you're sitting here. Can you kind of roll on that hip towards me a little bit? So just kind of turn a teeny bit so you're not straight like? So instead of like this, kind of turn a little bit, your bottom, your legs, so you're sitting more on your side? Just a little bit. You can cross your feet if that feels more comfortable. Cute, okay. And then, yep, and then we're going to get Kai, you're going to, and so I'm guessing you might need to hold. Maybe, we'll see. She might be able to stand behind you. Kai, I'm going to have you sit right there, scoot right up next to Mama. So I think of this like a puzzle. Sometimes it fits, sometimes it doesn't. I'm just going to keep working it. Kai, your job, so people, if they're not sitting with their feet on the ground, will tend to get slouchy, so Kai, I want you to sit forward so your feet are on the ground. You can sit nice and tall, there you go, perfect. And then, let's see what this little one's going to do. Just make sure she's not going to go over that, is she? Okay, okay, okay. So I am going to want. You know what? I'm throwing you in there. Can you sit next to Kai and put her on your lap? Let's just make this a family shot. Sophie, don't hide behind your kids. I've got your chin hidden a little too much. There we go, cute. Oh, I'm backing way up here, guys. Okay, everybody look at each other. This first shot, everybody look at each other. Sophie, can you, oh yep that looks good. Okay, perfect. And then everybody looking back at me. Aw, woo, perfect, I love it. Awesome, so cute. You guys look adorable. I'm loving that, and oh, should I throw that monkey? One, two. Who's getting it? Whose head is it going to land on? Whose head, oh put hands up, your hands have to be down. Your hands have to be down if you're going to catch it. Oh, hands down, hands down, perfect, perfect, and then Sophie, scoot your little one a little bit. Scoot, yeah, there we go, perfect. So you're right above, yep. Kiomi goes out there, yeah, perfect. Oh my gosh, that's great. Quiet smiles, everybody. Riley, you're hiding in your shoulders. Sit your head up a little bit more. Shoulder down, relax those, you got it, thank you. Okay, peekaboo. Don't you look at me. Kai, don't you look at me. Don't you dare. Don't you smile, okay. Everybody, can you say Dad has stinky feet? What? Dad has stinky feet. No he doesn't, that is totally. Sorry Chris. I just met you. I don't think you have stinky feet. Okay, that is super silly. Oh, and give us one. This is, see. Camera, busy, something. Yep, there we go, that's great. I'm going to change the pose up really quick. Let's try just the kiddos for one. Actually, yeah, let's try. Actually let's try, are we good? Okay, let's try just the kiddos for one. Hold the monkey for a minute, okay. Get back on the couch. Now the way we're going to do, yep we'll try sitting, and if that doesn't work, it was just saying busy. It's because it had too many photos. Gotcha, okay, alright. Okay, so here's the plan. This is what, wait, this is what I would do. Okay, hold on, here's the plan. I'm going to get these three staged. I am cropping this really on the edge of the couch. One of you guys can have Kiomi, and at the last minute, when we're ready, we're going to put her in, so. I would put her next to Kai. Yep, unless you feel like she would do better. You know, I'm not sure, if she hangs out more with one of her kiddos, but otherwise I'm going to put her right there next to Kai. So you guys, you guys have to listen. You gotta listen, shh. Can you sit with your legs criss cross applesauce on the couch? Sit with your legs criss cross applesauce right here. Do you know how to do that? It's just like this. Kiocoa, here, just like this. Can you sit like me? Right next to Riley, I need you right next to your sister. Scoot up right next to her, right next to her. Scoot over some, Kiocoa. Just real quick. And now, you know what, I'll get that little tiger out again, okay. We'll play hide and seek with it again. I'll hide it somewhere, okay. You can help me find it. You got to help find it, okay. So you're going to, can you scoot up a little more? Can I, can I help move you just a little bit? Scoot up here a little more, not on the back of that. You're going to lean on your sister just a little bit, nice and tall. Silly girl, okay. And then Kai, that's awesome, okay. So what we're going to do is on the count of three, let's try to drop the, no you're fine, try to drop, oh that is so sweet. You guys, no smiles, let me just do one real quick, but I want your sister in here too, so let's add in Kiomi, yeah, we're ready. Bring her on. She's going to sit next to Kai. See. Maybe, that was the plan, but that's okay. We will, get him, get him, get him. Kiocoa, oh, where's Mama, where's Mama, where's Mama? Peekaboo. Kiomi, A, B, C, D. