You are here:

Photography/Family Portrait


Hi Steve,

My family recently designated me to be the family photographer for this weekend's photo shoot ... We are shooting indoors in an office building. The main question I have for right now is posing my family. I have seventeen people in the shoot, and I'm currently trying to plan out the posing.

This is my plan for posing ... suggestions?

Basically, the top row is my grandpa and grandma standing (on a stool, maybe?)
The middle row has all the adults in pairs (couples) who are going to be kneeling (OR SHOULD THEY BE STANDING AS WELL?)
And the bottom row has all the kids (including me) either sitting (OR SHOULD THEY BE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE MIDDLE ROW?)

The link to the sketch is below:

Thank you for your time!


Bad plan. The middle row makes the frame too long and pushes the viewer away.

The correct way.

Grandpa and grandma are seated in the center of the group with a couple seated on either side of them--perhaps the oldest relatives--that's six people. Behind them are the eight other adults. and in front to either side of the grandparents are the three of kids, kneeling or sitting on the floor. This makes for a more rectangular fram and a more pleasing compostion. The grandparents are in the center of the image surrounded by family and not above them as though ready to fly off somewhere.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Steve Meltzer


I am a professional photographer and I've been shooting for newspapers, magazines, commercial clients and artists for over 30 years. I have shot stock photography for dozens of years and in 1977 created West Stock (Seattle, WA) which was one of the first to produce stock photo CDs and later one of the first to establish an online stock photo slaes site. I have a new book on digital photography "PHOTOGRAPHING ARTS, CRAFTS AND COLLECTIBLES (Lark Books, 2007)which is available at, and in bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders. I have another book, CAPTURE THE LIGHT which will be puiblished in November, 2008. I write 20-30 feature articles and columns for regional and national publications a year. My education includes studying with photographers like Cornell Capa, Duane Michels and Oliver Gagliani (from the Ansel Adams Center.)

©2017 All rights reserved.