My studio is a good size…if you’re a newborn. If you’re a family of 5, things get a little dicey 🤭 Family posing in studio is something that can definitely be done in the studio but it takes a little finessing, depending on how many family members we’re talking about.
When I shoot a newborn session with a mom, a dad, and a newborn baby, I can definitely accommodate family posing and there are a couple of options: the bed, the white floor area, and the egg chair. Easy peasy.
When we start to introduce big siblings, we have fewer options but we can still pull it off. Most families don’t have a lot of requirements for the family photo with their newborn…they mostly just want all members represented, however best it works.
My goal with big sibs is to get a shot of all the siblings, including the newborn, together. Time constraints don’t allow for each sibling to have solo shots with the babe *unless* this is a priority and then we will make it happen. In that event, I communicate that there will be less solo newborn photos but that we will absolutely prioritize what is most important to the family.
For family posing with big siblings, we’ll either shoot on the bed or in the white flooring area. For toddlers who are still babies themselves, I’ll use an ottoman to pose the baby and have the toddler standing next to the babe. Occasionally this works like a dream…other times it requires some coaxing and hiding of cheerios. Hey, whatever it takes.
Extended family members like grandparents are possible on a case by case basis (think grandma has just received a diagnosis and this may be the last chance for photos to include her) –> in that case, it’s a no-brainer and I will absolutely accommodate this request. Otherwise, the studio is not a good place for more than the immediate family – size wise, it’s just not possible.
So, to break it all down:
Family Posing on the Bed
Due to space and lighting constraints, this is best for parents and a solo newborn. I love to have mom and dad snuggle together, alternately gazing at their babe and each other. I take a bit of a “birds-eye” view by stepping a bit behind the white curtain so that it looks like I’m capturing a private moment.
This is a great opportunity to get numerous different shots: a pullback horizontal, a closer vertical, and an even closer detail shot. When you add in all the different head positions (looking at camera, looking at each other, one looking at partner while partner looks at me and/or babe), quite a bit of variety can happen in a short amount of time.
Family Posing on White Flooring
My white flooring area is surrounded on three sides by white curtains with my super fabulous LED light wall in the background, mimicking a window (there really is a slider back there but our beautiful trees block a lot of the light…so the LEDs step in and help me out a lot). I use this area for solo parent/baby shots, both parents/baby shots, and family shots with kiddos.
Family Posing with Egg Chair
Most often I pull out the egg chair for solo parent shots but occasionally the entire family will jump in, as happened with this newborn session. The egg chair is obviously not big enough for everyone but I liked the casual look of dad and middle brother on the floor next to mom, big sister, and baby in the chair.
Breastfeeding images are so special. This is a finite season that will definitely come to an end so I always invite breastfeeding images to be captured. I am a little picky about outfit choices as I want the final result to be as beautiful and ethereal as possible so think something long and drapey and light-colored.
Family Posing – Hand Shots
Sometimes momma’s not feeling her best after delivery or dad just doesn’t feel like getting spiffed up for photos. In that case, when they want to show that they were there but not have to worry about putting make-up on or dressing up, hand shots are the best option. These are often some of the most beautiful, meaningful images and every parent who has done them loves them.
These family posing options are what I have found to work best in the studio. What appeals the most to you?
Liz Viernes Photography is based near Dayton, MD, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.