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How to Pose Family Portraits

Lesson 3 of 7

Floor Posing Large Groups - Live Shoot

Michele Celentano

How to Pose Family Portraits

Michele Celentano

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Lesson Info

3. Floor Posing Large Groups - Live Shoot

Lesson Info

Floor Posing Large Groups - Live Shoot

So now we can actually continue building in on this group. Right? So, jacob, come on over. Dude, I have another space for another puzzle piece right here. All right, so and how? What size is he in comparison to sister he's? A little smaller than her, right? And she's a girl and he's a boy. So am I gonna put in front of whom I'm gonna put in front? I got you on camera. Makes you totally uncomfortable. Okay, so you're gonna put your hip right here? Yep. Legs going out this way. What you got in your pocket, dude? Play like a champion. I like that. All right, here we go. So now I want you to get in a little bit closer. You weren't really right in there. And then you're going to lean on your sister a little bit without totally annoying her. This arm will come behind him yet so I wouldn't hide it a little bit. Turn onto your hip a little bit more. See what happened? Jacob was on his butt all the way. Turn onto your butt all the way the other way. Yeah. See, what happens to his body was like ...

my move that's a technical term you should never forget. Okay, so lift up onto your hip now boys are tough, right? Look at this, right? So girls will just be like boys. Like what do you want from me? Like, right? So this is another reason why we have to be quick, so I'll come back to the camera and we're gonna have to get a little bit lower and we're gonna have to probably go horizontal. Jacob jacob I love you, man. All right, so I want you to put your elbow right here and sit up nice and tall for me, so I'm not too squishy up a little taller. Now check it out if I want to create more diagonal and trying to little lines, I'm going to do this. We can move it this way just a little bit, right? And that way we have a nice triangle there, but I'm gonna move back just a bit more. Check out how we just add onto this group I might need to school back here between you. Sorry. No, this is perfect way. Go. Yes. All right, look, the girls already knew exactly where to go as amazing. Lived up kelly, let your foot come out just a little bit more, so I'm working at that base, right, and then cure put your top leg over your bottom leg that's it and then pop your knee up just a little bit for me that's it so I've got a nice triangular line they're perfect olivia hold on your brother right there put your arm on him so I see the side of your hand yeah, not a fish like you want to punch him in the head there you go perfect everybody squeezing together right there so see how easy it is to just build on this group right here I want every lift up that's it lean into each other just little bit jacob turn your face. Your mom just little bit chin up towards me a little bit. You look really surprised about something. What is it? That's it perfect. So check it out. Oh, my gosh. Is that gorgeous or what? And look, I haven't moved mom at all, but look at mom now if you're the mom here and you have any sort of body issues any is there any going on here? Nothing. All I'm showing is kelly's beautiful face surrounded by her children. What mom wouldn't be happy with that? So you've got to think about this with family portrait seriously? You know kelly's probably in her forties I'm going to take a guess with six children you probably in your forties I'm in my forties. All of my mom's generally are in their late thirties two fifties maybe even older all they want to do is look good and women we spent a lot of money on the face I'm not gonna lie right skin care bo tox hair makeup right just hide the rest of it no right is it my lion totally right I'm like I'm just being completely honest here and even my like super sin mom's there's more I could do with them sometimes and you know and still don't like what my arm and you know my art thing we're all my arm looks fat you know that's why I always tell moms stay away from sleeveless even if it's a three quarter sleeve it will help thin out the arms all that kind of stuff but now okay look look we have going on here I I still think we can add to this do we still have spaces in this puzzle? Are there still places to add pieces all right, so we're come on over here, buddy. Awesome. So where in this puzzle do you think you should go and sometimes a little ones I ask him right? Because it gives little kids the power to decide because sometimes like well I don't wanna sit there yeah right it was obvious where the hole was right so there he goes I want to lean on your brother just like this that's it oh, my gosh now notice again okay, so um liam I want you to lift up and lean over him a little bit more so your face gets closer and then lean this way toward them a bit there you go see how I'm getting their faces on the same plane lift up lean in lean in oh my gosh oh you guys are gonna love this well, you can really already see right there we go. What is that way to go so sometimes you speak at my home what like I have not asked these people to smile one time really right it's just having fun with um and even that in between everybody looking at liam okay ever you look at liam and laugh every look at liam last look at your mom looking your mom look at your mom and laugh that's a good one right? So that could be like a candid you adam between okay so olivia drum paul your arms around everybody really squeezing faces altogether faces altogether nice and tight I love it I love it. Okay here come down just a little bit that's it perfect. So after I've done a formal one where could we put those side by side of possible the formal one and then this kind of huggy squeezy one oh, come on she could be ruining my shots shots tio what's up with that so we'll do the nice like nice up do we get it back so we do the nice straight up one every has left bleeding up and there was squeezing squeezing squeezing so it normally see the moms all my house you can't kill me my kids boys and all right out of the picture taken here's a news flash no one except models likes having their picture taken period right have you ever had a client come to you and say I'm just dying to have my portrait son because I love being photographed right they're like no we really need a family portrait but I hate being photographed I don't like the way I look I never look right here fat my wrinkles boba you know I mean that's what clients come to me and say do we have some more holes we can add people to hear I think we do right alright jason come on over okay so you're gonna put your knees right in here nice and tall lift up so there's a space right here for dad if I really want I can move you over this way and put that right behind mom however you want to do it and we got finn who's you know he's too who's that body hey finn can you come sit right here for me buddy right in front of mom so little is one goes in the front put him right here perfect yeah go sit right there in the front oh that's so good so oh my gosh so at least tell mom don't worry I'll use the reason that you feel not quite in shape to hide it and it's usually the children right like mom's always say oh you know I just haven't lost that last ten or twenty or whatever I'm like don't worry I will I will cover your body with the reason that you feel fat like your children right it's it's true buddy hi oh there you go all right so now you have a two year old we have about thirty seconds if not to get this image so jason lean over everybody come this way just a little bit okay livia lean over and then liam get nice and tall right there in front your sister get up higher on your knees and go in front of her just a little bit higher on your knees there you go can a pyre pyre pyre there go jacob up a little bit higher right and then put let your hand relax their own unique that's it and on your sister's leg that's it perfect all right here we go everybody are you ready I gotta back up sorry see what happens when you have like add eight people to a photo okay so jason's really up nice and tom's I want you to lean in and then put your hand that's it's so much better he looks the lift up and then lean in okay all right keep looking with your face you got a brilliant except that leaves like hey where's my picture wait everybody looking at me okay every looking at me and I'm gonna make sin laugh ok so you guys keep smiling at the idiot photographer okay okay raj what are you gonna play peekaboo already going to three awesome so see how it just adding to the puzzle mom's getting a little bit lost here no doubt but I'm not going to move him right because we're lucky we got low like that is money like how many times you get a two year old to just be that good that fast I let's break it up let's try something completely different let's start working with jason and the kids let's bring let's bring a chair in so that's putting people on the floor so we put people on the floor what we want to do is way want to avoid slumping like this right sitting fully on the butt because that just creates a compression in the body and it doesn't make anybody look we can turn people on to the hip it instantly lifts up the chest we can bring the feed out to create a triangular base and now we have all these spaces right here to fit bodies in order to create that puzzle so I always I will always show moms how to do this to sit on the floor and roll onto your hip, and also creates a diagonal line in the shoulder here. If she's flat like this, anytime you're flat like this, it's just gonna I was gonna accentuate anything in the mid, so lifting up, pulling up from the senator's spine rolling onto the hit. The other thing I'll do is I'll say, if you're onto your hip, you instantly look thinner. She will sit like this for the rest of the day, no matter how much pain she's in, because I told her, if you say like this, you're going to look thinner. E I can hear my back cracking, but I don't care, because I know I look good.

