5 Tips for Perfect Poses for Children in Studio

5 Tips for Perfect Poses for Children in Studio

5 Tips for Perfect Poses for Children in Studio with April Massad

Cherry Blossom Backdrop | Image by April Massad

Backdrop :: Cherry Blossom 

Hey there! I am so excited to be on the blog today chatting with you guys about posing! I LOVE posing. LOVE it. I love all the pretty dresses and I think we all know I’m obsessed with backdrops, but posing is really what I love most. Every child is different, but it’s essentially the same with every session. Sometimes we photographers make things more complicated and I KNOW this is true for posing. In today’s post I’m going to try to simplify it a little bit. Here are 5 Tips for Posing Children that I think will help you!

 Alicia Light Backdrop | Image by April Massad

Backdrop Alicia Light

1. GET ON THEIR LEVEL.

As soon as my kids walk in the door, I greet them first. I get down on their level, look them in the eyes, and tell them how excited I am that they are there! I want them to know that it’s about them and that they are the most important person in the studio for the next hour! I want to make that connection right off the bat. The first few seconds tell me a lot about them. For example, whether they are shy or outgoing. I love BOTH so I prepare myself to work with whatever personality they bring in! Kids are amazing because they aren’t body conscious yet. They move and pose without being self-conscious. But if this happens, I will ask the parents to give us a few minutes to warm up. If you show them that you can sing, and dance, and pose, then they will feel comfortable doing it too!

Cherry Blossom Backdrop | Image by April Massad

Backdrop :: Cherry Blossom

2. TRUST.

Talk to them. Be silly. Sing songs. All of these actions establish trust. If you are comfortable, they will be more comfortable too. When they trust you, they will do exactly what you want them to do WITHOUT you even telling them to do so. They will mirror your moves. 90% of my posing is done nonverbally. I let them do what they want and then if I give directions, I SHOW them how to do it. I’ll put my finger on my chin, do sassy shoulder, or drag a toe. Sometimes I will say “do what I do” and they will do exactly what I am doing, but usually better!

Blush Butterflies Backdrop | Image by April Massad

Backdrop :: Blush Butterflies 

3. MUSIC.

Music is like an ongoing conversation in the room that makes everyone more comfortable. If there is one language kids can understand, it is music. Especially Disney music. When a song from The Greatest Showman or Frozen comes on that they know, they will FEEL it. It’s also a great conversation starter for me. “Oh, do you know what this song is from?” “I love this song! Do you love this song?”

“What’s your favorite Disney movie?” While we are talking, I am snapping away. Usually kids are not standing still when they are talking. Especially when they are talking about something they LOVE!

Cherry Blossom Backdrop | Image by April Massad

Backdrop :: Cherry Blossom

4. BRIBERY.

I speak fluent bribery and I have zero shame. My secret weapons are candy and Beanie Boos. Beanie Boos are modern day Beanie Babies. Yes they are a bit more expensive than candy, but they WORK for me. The girls know that this is what they get when they come in. They look forward to it, and for the repeat customers they are collectors' items! I’m serious. Parents will tell me all the time how they are their most treasured possessions! Some kids I don’t even have to mention them. They do an amazing job and it’s their surprise reward for being awesome at the end. Some kids I will remind them what they are working for and if they do a good job, they earn it. This might not be your jam, and that’s okay! It works like a charm for me. Order toys from Oriental Trading, buy candy, stickers, or whatever you choose, it works! I could write an entire blog post on just this topic.

Cherry Blossom Backdrop | Image by April Massad

Backdrop :: Cherry Blossom

5. BE POSITIVE.

This is the most important thing I will tell you. NEVER tell a child they are doing anything wrong. EVER. If you show them a pose and they do not do it correctly, do not tell them “NO not like that”. You just take the picture and then say “Awesome! Now like this…” and refine the pose or change it. It’s that simple! Look the kiddo in the eye and tell them “You are doing awesome! You are beautiful and perfect”. I am pretty sure I say those things 500 times during a session. “YES! Oh my gosh that was gorgeous!” I show them on the back of my camera! They love to see themselves. Show them when they are doing it correctly! It works. I promise.

Well folks, there are my five tips! I could talk about this topic all day long, but I hope you got something out of these! Connecting with the kids is key. Capturing their natural expressions is really the main goal here and if you incorporate the five tips above, you will capture mom’s heart!

April Massad

About the Author

April Massad has been a photographer for 19 years and specializes in children and videography. She lives in Oklahoma, but regularly packs her gear up and teaches at conferences, workshops, and shoots educational videos for other photographers.


3 Responses

Sharon Turner
Sharon Turner

March 19, 2020

Hi April, I think this is a great article and love your images! Can you tell me what you are using at the bottom of your backdrops that looks like something is holding is down and straight? Is it some kind of bar or glide?
Thanks in advance,
Sharon

Joanann Goeringer
Joanann Goeringer

March 19, 2020

Thank you so much. Loved your the gift for doing good, That’s awesome it works at the Doctors.
I will say I was surprised when it stated you have been a photographer for 19 years. In your picture you don’t look much over 19.
Keep up the good work.

Helen
Helen

March 03, 2020

Great info April! So appreciated! Your posing looks so natural and effortless, yet there’s so much to getting it to look like that!

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