Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to get you Started with Photographing Children - Digital Photography School

Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to get you Started with Photographing Children

A Guest Post by Kaspars Grinvalds from Posing App.

After our previous articles on posing female subjects and posing men (there are now more guides – see below this article for the complete series), let’s look at some starting points with photographing children. Little ones are definitely fun and very positive subjects to photograph! Getting those real and authentic emotions and showing through your pictures the joy of a childhood is a very warm and sincere feeling.

However dealing with kids sometimes can be quite challenging. You have to be ready that they often have their own thoughts on their mind and you need to be very patient and adapt to their natural behavior. Don’t assume that they will listen carefully and follow your instructions exactly. That’s why you most probably won’t be able to use these samples as posing cheat sheet. Use them rather as a reference for ideas and different scenarios for you photo shoot.

1. When photographing children, remember to shoot from their eye level! Concerning poses, though, let them be “as they are” and try to capture their natural expressions, emotions and behavior.

posing-guide-children-01.png
2. A sweet pose for kids. Get your subject to lie down on the ground and shoot from a very low angle.

posing-guide-children-02.png

3. Just another variant if your subject is lying on the ground.

posing-guide-children-03.png

4. Very sweet pose for photographing babies. Place the baby in a bed and cover it with a blanket. For best results, make sure that the colors of all the bedclothes go well together. White works well.

posing-guide-children-04.png

5. To make kids more relaxed, try to get them hug or play with their favorite teddy bear or any other toy of their choice.

posing-guide-children-05.png

6. Try taking pictures of kids in their everyday environment, for example, playing their favorite games, doing homework or as in this example, painting with watercolors. Keeping them busy in a familiar setting is a good way to get them to cooperate and to make those special poses you want.

posing-guide-children-06.png

7. It really is a good idea to set everything up so that the kid is busy with his own “things” and not even noticing your actions. Looking at a favorite picture book is just one example of how to keep them “posing” for you.

posing-guide-children-07.png

8. Be attentive and don’t miss the kids heavy laughing or loud shouting. Such situations always produce very emotional and thus rewarding shots! But, please, no staged cheese smiles! Avoid fake emotions at all costs.

posing-guide-children-08.png

9. Use some delicious food items as props. You might be able to capture very interesting moments photographing children eating some sweets, ice-cream, fruits etc.

posing-guide-children-09.png

10. Soap bubbles are simply a must-have accessory for children photography. First of all, children just love them and are really happy to blow some bubbles. Secondly, you can work creatively and find an accurate lighting settings to get beautifully illuminated bubbles as an outstanding visual hook in your photos.

posing-guide-children-10.png

11. When photographing outdoors, you can involve your subject in a hiding (actually reappearing) game. Get her to hide behind some object – a big tree for instance – and ask her to peek out of the hide-out. This is a nice moment to take a picture.

posing-guide-children-11.png

12. Playing in the sand is a very nice setting for photographing children. They can play and keep themselves busy while you just observe and take your shots while not disturbing them even one bit.

posing-guide-children-12.png

13. Try some action shots. Give your subjects a ball to play with. Then aim for an interesting perspective: Shoot from ground level while introducing the ball as a dominant foreground object.

posing-guide-children-13.png

14. When shooting children and family photos, never forget that pets are also family members. Involve them into your shots and you will notice how much joy and emotions that will create.

posing-guide-children-14.png

15. Children’s playground is a very good place for some outdoor shots, it provides endless variations for action shots.

posing-guide-children-15.png

16. If a boy or a girl is into some sports (basketball, football, tennis etc.) you can take a very special portrait of him or her with the corresponding props.

posing-guide-children-16.png

17. A very nice mother and baby pose. Mother laying on the ground with a kid on the chest. Alternatively, if the kid is still a toddler, she could hold him or her in both hands above her. And just a remark on this one and the following samples with a mother – in all of these samples the parent might as well be a father, a gender used here is only for an illustration purposes. And, of course, do involve both parents in a photo shoot, in any sample here one or both parents are more than welcome to “join into” the composition.

posing-guide-children-17.png

18. Very simple and natural pose: Mother holding her kid on the hip. Try different head positions.

posing-guide-children-18.png

19. A really touching pose. Just ask the child to hug its mother. Capture their natural emotions for a priceless photo.

posing-guide-children-19.png

20. An engaging, fun and easy pose, which is nevertheless rather uncommon and original. Ask the mother to lie down on the ground, then make the kid to sit on and hold on to the mother’s back.

