Posing Families: Father & Children
So I wanna talk about posing with dad. Okay. So as I said with mom, if you're posing dad with kids, pose dad first, pose him so it flatters him and do what we talked about for traditional male poses. So for example, maybe can I have you take a seat? Just right, oh you can just sit on the ground.
Oh on the ground?
Yeah yeah yeah. Totally. So again I'm still on the ground, and I'm gonna tweak his pose so that he's posing in a flattering way. So there are two main poses that I would probably do for a family shot. Okay the first pose and I'm just gonna have it so he can mimic. The first pose would be something where he has one knee up.
Want me to imitate you?
Yeah imitate me exactly. Okay so what's good about that, is a kid fits nice right here, and a kid fits nice right here. And this is pretty relatively stable. The other pose that I would do for sitting on the ground besides these two might be laying. But the reason I would do this is if there was a really little one. Like a rea...
lly small child, because then I can kinda have 'em cradled here. So it would either be somebody on this knee sitting up, holding them here, or here. Someone really little right here. So I would make dad comfortable first. What else is comfortable? Here if you were just sitting watching TV how would you sit?
Okay. So if he was comfortable like that, what I would make sure would be that somebody is sitting in his lap. Okay? So it would make sense. Just like cross it all underneath. Yeah.
I like that too.
So I'll have you sit up straight. So I would put somebody on a back knee so it's not just bunchy. Somebody would be here, and then somebody may be on his shoulder for example. Okay. So pose him first. But the other thing that I have is using the dad as support and balance. That's why I'm saying pose him first, then the kids so you can say, hold on to dads shoulders, sit on dads knee, whatever. But after that with multiple children I do the triangles. So the little one goes in the lap, and I say okay. If, and I can actually see how tall they are, so I can figure out of a little one's sitting in the lap, does someone need to kneel behind? Or stand behind? There is absolutely no posing guide that you can have that will tell you how everyone needs to be posed because if there's three different kids from three different ages, it will never work. Like not any pose is gonna work all the time. So you're looking for kinda the triangle going on. The next one that I definitely wanna demo is photographing close ups of the dads legs or the dads hands. It doesn't look as nice in the studio, but let's say that little girl's holding onto dads leg and he just has his hand soft on her head. You know like little kinda intimate moments. So if you're shooting outside, especially with natural light and narrow depth of field it's really really beautiful. Or another picture where a girl's holding onto dads hand, shows how small she is, holding it right up against to her face or something like that. So I will definitely photograph little parts like that. Also close ups, I'll definitely do cheeks together, him kissing her forehead, lot's of nice little moments. Those tend to be the pictures that I prefer versus big posed pictures. So what I tend to do is kind of family picture first. Get that outta the way. Then go ahead and do individual shots and the little close ups and then if everybody's more comfortable, I'll go back and do another group shot. If they're less then I leave it be 'cause it kinda depends on where they're at. So I'm gonna have you stand up and we're gonna start off with the parts pose first. Who wants to go pose with dad? Okay. I'm gonna borrow you first. (Dad laughs) Okay. (papers rustling) I can see that. Okay I'm gonna have you, I'm gonna have you hug around dad. Good. And I'm gonna have you put your hand right here. Perfect. Let me grab a picture of that. (footsteps clomping) (light rattling) Great. And will you look at me? (camera beeps) (camera flashes) That was cute. And turn your head towards me. And will you pull her hair out of her face just a little bit? I love your hair. It's so pretty. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) Good and now close your eyes. (camera beeps) Sleepy time. Perfect. Good. (camera flashes) Okay so the next one, I'm gonna have you pose on your knee like this. Okay? Alright. So I'm posing him on his knee like you might have the guy where I had him sitting in the stool. When he was posing on the stool I had him bring one leg up because it's more dynamic. So pose comfortably on your knee. Is that leaning out maybe? Good. And whatever's, just like this?
Yeah I guess so.
