The Best Outdoor Photography Portrait Poses: 20 Ideas

Now that you understand how to shoot based on various weather conditions, it’s time to zero in on the type of poses that will be most flattering to your subjects.

Outdoor portraits tend to take on a very relaxed, easy-going tone even if you’re the one directing the shot. Shooting among the great outdoors is also beneficial when it comes to children. Let’s face it – some kids can be the cutest, most outgoing thing on two legs – until they get into a photography studio! Suddenly it’s wooden smiles, stiff posture, and obvious disinterest.

To make the most of your next outdoor shutterfest, check out these outdoor photography portrait posing ideas for a fresh perspective…

Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #1

Off Center – Keeping the lush surroundings in focus is always a good idea, especially when in a gorgeous natural setting like near a river, lake or atop a mountain.

Flickr: ellegphotography

Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #2-8

Group – Group shots can (and should) take on a life of their own. Capture the power of the familial bond by having your subjects stand, sit, kneel, crouch, leap into the air, engage in a “group hug” – or all of the above! Again, make use of your natural surroundings to supply the best contrast and atmosphere.

Flickr: haemin
Flickr: ellegphotography
Flickr: nadio
Flickr: ellegphotography
Flickr: photosavvy
Flickr: haemin
Flickr: cconnelly


Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #9-10

Wide Awake ‘n Bushy Tailed – If a child is a natural “ham”, take a few snapshots of them doing their favorite thing, either alone or with their siblings. Whether they’re swinging across the monkey bars, building sandcastles, chasing butterflies, showing off their “mad skills” or best toothy grin, a shot like this is a sure-fire way to get your session started off on the right foot.

Flickr: ellegphotography
Flickr: photosavvy


Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #11

Snug as a Bug – If a long day “smiling for the camera” leaves a child feeling sleepy, don’t put your camera away just yet! You may be able to snag a few bonus shots of them while in their near-dreamy state. Consider having the child lay down on a cozy blanket or snuggle up with mom or dad to create that grandparent-pleasing, “Isn’t she sweet?” photo opp.

Flickr: ellegphotography


Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #12-13

Parent & Child – A photograph featuring mom or dad engaged in a tender or playful moment with their precious baby is by far one of the best moments you can capture. Depending on the baby’s age, consider a portrait featuring the child sitting in the parent’s lap, exploring nature astride Daddy’s hip, or taking their first steps into their Mommy’s waiting arms.

Flickr: espresso34
Flickr: testdasi


Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #14-17

Sibling Love (and Rivalry) – Who says siblings fight all the time? Capture those elusive “sweet” moments for solid photographic proof that they can in fact, get along…when they want to. (Sometimes…)

Flickr: nicopierce
Flickr: photosavvy
Flickr: 47166549@N00
Flickr: photosavvy


Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #18-20

Cute Couple – Last but not least, don’t forget to take a few photos of Mom & Dad as “husband and wife”! Couples often neglect their relationship in the midst of caring for little ones, paying bills and mundane tasks such as grocery shopping. A photo starring “just the two of them” all cuddled up, is sure to help keep those home fires burning!

Flickr: mait
Flickr: designasaur
Flickr: norhendraruslan

For more posing ideas, be sure to check out our photography posing guide for flattering poses.

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