posing-guide-children-20.png

21. This setting is absolutely beautiful for family portraits. Might be arranged indoors in a bed as well outdoors on the ground. Works very well in different combinations and with different numbers of subjects, adults or kids.

posing-guide-children-21.png

And on a final note, first and foremost thing to keep in mind – kids move around very fast! It’s not only the physical movement in space, but also the head, eye direction and face expressions – everything changes constantly and instantly! That means you have to choose fast enough shutter speeds in order to avoid motion blurred images. Consider forcing one or two ISO stops above “normal” to gain faster shutter speeds. And always shoot in continuous shooting mode, taking several frames in a row. The blink of an eye just takes the blink of an eye. Secure the moments before and after, too. In the age of digital cameras this costs nothing, but it can be critical for securing the best shots.

kids.jpg

Check out our other Posing Guides:

Grab Our Guide to Portrait Posing

Kaspars Grinvalds is a photographer working and living in Riga, Latvia. He is the author of Posing App where more poses and tips about people photography are available.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Guest Contributor This post was written by a guest contributor to DPS. Please see their details in the post above.

Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.

  • http://www.stevegphotography.com Steve

    Thank you so much for the whole “sample pose” series! Tremendously helpful!

  • http://www.webndesign.com.br Danielle

    Awesome tips. Very meaningful for those who are starting. Thanks a lot :)

  • http://blogs.gonomad.com/traveltalesfromindia/ Mridula

    Here is one of a child that I took by accident. I was clicking this heap of Litchi when this boy looked out from behind the heap!

    http://blogs.gonomad.com/traveltalesfromindia/2010/06/the-litchi-boy.html

  • HOOP

    So, what’s next, Kaspars: Posing Possums?

  • ramy

    Extremely helpful illustration. Just what I was looking for. I will try out each. Thanks a ton.

  • Anil

    Really a good informative article . Children portrait photography is truly tricky & tips given in this are very useful.

  • http://www.wildlifeencounters.eu steve slater

    I like to capture natural poses.
    This is one from a fiesta in Spain. A natural religious pose without asking:

    http://wildlifeencounters.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Street-photography-in-Spain/G0000hLnlKwnbtX0/I0000fr4akD3uG68

  • Ana Elisa

    Very helpful.
    Thank you.
    Ana

  • Grendel Khan

    Perhaps zooming in is also an option. Most of these are at a distance. My son:

    http://tinyurl.com/8xskuqa

  • Ashiq P.M.
  • Pattabi

    I was trying my new 70-200 and when I turned around to keep an eye on my toddler, I caught her in this action.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/pattabi/3996027835/' title='img_001' url='http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2511/3996027835_5d61f086d9.jpg']

  • http://www.photomint.com/blog Lara White

    Kaspars, I just wanted to say I am a big fan of your series. I LOVE the way the illustrations remove all distractions from the concept-lighting, clothing, lens choice, expression, hair color, background etc. etc. that would typically distract a photographer from just the pose itself. Excellent sharing, thank you!

  • http://www.metaphase.wordpress.com Metaphase

    I have the most experience with kids since I have two of my own. I just posted a few from the last couple of weeks on my blog. Check out the kid pics at http://www.metaphase.wordpress.com

  • http://smoothphoto.com Robert Hall

    Very nice series on posing. Love the illustrations. Thank-you!

  • http://www.oscarellan.es/ Oscar

    Great post!!!!!

  • michael

    great ideas

  • Santosh
  • Denise Mauzy

    I really love your posing series. It would be really helpful if there were a way to print out a single sheet with all the poses on it, to carry along as a guide. Thank you!

  • http://kevinthaiphotos.com Kevin

    With the recent knack for kids portraits I’ve been doing lately (which you can see at my facebook page: http://facebook.com/kevinthaiphotos ) I’ve decided to hone in and focus on natural portraiture and this guide is going to be really handy. In fact I read the other articles too with the sample posing images and now you’ve convinced me to go and buy the app for my phone from the app store.

    Excellent article!

  • raghavendra

    I have recently taken a picture of children feeding the goat.