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V. Make sure your heads stick out. Riley, she's got you. Flying baby. Here, let her lay down her and yeah, hold her. See if she'll, yeah, perfect. I'm going to come in a little more close for one. That's okay, that's okay. You know what? I'm good. Let's see what she does. We're going to. Get them, get Riley, get Kai. Kai. Kiocoa, there we go, perfect. Oh, do not let Mom. Hey, oh wait, wait, wait. Oh don't let your mom put this feather duster on my head. Oh, Kiocoa, stay still. Wait, sh, wait, I'm going to tell you a story. Quiet smiles. Kai, right here. Kiocoa, sit down. I want you guys, can you glue your heads together? Everybody's heads glue together? Huggle, huggle. Oh hands down, hands down, put your hands, oh. Do you have pockets, Kiocoa? Put your hands down. Okay. I don't know. Okay, let's actually do this. Let's do this because I want to get to, let's get one of Kai and Dad. Let me get the boys real quick. And then we're going to do the whole family again with a totally different pose. So I love it, cool dude. Just, hi. How are you? Oh, are you trying to find? I know what you want. It matches your coat, kind of. Oh, well hello. Okay, so let's do this. I'm going to do one like this, I love it. What I'm going to have, Chris I'm going to have you, the left foot, let it go ahead and go a little more flat, yep. Oh, alright, we might get the boys and one girl. That's too cute. Kai, there we go. Oh my gosh, seriously? Okay, everybody get over there. I don't even care. This is just going to be like whatever happens happens. I do this all the time. Go, go, go, go, go. Go everybody, go. And I'll change it if I don't like it. Otherwise just do what you do. Run over, hurry, hurry, hurry. You know what would be super cool? Oh yeah, sit with Dad, sit with Dad, perfect. Okay, I love that. Riley, bring your hands down, I think, Riley. Perfect, right there. Oh, where's Kiomi? Oh, here, you know what? Hold her up, hold her up in the air. Everybody look at Kiomi flying in the sky. Everybody look at your sister. Uh oh, there we go. Nope, okay bring her down. We're not a fan, bring her down, there we go. Perfect. Everybody, this is called the huggle. All your heads are glued together. Smoosh in, get snuggly, perfect, and where's Kiomi? Don't you look at me. Where's Miss Kiomi? Kiomi. Who am I going to get? Do you think I can tickle? Oh Kio, oh, I can get your toes. Kiomi, Kiomi. Oh, who am I going to get with this? What is that, what is that? Everybody, here throw that tiger at me, throw that tiger at me, that you're holding so it's not in the shot. Look at Mommy, get her, get her, get her, get her. Pull her shirt, yep. Look, oh, can you get it, can you get it? Good thing I have a bunch more. Just throw it out of the way. Riley, look up. Riley, put your head next to Kai. Yay, oh I can't find that tiger. Where'd it go? I can't find it. Where'd it, hands down, hands down, hands down, hands down. There we go. Okay, everybody looking right here. It's on your head. No, no way. What are you talking about? It's on your head. It's on your head. And then all, Kiomi, Kiomi. Oh sit up, Kocoa, there we go. Oh Kiomi. There we go. Can you guys, let's do a quiet smile. No smiles, sh. Snuggle back with Daddy, sweetie, snuggle back with Daddy. Oh Kiomi. Lights, well let's try a few more before we do that because I think once we do that, we'll keep the dog in it. Okay, that's okay. Let's, you know what? Let's do this. I've got Dad, I don't think I got a Dad and, let's go back to Kai and Dad really quick, just really quick, because then we're going to turn the couch and change up the pose, so. I love it. So Kai, let's see. I want you sitting nice and tall, buddy. Put your feet flat on the ground. Oh, I love that. Can you kind of let your arm lean on Dad's leg a little bit, just your right elbow? Oh, I love that, that's cool. There we go, looking right here Chris. You guys look awesome. Kai, that's awesome, I love that. Now, I want to do something that's a little more relational. Kai, can you be right in front of Dad? It's just going to be up close. Sit on the couch right in front of him. He is going to choke hold you, wrap his arms around the top of you. You are going to bring your arms up and hold Dad. I love that. Chris, you're going to look down at Kai. Kai, you're going to look right at me, buddy. Awesome. Chris, I want you to lean your head on Kai and look right at me, and now look at me, bud. Chin up, Chris, a little bit, beautiful.

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!)

Marla GIbson

It was true to life and yes, a bit chaotic. But I enjoyed it, it shows the work that often does go into a session with all the multitasking. I got some great ideas for poses, and learned some new way to interact with younger children. Thank you for a honest session and not a perfect planned one.


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!