Mom and two kids posing for family photos at Gold Creek Pond

How to Pose for Photos: Tips for Moms

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Women tend to be the most critical of themselves in photographs. As a Seattle family and newborn photographer, I work to ensure moms look their best while highlighting their love. With over a decade of experience in posing families, I’m sharing my top tips on how to pose for photos. Whether you are having your own family photos taken, or your having a friend snap a photo with your phone, you can feel more confident in front of the camera.

Before I get into the tips I want to point out that confidence begins with what you are wearing. I share this in my What to Wear for family photos article. I also share it with each family I capture. It’s important that you select something that feels like you. If you feel uncomfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show. No amount of posing can make up for you thinking about how much you hate your arms in that top.

Whew. With that out of the way, it’s time to learn how to pose for photos.

floral print for summer family photos in Seattle
Slightly lean towards the camera instead of away when posing for photos.

The first how to pose for photos tip is to lean slightly toward the camera.

It’s human nature to lean away from something pointed at you. It is as if we think that by leaning further away from the camera, it cannot see us. However, that’s further from the truth! Don’t hide from the camera.

Whatever is closest to the camera lens appears the largest.

When you lean away from the camera, that means your hips and midsection become closest. Thus, your hips and tummy appear larger. I know that my tummy is my “trouble area”, or the area I’d like to slim the most. By leaning towards the camera you make your head the focus and the rest of you will look leaner!

How is that for learning how to pose for photos? (I dare you, go try it in the mirror and snap a photo with your phone).

Mom and two kids posing for family photos at Gold Creek Pond
Pick one person to wrap your arms around, let others wrap their arms around you.

Another posing tip for moms is to pick one person to wrap your arms around.

You love your family. I know. I love mine too! But I have 6 kids. If I tried to wrap my arms around all of them, I’d be stretching myself as wide as possible. The same applies for if you have 2 kids. Stretching your arms around both of them makes you appear wider.

It also makes the pose feel more amateur. I call the double arm wrap the “sorority” photo, a photo you would take with all your sorority sisters.

To really know how to pose for photos, select one person and snuggle up. Turn towards them and wrap your arm around them. Then let the others snuggle into you. This not only flatters you, mama, but it also makes your photographs feel more connected.

Mom and baby showing how to pose for photos during North Bend family photo session
Hold your child tummy to tummy instead of on your hip for more connected photos.

Moms, hold your baby tummy to tummy for more connected posing.

When you pick up your baby or toddler, you likely hold them on your hip. This causes you to jet your hip out to create support for the added weight on your body. However, it is not the most flattering nor connected pose.

When considering how to pose for photos, place your baby tummy to tummy. In other words, hold your baby on your front. This brings your faces close together. Then you want to make sure you’re not leaning backward, but towards your child.

Reading how to pose for photos can may make things seem more complicated then they are. Yet, I encourage you to try each pose out with your child in front of the mirror. At the same time, this last tip will be the biggest game changer in your posing.

Mother holding and twirling with daughter during Seattle beach family photography session
Moving your body is the secret on how to pose for photos

One secret on how to pose is to move your body during photos.

The beauty of lifestyle family photography is that it’s about movement! The movement will help you loosen up, create interesting angles with your body, and flatter your body. It also adds depth and interest to your photos. Plus, when you’re twirling, dancing, and running with your kids, it’s more fun for everyone. You’re focused on the fun and not on how to pose for photos. Win-win.

Using these posing for photos tips you can feel more confident whenever you step in front of the camera. Even more, when you work with a photographer they will help guide you into poses.

For more inspiration and tips for making the most of your family portrait session, sign up for my newsletter. You can also follow me on Instagram, check out my family portfolio, and head to the blog below for even more posing inspiration.

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