That alright? Okay cool. Alright so then I can look at her and figure out where she fits. I pose him first. So do you wanna come around over here? And so now he can put his arm around her. Or she can stand behind. Good. Can you put your arm around dad? Oh that was cute actually. She just put her hand, look at. She's holding his hand. Multiple points of interaction. Great. So I'll take a picture just like that. So I pose him first. (camera flashes) Good. (camera flashes) And now I'm gonna have you kiss dads cheek. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) That was good. (camera flashes) And look back at me. Great. Perfect. (camera flashes) And now can you take your hand over here, your left hand and hold onto dads hand over here. Both of 'em. With both hands on his hand. Good. Just like that and can you tilt your head towards her a little bit? Perfect. And relax. Shake your shoulders, shake your shoulders. (laughing) Good. (camera flashes) Perfect. (camera flashes) Good. Okay now I'm gonna have her sit on your knee. Can you sit on his knee? And, perfect. Good. You're gonna fall off?
No? Do you need to hold? Oo (laughs). (laughing) And put your arm around him. Good. Perfect. And can you put that hand on her leg. So you can kind of balance her just a little bit. Perfect. Great. (camera flashes) Good. (camera flashes) And I'm gonna have you lean towards me just a little bit. Yeah there you go, good. (camera flashes) And tilt your heads together. Squish 'em. Yeah good. (camera flashes) Cute. (camera flashes) Alright. So the whole time what I'm lookin' at is when she first sat back just like with anybody else, she sits back and you can see tension in her neck. So I'm still gonna take the picture, might as well take the picture but have her sitting back she has a lot of tension in her neck so I get that and then I ask her to lean forward and it worked fine. I had her do one with her arm around his shoulder. If I can ask her to sit up straight and then its not straining great. If it's still going to be straining, then I try to put the hand someplace else. So I'm looking and it worked with her standing, (laughs) he's like yeah. It worked with her standing on one side. It worked with her sitting on his knee. Will you sit on the ground again and will you pick, comfortable pose, whatever's comfortable. (Dad grunts) Okay. So, this is what he's comfortable with, but instead of facing straight onto the camera can you tilt so that you turn towards your left?
Yep your left. Perfect. Okay. So I wanna make sure he's comfortable because if he's not comfortable I can tell. So I'm gonna have you, if she sits on your knee is it gonna hurt?
No that's fine.
Go for it. Will you sit right on his knee? So I'm kinda fitting her into wherever she fits that's comfortable. That looks great and will you bend your elbow a little bit? Okay. The reason I'm having him bend his elbow is this looked more strained and it made him look wider. Because this was blending in with the front of his body so there was no separation. When he pulls his elbow back then there's actually a little more shape. Oh. Model poses again I like this. Those are good model poses. Great. (camera flashes) (camera flashes) Will you sit up real tall? Good. (camera beeps) Making sure posture looks great. And now can you lean out towards me? Lean, lean, good. Little less. Little less. Right there. And will you put you hands on your legs? Just like this. Yeah, cute. Perfect. (camera flashes) Okay let me get one more. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) Great. (camera flashes) Okay. Perfect. So everybody fit and you looked really really cute. Oh that's adorable. Will you put your hand on her arm? Real soft? Yeah. Great. (camera flashes) Oh that's super cute. Okay so since they're doin' good, can I add you? You come in? Oo Oreos mm. (audience laughs) Are you gonna bring that to me? No? (audience laughs) (footsteps clomping) Chew those fast and get in here.
It's okay it's okay. (Dad laughs) (Lindsay laughs) Okay that's good. Do you wanna sit on your knees? Wanna sit like this? Okay so what I'm looking at is where would, hi. (audience laughs) You can take a picture if you want. I'm trying to figure out where I can sit her for a triangle. So when she was sitting on the ground, she was a little bit too low. Let's see how, if I shoot from over here her heads in the way, but if I move over this way it's a perfect triangle. So I'll move to suit them. They're good though right?
Yeah. I understand. I love Oreos. Okay good. And sit on your legs. Just like that. Good. But can you put your, can you put your butt this way?
Put your butt this way.
