Skip to main content

Family Group Posing

Lesson 7 of 33

Shoot: Get Family Comfortable

Vicki Taufer

Family Group Posing

Vicki Taufer

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

7. Shoot: Get Family Comfortable


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
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: Get Family Comfortable

Let's actually start with maybe trying some of those feet and hand shots, might be good. And then we can maybe move on to the rug. So if you guys want to come on up ... Get some of this stuff out of the way. One little thing I'll mention about these reflectors, they don't come with the light stand. They just have the attachment that you put on the light stand. I love this, because it's super stable, but I would almost prefer it to be on almost a smaller light stand, where this would almost be touching the ground, so when I'm shooting shots where the little ones are all the way in front of me it's fine, but that's one thing to know. These are up a little higher than what I probably would be typically shooting with, but it'll totally work. It's really just bouncing that light back here. If you guys wanna come back up I'll talk to you guys for a few minutes and tell you what our goal is, what we're gonna do. These first few shots, we're actually going to focus on Kyomi. You guys are gonna...

be in the shots, but it's not your whole body. So this will be a fun, like if she'll just stand there and just hold your hands, it might just be your jeans, shoes. It's all of Kyomi holding your hands. Then we might do something, if she's doing great with that, maybe sitting here down at your feet in the same sort of a shot. So just getting different shots. Does she like to be held up in the air and interact that way a little bit? Because then we might move back to try some of those shots. And then we'll move over here to the rug after we're done with those. Let's get my camera. Thank you very much. Come up a little bit more. Just kind of blur out that background a little bit. Oh. What do you got, what do you have? Let's see how far I can back up here. Sorry. Let's see what we got here. I am gonna have you guys back up just a shade. Yup, right about there. That's great. You know what we might do? Hold on. Do you think if she has her snacks, would she sit? You guys are gonna be in the background of the shot. We'll just see. She can hold her snacks. I might try to see if I can get one that's more up close and mom and dad in the background. We'll see. Hi baby. Can I have one? Share. Share. Share. (laughing) No. No. You want mama? Turn her this way a little bit. There we go. You got your sniddle? That's okay. That's okay. That's good. This is what we do. No, no, that's okay. You don't wanna sit? What we'll do, let's get you guys standing first and then we'll get to a point where you can maybe set her down and each hold her hands. Maybe you guys could each put on of the treats in your hands. I don't mind if she's actually looking over to the side and I'll try to get her to look up. Look what dad has. Can I have one? Share. With dad, not with me, with dad. (laughing) Can you give one to mom? Okay, sorry. I'm not tricking you. Do you think we can lose that without it being a problem? No, maybe? Give some to dad? No? (laughs) Actually, I love how she's happy there. We're gonna snuggle you and Chris, yup. Perfect. In a minute, we'll try to lose the cup. This would be an example of maybe shooting a couple shots knowing this probably isn't the one. Yeah, Photoshopping the cup out. At least it's white on white, right? Uh-oh, where'd it go? Where'd it go? I'm gonna have you guys... The hands, kind of bring them around Kyomi. More around her waist. Yup, that's perfect. Up higher. Perfect. So one thing, I just call them the mystery fingers. Chris right now has his hands... This happens every day, every time, every session... The people of course have their arms around their spouse but I actually don't like seeing these little fingers and knowing where they go. What was that? Can you come show me? Can you go give me one? Can I have one? Will you bring one to me? Kyomi, can I have one? Can you throw one at me? Do you think you can hit me? Can you throw one at me? Actually, can someone bring that reflector up a little bit more. Just bring it up. Into the side, this first one. Yeah, bring it up closer to me and then closer to them. Cool, closer to me. Up, up, up, up, up and then angle it at them a little bit more. Perfect. Okay. Okay, guys. Snuggle 'em in. Chris, your hand that's around Sophie let it kind of drop back so I don't see it. Yup, just kinda hide it. And then... Can daddy take your Cheerios? Your Froot Loops? Can daddy have them? See if we can grab them real quick. Can you hide some in mom and dad's hands? Can you hide them for me? Let me see. Let me see. Perfect, that's okay. Let's roll with it. I'm gonna have you guys actually grab it. Will you throw it? Throw a Froot Loop at me. Kyomi, can you throw one? Get me? Will you throw one at me? Oh, look. Kyomi, watch. What's that? What is that? What is that? What is that? Oh, what is that? See if you can grab her hand at least and then Sophie, turn your face a little more towards the window. Yup, perfect. And then looking right at me. Eyes right at me. Chris, bring your face forward a little bit so you're in the light a little bit more. Yup, that's great. Beautiful. You guys, foreheads to foreheads touching. Just mom and dad. Make your foreheads... Look at each other. Now looking back at me. Sophie, turn your face way more to the right. Eyes