Class Description

Capture the magic of a family in a group portrait. In How to Pose Family Portraits, Michele Celentano will teach you how to take memorable family photographs of groups – sized 2 to 100. You’ll learn how to use bodies as puzzle pieces and how to position them together as Michelle poses and shoots a family of eight.

This ninety minute class will offer up fresh inspiration for your group portraits and completely change the way you photograph families of all sizes.


a Creativelive Student

Fantastic! A noticed someones posing technique on a portrait and commented on it and they said to check out Michele Celentano on Creative Live.....well, I am so glad I did. This 90 minute video was jam packed full of great information on how to piece the puzzle of family posing. I learned a lot and can not wait to try these tips on my big family portrait session in 5 days time. I was panicking about this session, but now I feel I have a good understanding about the basics of family posing and how it is all just a puzzle that you slot the people in and create triangles, lines and how to make Mum look amazing! Thankyou :)


Amazing class! I would highly recommend anyone looking for more detailed and in-depth direction with family posing. Michele goes over how to start with a small group and build on to create large group portraits! She shows how to combine different family members to get a wide range of shots with more selection, which we all know translates into more potential profits in print and product sales. She demonstrates by posing a family on the floor, in chairs, and on a couch, using all age groups from 2 years old and up. I could spend an entire day listening to her! She does a great job explaining things and showing just how to do it. Great course, great video, great information! Thank you!

Joshua Meadows

A good course on posing groups and families. It is good supplemental information if you've already studied some other posing courses. The only drawback for me is aspects of the photographers social interactions aren't to my liking (acting like a chimp and blowing raspberries). I will say though that she does have high energy and give compliments and talks with the subjects on things they like. That is what I would do on a shoot and she does that well. As for the posing it was macro level of fitting people together with a skimming of the minor details. It is a good condensed lesson and worth a watch.