How to Use Flow Posing in Your Mini Portrait Sessions

After a ton of work marketing your photography skills and sharing to social channels, you finally did it: You got your mini portrait sessions all set up and scheduled.

While now may feel like a great time to kick back and celebrate the lack of space on your calendar, it’s not. Now is the time to start planning just how on earth you are going to get enough variety out of your clients’ 15-minute sessions.

Take it from me: Flow posing is going to be your best friend. If you’re hoping to keep your sessions short, sweet, and on track while still delivering a gallery full of variety to your clients, this is your go-to strategy.

Lisa Micheli – Lisa Micheli Photography

What is “flow posing?”

Flow posing is a movement system that takes your clients through multiple poses in a short amount of time.

This dynamic posing can be done with a single person, couples, families, and even pets. The main idea is to have a series of poses in mind so that if you ever get stuck on a pose, you can easily talk your mini portrait sessions clients through it.

Beth Miller – Beth Miller Photography

How to Use Flow Posing

Flow posing is great for mini portrait sessions because, during these kinds of events, you’re inevitably short on time but still need to get a variety of poses for your gallery.

Learning this gives you the chance to study the best ways to move people organically through different poses so that you can easily mix things up to get multiple options in one spot.

This can be done by adjusting something simple within the pose. Here are some simple tips to help get you started with flow posing:

  • Change how they are standing – If your mini portrait sessions feature a couple, switch them to stand side by side, facing each other, one person behind the other, or in any other position that allows movement in transition. By making little adjustments to the direction they are standing, you can create variety and movement. For families, change up which parent is holding the kid(s) or rearrange who they are standing next to.
  • Change the placement of hands – This little trick is a big way to make a difference with any type of subject. How the clients are holding onto one another can vary drastically with different hand placements. Or, if you’re photographing an individual, you can easily have them reposition their hands to get a completely different feel. Change the position from one hand in the pocket to one hand on wrist, or try their hands moving through the hair…There are a lot of ways to get new poses this way.
  • Move around your subjects – Don’t forget to change up your distance and angle, too. You can easily add variety by zooming in close, doing a pull back, or changing which side you’re on. As the photographer, you’re one of the most dynamic sources in your mini portrait sessions, so don’t forget to keep moving.
  • Add in some action – Have your clients walk, dance, ring around the rosie, do a blanket toss, or any activity that encourages them to move. You can even get the family to tickle the youngest child — this always turns out totally adorable Whatever actions you choose, you’ll be able to capture some great in-between moments by adding in movement.

Lindsey Willis – Lindsey Willis Photography

The “Money Shot”

Use your client questionnaire to find out what is the number one shot your clients are hoping to get during their session.

Is it a picture of everyone looking at the camera with their best smiles? Or is it a love-soaked candid photo of family members interacting with one another?

Whatever it may be, you can make that one shot your focus at the beginning and get it done. After you’ve crossed that must-have shot off your list, you can begin to move through your other flow of poses from there.

To make getting the necessary information from that questionnaire easier, send out the questionnaire automatically before the session by incorporating it into your mini session workflow in Iris. By taking this step, you ensure you perfectly prepared for your mini portrait sessions.

Study, practice, perfect 

While enacting flow posing may seem challenging at first, the biggest thing you can do is practice. Study photos that you like, and then work out poses on your own to see what feels comfortable to you as a subject.

Once you have a certain pose down, switch it up and find ways to easily transition it into the next pose. By doing this over and over, you’re going to be able to pull out poses easily during your mini portrait sessions.

Looking for more ideas and tips? Try out these awesome sources:

  • Sue Bryce Education – The queen of posing, Sue has an entire education platform where you can watch how she poses in any type of scenario.
  • Picture Perfect Posing and Picture Perfect Practice by Roberto Valenzuela – Both of these books come highly recommended for posing and finding ways to tweak them to perfect your posing during a session.
  • SBP Family Workshop Guide – In Sarah’s full family guide, you not only get to learn everything about the ins and outs of running a business, but you’ll also learn how to create natural family posing in your sessions. This guide is everything you need to know about being a family portrait photographer.
  • Design Aglow – They have a variety of posing inspiration cards for many types of photo sessions.
  • Photography Concentrate – This awesome blog has several posts on stress-ree posing that demonstrates this idea. Click to check out their standing posing edition!

What are some ways that you keep moving when you get stuck during a session? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. Kyle Hislip

    What perfect timing to get this today! I just booked a couples shoot. Thanks for all of the ideas and additional resources.


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