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/2012/03/kids-feeding-goat.html

  • http://www.Explore-Disney-Resorts.com Elizabeth

    Hello, This is a great post! I have 3 kids so it is always good to try new poses, if you can get them to try them.
    Thanks for the information.

    http://funmommie.blogspot.com/2012/04/photographs-disney-magic-kingdom-castle.html
    http://www.explore-disney-resorts.com/index.html

  • Pete Wendt

    Thanks as always!
    Those are always great ideas for us!

  • Rob Habisreitinger

    Ooopsy “Check out our Other Posing Guides in this Series”

    probably meant

  • Lori Fisher

    Would love to see actual pictures of these poses.

  • http://365momentsoflife.blogspot.com/ Egle

    These are really handy! Thank you so much for sharing, can’t wait to put theory into practice :)

  • Mary

    Thanks for all these great ideas! I have two boys, a 14-month-old, and a 2.5-year-old. They move a LOT and are generally uncooperative, so I’ll be anxious to try some of these ideas. :)

  • http://energizeyourphotography.blogspot.com EnergizedAV

    Good examples, thankyou,
    The most fun I have is photographing kids with my photo partner/wife. What works for me is being the model that the child can immitate. At my age I can’t tell you how many times my knees blew out. But the reward is priceless when the child gets a picture that makes them feel good about themselves.

  • S RoyC

    Lovely!

  • David

    Bought the app…..but these larger size points suit my iPad better! Great stuff!

  • http://www.panoramio.com/user/1864539 F.Zaman

    Simple but helpful

  • Rob Littlefield

    I am quite impressed with the” 21 sample posing guide” series (men, women, and childred) I am an Adjunct Professor at Mass Bay Community College and I teach 2 phoyography courses. I would like to use your articles as hand outs for my students. If any money is charged for this it will only be to cover costs if the administration is unwilling to cover copy costs.

    Thank You
    Professor Rob Littlefield
    rlittlefield@massbay.edu
    photorobear@aol.com

  • alice
  • http://www.whitepetal.co.uk PaulB

    Thanks agin, I like the line drawings. Bit like the article on female posing the otgher week :)

  • CDHanan

    THANK YOU for this series! I cannot express how helpful/useful this is. I am pretty new to portrait photography, and more than once I have found myself drawing a blank on posing.

    One thing I really struggle with is group/family portraits. Could you please add a posing guid for groups of 3 or more subjects?

  • http://www.facebook.com/heartstringsphotographyofthepoconos Christine

    Awesome!!! Love!!! Definelty will use this, as well as the 21 men and 21 women posts. Do you have any for families?

  • http://www.facebook.com/heartstringsphotographyofthepoconos Christine

    Awesome!!! Love!!! Definelty will use this, as well as the 21 men and 21 women posts.

    Do you have any for families?

  • http://gerberbaby1.wordpress.com KarenAnn

    Yes, wonderful…please do this for families/groups…am going to print out a cheat sheet for my camera bag.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heartstringsphotographyofthepoconos Christine

    Is there a printable version of this?

  • kim

    Pic of my boy while eating by the beach

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79769312@N08/6988515680/

  • kim
  • kim

    her is one of my daughter at a friends party

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79769312@N08/6988600344/

  • http://www.autumnstonephotography.co.uk B. A. Mather
  • Phil Walker

    Hi.
    Groups are always problem when photographing for a ‘press’ pic.Some excellent ideas has mae me rethink each job in the future. Thanks. Phil Walker, Perth. UK

  • Taschja

    Great! Thanks for all the info! I will use it asap!!!

  • maricar

    I will be using some of these ideas this afternoon. Thanks. It is also helpful to condition the child to get the best mood and shot. I find it interesting that when you are fun and energetic, the children do follow and this is the best way to get them in the mood.

  • http://jweaklandphoto.blogspot.com Average Joe

    So thankful for this post! I’m going to take photos of a toddler for a family soon and when the mom said she would want a traditional posed photo I didn’t know where to start! Thanks a lot for the great illustrations and tips!

