How to Use Flow Posing in Your Mini Portrait Sessions

Mini Portrait Session

After diligently promoting your photography expertise and consistently engaging on social media, you’ve achieved a milestone: Your mini portrait sessions are fully booked!

While it’s tempting to sit back and revel in the fully occupied slots on your calendar, it’s essential to remain proactive. The next challenge? Ensuring diversity in the short, 15-minute sessions for each client.

Here’s a pro tip: Embrace flow posing. This strategy is paramount if you aim to maintain concise, efficient sessions while ensuring a diverse gallery for your clients. Flow posing is the key to balancing efficiency with variety.

Lisa Micheli – Lisa Micheli Photography

What is “flow posing?”

Flow posing is a streamlined approach to guiding your clients through various poses swiftly.

This versatile method works seamlessly with individuals, couples, families, and even our furry friends. The essence lies in pre-planning a sequence of poses. This way, during mini portrait sessions, if you ever hit a roadblock with a particular pose, you’re well-equipped to guide your clients smoothly through the next one.

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
    • In your mini portrait sessions with couples, explore the dynamics by having them stand side by side, face each other, or even with one person slightly behind the other. Simple shifts in their orientation can inject a fresh sense of variety and fluidity to the photos. For family sessions, mix things up! Alternate which parent holds the child or children, or vary the standing order. These subtle rearrangements can transform the entire mood and story of the photo.
  • Change the placement of hands
    • Here’s a secret that packs a punch: subtle changes can transform the entire essence of a photo, regardless of the subject. With couples or groups, experiment with how they hold onto each other. A simple change in hand placement can offer a fresh perspective. If you’re capturing an individual, guiding them to reposition their hands can create a vastly different ambiance. From sliding a hand into a pocket to resting it on the wrist, or even a gentle glide through their hair, these nuances offer a plethora of posing possibilities.
  • Move around your subjects
    • Remember, as a photographer, your perspective is your paintbrush. For added depth and diversity in your mini portrait sessions, experiment with your distance and vantage point. Whether you opt for a close-up, take a step back for a wider shot, or simply switch sides, each change offers a fresh lens to your subject. Embrace your role as the ever-evolving element in the session and stay agile!
  • Add in some action
    • Encourage your clients to let loose and embrace spontaneity. Whether they choose to walk, dance, play ‘ring around the rosie’, or even engage in a playful blanket toss, movement adds a layer of authenticity to the shots. One timeless trick for family sessions? Get the family to tickle the youngest member; the resulting candid moments are nothing short of heartwarming. By integrating these lively elements, you’re not just photographing poses, but genuine moments and raw emotions.

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

Mastering flow posing might appear daunting initially, but the key lies in consistent practice. Begin by analyzing photos that resonate with you, then experiment with these poses personally to gauge what feels organic.

Once you’ve become comfortable with a specific pose, challenge yourself: how can you seamlessly transition to another? As you iterate this process, it’ll become second nature to effortlessly transition between poses during your mini portrait sessions, enhancing the fluidity and dynamism of your 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-free posing that demonstrate 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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