I’m often asked how best to pose a group of people for family portraits outdoors. It’s not easy to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time and smiling. But beyond that, how best to arrange them? By size? Senority? Age?
Grouping people is complicated by a number of factors including height, age, any considerations of mobility, etc. So what’s terribly useful in this instance are props. The correct prop allows for easy arrangement of multiple people of different ages and heights.
The best prop is probably the classic bench. I admit I’ve used these in many family portraits. Partly because I often shoot outdoors in local London parks or in clients’ gardens.
With benches, it tends to be an age/mobility priority, The elder statesmen of the group are normally seated with younger family members standing and in the case of grandchildren, they are often on the knees of the grandparents.
I’m not the only one who does this, of course. The photographer responsible for this royal family portrait also made use of a bench, as seen below.
So next time you are out in a park or garden and need to pose for family portraits, find that bench and use it!