There you go. Perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) Good. (camera beeps) You look very unhappy. (Phoebe giggles) Is that 'cause you didn't get to finish your Oreo? (audience laughs) I don't blame you. I'd look unhappy too. (camera flashes) Okay. So, just so you know since they're moved back, the lighting isn't right. So what I would do in a perfect situation is move them forward or move the lights back but it looks fine. It looks great. I see in his hand a little bit of tension so I have him wiggle his fingers just a little. Just soft. Oh she's gonna take care of it. (audience laughs) Thank you. (girl giggles) Okay good. Yeah. That's much better. See? You're teaching dad how to pose. (Dad laughs) Good. And will you put your hand just a little lower? On her good. Everybody look right here. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) Good, oo maybe not. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) (camera beeps) (camera flashes) Okay. Let me see, we can test. Okay I'm gonna have you tickle them. When I'm ready. Alright I'm ready. (camera flashes) I'm ready. Go for it. (girls squealing) (audience laughs) (girls laughing) (Lindsay laughing)
Stop! (all laughing) Stop! (all laughing)
I was just followin' orders.
I'm gonna have you, why don't you tickle dad? You wanna tickle him?
Oh no. (girls giggling)
Whoa big pile. You're okay. Let's scoot this was a little bit.
Yeah let's get a little closer.
I'm impressed by that. Okay. Will you stand right behind dad? Will you stand right behind him? (audience laughs) Right there. Perfect. That's impressive. That's impressive. Okay so you look perfect. And will you stand back on the ground? Good and will you give him a hug? But hug like his shoulders. Right there. Good. Okay you wanna sit on your knees? You wanna sit right here? Put your knees on the ground. Good. You look very unhappy. (Phoebe giggles) 'Kay. (audience laughs) Perfect. Can I have you stand right behind your sister? Wanna stand right behind her? Or kneel right behind her. Right there, right there. Move right there. Right there. A little more. Little more, right there. Come back. (audience laughs) Okay. Right behind her. Move her right there. Okay. Let me see your face. Let me see your face. Perfect. Okay got the triangle. So now I would shoot triangle got it. Put your arm around dad. The other arm. This arm. There you go good. Here we go. (camera flashes) Your nose itch? Do you need a tissue?
No okay just use the sleeve that's good. I like that. Good style. Hey I'm good with that. Listen. That's good. (camera beeps) Will you sit up straight? Sit up straight for me? Good. 'Kay. (camera flashes) Perfect. (camera beeps) Excellent. (camera flashes) And now I'm gonna sit you right out front here. Wanna come up here? And sit like I'm sitting. Put your legs out to the side. Perfect. Whoop. Well not out to the front.
Like see how like my knee's bent? Good. And then just scoot her that way just a little bit. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay you wanna take a nap? We'll take a nap. (camera beeps) (camera flashes) Okay. And will you sit her up for me?
Let's sit up for just a little bit.
Okay. Sit up big and point your feet.
Not this way.
That way good.
There you go. Perfect. (camera beeps) Good. Perfect. (camera flashes) And will you lean your head towards him? Good. So I'm lookin' for body language. She was leaning away which looked like she didn't like him and that's not nice. You like dad right? (girl giggles) Yeah? Aw. That's nice.
That's a relief. (Lindsay laughs) (Phoebe giggles)
And look right back here.
Look at baby Mario.
What? (all laughing) Oh. (Dad laughing) (girls giggling) That's silly.
You look like Mario.
Now look at me. (camera flashes) (camera flashes) Good. (camera flashes) Okay cool. Alright. Will you girls stand up for a second? Alright we're gonna see if she wants to pop in for a photo.
I wanna get out.
Come on Lei Lei.
Yeah go ahead. Go for it.
Lei Lei come here. Come here.
Okay. So, mom?
Mom? I'm gonna pose you too. Okay. Just pose
to the side comfortably. Like just whatever. I'm gonna pose her in front of you. We're gonna see if we can get this family shot. (footsteps clomping) Okay. Will you put her on his front knee? (girl giggles) Okay. Perfect. Okay so I got the two, I got the most important person there okay? (Dad laughs) Alright. (audience laughs) Can I have you kneel behind him?
And move up closer.
You sit in daddy's leg.
Okay good. (Dad laughs) (audience laughs) Will you put your arm around mom? So I'm lookin'--
She might not tolerate someone else sittin' on my lap. (laughs)
Oh it's okay. It's okay.
