photo of a family standing by a river for a blog post about stop being awkard in family photos

Family Photography

How Do I Stop Being Awkward in Photos?

Things to Do to Feel Comfortable (and Stop Being Awkward) During a Family Photography Session

“I am so awkward in photos,” they said. Or, “We’ve never done this before,” they claimed.

I get it.

Being in photographs can feel weird. What do I do with my hands? Where do I look? Should I smile or not?

As a photographer, it is my job to help you feel great during our family photography sessions! Luckily I am pretty nerdy and chat the whole time to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible.

But, let me give you some ideas to help you to stop being awkward in family photos.

longmont family with teens standing by river during photography session

laughing longmont family with teen boys standing by river

      • Work with a photographer you feel comfortable around.

        One of the best things you can do to stop feeling awkward in family photos is to choose a photographer you like and trust. You want to feel comfortable and relaxed with your photographer. I’m laid-back during a session and love to learn about my clients while we photograph. I’m a little nerdy and tell a couple bad jokes during our time together.

    • Walking photos!

      After years of photographing people, I have discovered one of the best ways to ease into a photography session. Walk. I’ll have my people walk to the camera looking at it. I’ll have my people walk to the camera looking off yonder. I’ll have my people holding hands and walking. I’ll have my people swinging kiddos and walking. Direction helps you be in the moment and takes your mind out of your head a bit!

black and white photo of a mom pulling a boy in a wagon with dad and baby following behind

    • Other movement-based photos

      Other movement-based direction helps you stop being awkward.

      Families with small children have it easy–we can play games like telephone, running to parents, spinning around…so many options to create fun that bring you into the present moment and out of your head.

      For families with teens or adults, I may actually ask you to do a group hug. Or tell you my bad jokes.

mom in red sits on couch with her four kids

    • Limbs!

      Not sure where to put your hands? How to stand?I am always trying to tell my clients what to do (and if I am not directing, that means you are perfect!). But, when in doubt, feel free to cross your arms or put a hand in a pocket. (I suggest putting your thumb in your pocket so that we see the rest of you hand.)If there is a structure near you, feel free to lean up against it. If there isn’t, putting your weight on your back leg is something you can think about.

    • You do not need to memorize any of this–I am just giving you some tidbits to help you stop being awkward. I will guide you throughout our time together!

family of three lean on a fence

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Colorado family photography tips

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.