right at me. Perfect. Chris, come forward so you're in front of Sophie's hair. There you go. Sophie, turn your face a little bit to the right. There you go. That's beautiful. Soft smiles. These are the quiet smiles, guys. Beautiful, I love them. Gonna come up a little bit more. Let's try to... You guys stand up. You don't have to sit like that. I'm gonna have you guys stand up. You can keep the cup. Or just let her sit down with the cup. Can you sit on mommy's feet? No, you guys are gonna stand up and let's see if... Sophie. Here, can you hide a Froot Loop under daddy's foot? Can you hide a Froot Loop under daddy's foot? That's okay. You know what, let's do this. I'm gonna stagger you. So Chris I'm gonna have you sit facing right about there. Sophie, you're gonna sit kind of right in between Chris' legs. We're gonna stagger you guys this way and maybe this will be one we can end up grabbing. So you're gonna sit right in between them, yup. Let's just roll with it. She's happy. Everybody scoot in this way a little bit. Just look where we're at. Perfect. And actually, we got the step ladder? I'm gonna go ahead and just do it. We're gonna evolve to just shooting with this gray as our background. Love the concrete. Let's bring this... Let's see. So what's gonna happen when I pose a shot like this people are gonna look like they're hunching more than they are. Okay, yup, you got it. So Chris, you're gonna sit nice and tall. Your shoulders are going to go back. You got it. And then Sophie, look up at me for one second. That's gonna be great. Back up just a little bit. And then I'm gonna see if you can... Yup. Kyomi, Kyomi... Peekaboo! Kyomi... Kyomi! Kyomi, look. Now say cheese! Kyomi! Kyomi... Here, hand me the Froot Loops and we'll see what happens. No, that's not gonna go well, is it? (Kyomi crying) Yeah, we're gonna sing. Let's sing, guys. (singing the alphabet song) (Kyomi crying) Oh, no... No. (laughs) That's okay. Guys, why don't you go ahead and look up. Look up, look up. And then pull your hair... Sophie, your hair's on top of Kyomi. Yup, there you go. You got it, perfect. Why don't you turn her around so she's standing up so her head's closer to you? There you go. You wanna stand up with mama? Stand up with mama? There we go. Perfect. And then I'm gonna have you guys see if you can set that down. She can keep it. But just set it down lower. (laughs) And bring her towards you. Kyomi, can I see that? Okay, and then let's see if we can grab the cup. Nope? Alright, I'm gonna get mom and dad real quick. You guys look up here? Perfect. Chris, I'm gonna let you wrap your arms around mama. Look right up at me. Let's see what she does. Perfect smiling. I love that. Great smiles. Give your wife a beautiful squeeze hug. Bring your arms up, Sophie. There we go. And then she might get interested in being with you guys. Perfect, I love that. And that's good with those quiet smiles. Sophie, turn your face to the right. Chris, I want you to close your eyes. Kind of look down, chin down. Sophie, look up at me. Perfect. See if you can... Kyomi! (making noises) Kyomi, where's your doggie? Where's Val? Kyomi, where's Val? Where's Valentino? Where's Valentino? And Sophie, lean towards me a little bit more. Here we go. Hide the cup with your hand, that's perfect. Kyomi, peekaboo. Where's Kyomi? Oh, is daddy gonna tickle you? Is daddy gonna tickle you? Is mommy gonna tickle you? Oh, peekaboo. Is Valentino on my head? Is Valentino on my head? Is your doggy on my head? See if you can pull her forward just a little bit into the light. There we go. You guys looking down at her and I'll see if I can get her to look up. I love that. (making noises) Where's Valentino? Kyomi! Peekaboo! I'm gonna get you! Kyomi, is dad gonna tickle you? Dad's gonna tickle you. (Kyomi yelling) That's okay. Let's try the hand shots. If you guys both stand up and hold her hands, what happens? Now that she's... Yup. Here, can I, I'll grab it? You got it? Oh, we're gonna find him. Oh, we'll pick him up. Get daddy's hands. Pick her up. Just pick her up, yup. There we go. Oh, she sees the pictures. Oh, see if she'll hold your hands. Yup, there we go. Flying baby, turn her sideways. Turn her sideways, like this way. Sideways like she's with you guys holding her upside down. She could be upside down. Where's Kyomi? (Kyomi crying) No, maybe not? There we go, perfect. Now hold in. Hold in hands. See if she'll stand and hold your hands. (Kyomi crying) (laughing) Okay, so actually I'm gonna have you guys set her down. You can swing her. Can we like swing her for a minute? I won't necessarily shoot this but you can set her on the ground. Set her on the ground. Are you gonna swing? And then once we... (Kyomi crying) No? And then we'll stop... Oh no, she doesn't like that. Kyomi! (camera clicks) Oh, I kind of love that. Kyomi, where's daddy? Will you hold mommy's leg? Let her just hold your leg. Let her hold your leg. Kyomi! (Kyomi whining) Can we go for a walk real quick? If you guys, yeah, why don't you guys go back, see if she'll hold your hands. (Kyomi crying) (Kyomi whining) Okay, we'll get snuggly again. Let's get snuggly and huggly, yup. Hug her in there. Bring your arms around her. Pull her shirt down just a little bit so it's not in front of her face. Beautiful. And then Chris, really lean in on your fam. There we go. And then Sophie, see if you can lower your left shoulder a little bit. See if you can lower your left shoulder a little bit. And then snuggle in. Snuggle in. Oh baby. Oh, you hug mama? (Kyomi crying)

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!