We'll give it go.
Okay. Relax. Don't go stressed. Okay. So I'm looking for kind of triangle. That looks good. And then can I actually have her sit like in between your legs without her knees like up? She's kinda crunchy. (Mom whispering) I wanna see your beautiful face. Let me see.
Good just like that.
Where you goin'? Where you goin'? Come here.
Do you wanna come back?
Let's take a picture.
She can sit wherever she wants.
Yeah wherever she wants.
I'm just afraid she'll run away.
Okay ready? I guess true.
Okay. So I'm gonna take this picture first. Let me work on the nose there. (camera flashes) Do you wanna come behind me and like, somethin' to me.
This should be hilarious. (Dad laughs) (camera flashes) (camera flashes) (camera flashes) That's right. What is she doin' to me? (all laughing) (girls giggling) (camera flashes) (girls giggling)
Like a gummy bear. (all laughing) (girls laughing)
She can sit wherever she wants to sit as long as she doesn't run away.
Do you wanna sit here?
She wanna, she wanna stand up behind you? Whatever she wants to do.
They're right here. They didn't go anywhere. Look at. (audience laughs) (camera beeps) Come on.
Do you wanna?
There's the Oreos.
Do you wanna put your arm around her? Do you think she'd stand back with you?
Her? Yeah. Do you wanna stand back here?
Do you wanna stand with mom?
Or do you wanna sit on his lap?
Wanna stand back here?
Okay stand over here.
You're falling? Just sit up straight. You can sit wherever you want.
Come here Lei. Lei Lei. Come stand up here.
Hi. You wanna look? (Phoebe groans)
Come here. See? We're trying to take pictures.
You look cute. (Calliope giggles) Yeah you're okay with that?
Come over here. Let's take some more. (Phoebe whines)
Hey come stand beside me.
We'll try. (girls giggling) (audience laughs) Alright we'll give it a try here.
Where are you going?
I'm right here.
Come over here.
Okay. We're, okay guys, we're only gonna take one picture if she wants to pose nice okay? So I know you two are big girls, so we're just gonna get her to pose perfect. Okay. So kneel behind dad.
Just wait here.
Just kneel back behind him just a little bit.
Just wait here.
Okay? Good. Will you put your arm back up on him?
You were up,
come stay here.
Will you put your other arm on him? Good. (Mom whispering) If she wants to sit in front that's fine too. Wherever she wants to go.
Where are you comfy? Are you comfy like this?
Yeah that's good. (Calliope whines) You okay?
I'm comfy like this.
Like that? We'll try to talk her into it. Yeah. (girls giggle) On your knees. On your knees. Good. Just like that. You're perfect. Okay? You're good. She's, she needs some work.
Tell me where.
Whatever you want. You can hold her
and I will pose you appropriately.
Get up. (Calliope crying)
Okay. That's good.
No I don't wanna be up.
So I'm just gonna have you sit down on your feet though with your, right there, right there. So if she poses towards us we're good. (camera beeps)
Okay, let's see if you can... (camera flashes) Do you wanna tickle me? Whatever you need.
Tickle tickle ow. (Lindsay squeals) (all laughing) (Lindsay squeals) (girls giggle) (Lindsay squeals) And put your arm down a little? (camera beeps) Calliope? Calliope? Calliope?
Daddy tickle me.
Calliope? (audience laughs)
Daddy tickle me? You wanna be tickled? (Phoebe squealing) Okay. Okay. Let's try.
Okay that's kinda strange. Phoebe?
Wanna sit up?
Hey? I'm, you, see you're posed perfect.
Pull your shirt down. You're posed perfect. I'm just waitin' for your little sister. You're the big girl. You don't need any help. She just needs a little help. Here we go.
Look at the Oreos.
Okay everybody good? Everybody tilt your heads together. If you can.
Ow what? (camera flashes) (camera flashes)
Ouch. (camera flashes)
Are you holdin' onto her or what?