  • http://www.hollywoodjunkies.ca Al Abdon

    Wow..great stuff…thanks for sharing

Some older comments

  • Al Abdon

    March 26, 2013 06:44 am

    Wow..great stuff...thanks for sharing

  • Average Joe

    December 31, 2012 02:58 am

    So thankful for this post! I'm going to take photos of a toddler for a family soon and when the mom said she would want a traditional posed photo I didn't know where to start! Thanks a lot for the great illustrations and tips!

  • maricar

    December 2, 2012 07:55 am

    I will be using some of these ideas this afternoon. Thanks. It is also helpful to condition the child to get the best mood and shot. I find it interesting that when you are fun and energetic, the children do follow and this is the best way to get them in the mood.

  • Taschja

    May 25, 2012 03:10 am

    Great! Thanks for all the info! I will use it asap!!!

  • Phil Walker

    May 25, 2012 01:52 am

    Hi.
    Groups are always problem when photographing for a 'press' pic.Some excellent ideas has mae me rethink each job in the future. Thanks. Phil Walker, Perth. UK

  • B. A. Mather

    May 23, 2012 09:40 pm

    These are great, here's a few of mine

    http://www.autumnstonephotography.co.uk/1/post/2011/10/portraits-at-lyme-park-cheshire.html

  • kim

    May 2, 2012 04:49 pm

    her is one of my daughter at a friends party

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79769312@N08/6988600344/

  • kim

    May 2, 2012 04:05 pm

    Pic of mother and son

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79769312@N08/6988527500/

  • kim

    May 2, 2012 04:00 pm

    Pic of my boy while eating by the beach

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79769312@N08/6988515680/

  • Christine

    April 30, 2012 01:04 pm

    Is there a printable version of this?

  • KarenAnn

    April 29, 2012 11:26 pm

    Yes, wonderful...please do this for families/groups...am going to print out a cheat sheet for my camera bag.

  • Christine

    April 27, 2012 12:43 pm

    Awesome!!! Love!!! Definelty will use this, as well as the 21 men and 21 women posts.

    Do you have any for families?

  • Christine

    April 27, 2012 12:42 pm

    Awesome!!! Love!!! Definelty will use this, as well as the 21 men and 21 women posts. Do you have any for families?

  • CDHanan

    April 27, 2012 11:09 am

    THANK YOU for this series! I cannot express how helpful/useful this is. I am pretty new to portrait photography, and more than once I have found myself drawing a blank on posing.

    One thing I really struggle with is group/family portraits. Could you please add a posing guid for groups of 3 or more subjects?

  • PaulB

    April 25, 2012 10:05 pm

    Thanks agin, I like the line drawings. Bit like the article on female posing the otgher week :)

  • alice

    April 24, 2012 11:55 pm

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=411199292228466&set=a.411193945562334.113785.100000151973077&type=3&theater

    I tried to take a shot of my niece, and i think this is i love best.

  • Rob Littlefield

    April 24, 2012 04:24 am

    I am quite impressed with the" 21 sample posing guide" series (men, women, and childred) I am an Adjunct Professor at Mass Bay Community College and I teach 2 phoyography courses. I would like to use your articles as hand outs for my students. If any money is charged for this it will only be to cover costs if the administration is unwilling to cover copy costs.

    Thank You
    Professor Rob Littlefield
    rlittlefield@massbay.edu
    photorobear@aol.com

  • F.Zaman

    April 23, 2012 01:40 am

    Simple but helpful

  • David

    April 22, 2012 08:57 am

    Bought the app.....but these larger size points suit my iPad better! Great stuff!

  • S RoyC

    April 22, 2012 12:24 am

    Lovely!

  • EnergizedAV

    April 21, 2012 01:54 am

    Good examples, thankyou,
    The most fun I have is photographing kids with my photo partner/wife. What works for me is being the model that the child can immitate. At my age I can't tell you how many times my knees blew out. But the reward is priceless when the child gets a picture that makes them feel good about themselves.

  • Mary

    April 21, 2012 01:45 am

    Thanks for all these great ideas! I have two boys, a 14-month-old, and a 2.5-year-old. They move a LOT and are generally uncooperative, so I'll be anxious to try some of these ideas. :)

  • Egle

    April 20, 2012 10:42 pm

    These are really handy! Thank you so much for sharing, can't wait to put theory into practice :)

  • Lori Fisher

    April 20, 2012 10:42 pm

    Would love to see actual pictures of these poses.