Okay. (audience laughs) You alright? Okay. I am gonna probably call it quits on that. (Dad laughs) I mean, so here's the thing. I have a shot where she looks totally fine, and so that's totally, that works out for me fine. (girls giggling) Okay.
Do you wanna take a break?
You wanna take a break time?
Great. They're sayin' you're like the best cat juggler out there Lindsay. (laughing)
Oh really? The were so--
Alright let's give 'em a hand. (audience applauding)
That looks cute. (audience applauding)
This is fantastic. Lindsay do you wanna take a couple questions?
Yeah absolutely. I'm flipping through 'cause I wanted to see kind of what I got. And what I would want to make sure, so let me kinda, and you guys can take a break for a second. You wanna go eat more candy? (audience laughs) I know they have a massive amount of candy. Okay. So, I would tell you what I would be looking for that I want. I know that I want a picture with dad, with each one of them if possible separately. That'd be something I would try to do. 'Cause here's the thing. When you have group shots it's great for when they grow up to have one with just their dad and one just with their mom. Like I, most people don't have that and so that's something that's really awesome. So I try to get one of each of them alone and I wouldn't try to make it a really profound pose. I would just have him hold her and get one of each. Okay? So just shoot that off. The next thing that I would wanna do is get dad with the three of them. Then once I got a pose that I was comfortable with the three of them I'd add mom in real quick. Okay? Then I would go ahead and get a picture of mom and the three of them and then mom with each one of them and we'd see how they're all doin' at that point. So what I'm looking through is yeah. If I were trying to do a full family album, it wouldn't work, like for what I got here, it wouldn't work to have a ton of family photos, but what I would do is try to then get a picture of each one of them. And for the picture of each one of them I make it all about them and whatever they wanna do. So we're gonna do that later. We're gonna kinda try to work with that as well. But what I'm looking at here is I have triangles, good posture, they look comfortable, and that's I mean those are the most important things I'm looking for and of course expressions are the most important part beyond that so. I saw a question over there.
Fantastic. Yeah we have a question here in the audience, Anastasia.
I don't really have a question. Just like I just wanted to say Lindsay, you did awesome. I'm just, I'm a mother and I'm a photographer and I've been on both sides and I was just like, parents you have amazing kids. They just, I don't even know how to push that long you know? My kids would already
just sort of flip. They did really awesome. And for a photographer
Yeah they did--
perspective I'm like this is the moment where you start to pull your hair. I'm like oh my God, I'm the worst one in the whole world. But that's what just like sometimes when you photograph families you'll have like two, three hours with napping, changing, eating and Lindsay you're awesome. Not being a
family photographer you
did such a great job.
No thank you I--
It's really really good and I took so many notes. Just like what to keep an eye on and just you have to be lucky.
Aw. Thank you for the encouragement 'cause I can tell you I think the last time I actually did a family photo was maybe seven years ago. So if you know how old I am,
Yay! (audience applauding)
it was a while ago.
Alright. So quick question from Brian in Memphis. Should we use children to partially cover maybe overweight parents?
What about larger kids? How should we try to make them look their best or should we even try flattering smaller kids using the poses that we've talked about?
Yeah. That's a really good question and I actually did have that as well. One of the things that I was super concerned about, I actually have a very specific example, is I had a child that came to my studio that had a birth defect that was a very very uneven face. Like severe. Very noticeable and at the time as a portrait photographer I'm like, how the heck am I gonna, what? How do I flatter this kid? How do I hide that fix that? And the point is I don't need to. That's their, little kid is what they look like. It doesn't matter. So at that point I mean, they are beautiful, their parents see them as beautiful. They are and so you're just trying to get an expression. So for little kids, most of the time I'll let them do their thing but if the kid is heavier, I just try not to have them slouching. So instead, all the poses that would have them around mom and dad would be standing poses. So I'd have mom and dad sitting and then have the kid leaning on their arm or standing behind. Because remember how I said with someone heavier, anytime that you sit down everything bunches up? So if you do just want to help them look their best, it's not that I'm trying to slenderize I'm just trying to actually make them not looked balled up. So it still does apply.
Cool. So a question from Louise. "Will Lindsay's posing techniques vary "when there's a big age difference between the children? "For example a three years old and a 14 year old?"
Mm hmm. Well okay, so for that, let's that, or even like, even I go even more than that. Let's say that the kids is like 16. It's nice because I consider mom and dad anchor points where I can sit children but if they're older, if they're 16 they're another anchor point so I could pose them. I really pick whoever's the most difficult in the family, I pick whoever that child gets along with most and that's my anchor. I pose them first with the kid on and then I can just add people. So if the 16 year old girl gets along best with the little boy then I'll just pose them and then pose mom and dad around. It doesn't mean they have to be the center but it means I get them situated first.
Right. Sounds real great.
Question from Photo Scott this is sort of on the edge of the wrangling but do you find posing the smallest children first loses their attention span too quickly? Is that something
you ever consider?
No. Great point (laughs). Okay so I'm gonna, I'll be honest for what I did and this might, people out there might hate me for this but if the kid's being good right away, I make sure I get a good shot because I know that I can swap heads if I have to. I know that that's not like the right answer but I don't want to wait and pose everyone and then they get impatient with me. So I might as well if what I'll do
is I'll pick my angle, I pose dad or mom, and if I know I shoot from the same angle, then I know that that's something that I could do. So I just make sure that I have that shot first for sure. Usually what I do and I didn't do this but usually what I used to do is I'd line everybody up and if one person, only one is being really difficult, I would hold completely still, I would get that shot and then I would tell everybody tickle Calliope, make Calliope laugh whatever. It does not matter what everyone else looks like but I get that one good expression out of her. I made sure four out of the five people were perfect and then I could grab just one. I definitely did not wanna do, let's grab a face from mom in this one and a face from dad in this one. I try to get everybody just as close to perfect as possible and then if the littlest one is just being difficult then I just do a shot for her and I mean that's a matter of technology. That's what I found was less stressful for me. Just don't want to spend too much time on it obviously.
Lots of questions
about it in the chatroom's so, I'm sure that a lot of people use the same one.
Yeah and just so you know,
just this is a for Photoshop thing, what makes it possible for you to be able to do that is you have to have the same focal length and the same depth of field and the same angle. So basically what I do is if I know roughly what my composition is you kinda plant yourself there for that photo if you know that's what you're going to have to do. If everybody's being great, then I can move around, I can shoot different angles but if I know okay, I'm gonna do some swapping, you basically wanna keep put and you don't want to keep switching lenses and then that's gonna make it a lot easier for you. It doesn't need to be on a tripod honestly. It's just a matter of different lenses, we talked about this, changes compression so the face would look different and if you're shooting a wide aperture then maybe it changes the depth of field so, it just kinda keep your settings all the same and then it makes it easy.
Great. Lindsay one more question and we've been getting this the last few days. This one is from Sean W. wanting to know about location shoots. Do you bring a bunch of Apple boxes or stools and use these elements and Pete asked about how you pose on the beach?
Okay. So I did stools but I had just like a multi, basically what I had was just like a multi step stool but it was meant to look nice. They're white. Have you seen, you know what I'm talking about? And I'd bring that on location.
Most of the time I just people on the ground but I would bring it just in case 'cause then I could have someone stand up behind or sit on it. On the beach it's just sitting. I would put the people on the edges with their kind of their feet out, somebody in the center and then pose around. It wasn't really any different. It's more at that point time of day and all the things with posture still come into play. So kinda laying out in the sand, that becomes a challenge a little bit. I've done a couple of those.
That's great. Okay. So last question and then we're gonna take our first break of the day. A lot of questions coming in about larger families. About five, six, seven kids. Do you kinda just do the same thing as you did today and meld it with the group from yesterday? The group techniques from yesterday and just keep adding
on building triangles? Is that, you use the same techniques?
Yeah it's the same thing and what I will ask right up front is I ask basically who gets along or who's getting along that day like or is, hey okay I want everyone, like are they gonna? Are these two fighting? Like I try to read their body language but if I also know she obviously looks up to big sister then I just pose them together and then the people that are easier to deal with I just pose them in triangles. So it's triangles. It's the same thing and then basically putting priority on whoever's not being the easiest for the day.