  • Rob Habisreitinger

    April 20, 2012 10:13 pm

    Ooopsy "Check out our Other Posing Guides in this Series"

    probably meant

  • Pete Wendt

    April 20, 2012 04:55 pm

    Thanks as always!
    Those are always great ideas for us!

  • Elizabeth

    April 20, 2012 12:19 pm

    Hello, This is a great post! I have 3 kids so it is always good to try new poses, if you can get them to try them.
    Thanks for the information.

    http://funmommie.blogspot.com/2012/04/photographs-disney-magic-kingdom-castle.html
    http://www.explore-disney-resorts.com/index.html

  • raghavendra

    April 20, 2012 12:10 pm

    I have recently taken a picture of children feeding the goat.

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/2012/03/kids-feeding-goat.html

  • Kevin

    April 20, 2012 11:29 am

    With the recent knack for kids portraits I've been doing lately (which you can see at my facebook page: http://facebook.com/kevinthaiphotos ) I've decided to hone in and focus on natural portraiture and this guide is going to be really handy. In fact I read the other articles too with the sample posing images and now you've convinced me to go and buy the app for my phone from the app store.

    Excellent article!

  • Denise Mauzy

    April 20, 2012 10:45 am

    I really love your posing series. It would be really helpful if there were a way to print out a single sheet with all the poses on it, to carry along as a guide. Thank you!

  • Santosh

    April 20, 2012 10:23 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/santoshc/6948806732/in/photostream/lightbox/

    A scene in a park one spring evening

  • michael

    April 20, 2012 09:40 am

    great ideas

  • Oscar

    April 20, 2012 09:30 am

    Great post!!!!!

  • Robert Hall

    April 20, 2012 09:14 am

    Very nice series on posing. Love the illustrations. Thank-you!

  • Metaphase

    April 20, 2012 07:03 am

    I have the most experience with kids since I have two of my own. I just posted a few from the last couple of weeks on my blog. Check out the kid pics at www.metaphase.wordpress.com

  • Lara White

    April 20, 2012 06:17 am

    Kaspars, I just wanted to say I am a big fan of your series. I LOVE the way the illustrations remove all distractions from the concept-lighting, clothing, lens choice, expression, hair color, background etc. etc. that would typically distract a photographer from just the pose itself. Excellent sharing, thank you!

  • Pattabi

    April 20, 2012 05:56 am

    I was trying my new 70-200 and when I turned around to keep an eye on my toddler, I caught her in this action.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/pattabi/3996027835/' title='img_001' url='http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2511/3996027835_5d61f086d9.jpg']

  • Ashiq P.M.

    April 20, 2012 05:12 am

    Its fun to snap kids in their natural manner.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashiqpm/3965779679/in/set-72157624143332194/

  • Grendel Khan

    April 20, 2012 04:40 am

    Perhaps zooming in is also an option. Most of these are at a distance. My son:

    http://tinyurl.com/8xskuqa

  • Ana Elisa

    April 20, 2012 03:40 am

    Very helpful.
    Thank you.
    Ana

  • steve slater

    April 20, 2012 02:44 am

    I like to capture natural poses.
    This is one from a fiesta in Spain. A natural religious pose without asking:

    http://wildlifeencounters.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Street-photography-in-Spain/G0000hLnlKwnbtX0/I0000fr4akD3uG68

  • Anil

    April 20, 2012 02:34 am

    Really a good informative article . Children portrait photography is truly tricky & tips given in this are very useful.

  • ramy

    April 20, 2012 02:29 am

    Extremely helpful illustration. Just what I was looking for. I will try out each. Thanks a ton.

  • HOOP

    April 20, 2012 02:12 am

    So, what's next, Kaspars: Posing Possums?

  • Mridula

    April 20, 2012 02:11 am

    Here is one of a child that I took by accident. I was clicking this heap of Litchi when this boy looked out from behind the heap!

    http://blogs.gonomad.com/traveltalesfromindia/2010/06/the-litchi-boy.html

  • Danielle

    April 20, 2012 01:39 am

    Awesome tips. Very meaningful for those who are starting. Thanks a lot :)

  • Steve

    April 20, 2012 01:28 am

    Thank you so much for the whole "sample pose" series! Tremendously helpful!

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed