Groups of People are one of the more difficult subjects to capture, everyone is in a chaos moment, moving, talking not paying attention and more!
It is difficult to get everyone doing the same thing at the
Try shooting a large group divided into smaller,
more intimate groups. This has the advantage of seeing
more of the people in the image instead of tiny faces in
the photo. If you need to shoot a Big Group Such as a team or School Class these tips below will help you do this better!
1. Smaller is always better
Groups are shot for memories. You want to remember
the event & people. You will get better images with groups of three of four than a
large group of eight or more. Plus smaller groups are easier to direct & place your subjects. Obviously this isn’t always an option … Some photos such as Team, Family & Schools must be taken together!
2. Planning Your Shot before you get involved
Planning is important in any shoot. Move the guests around to create a more interesting photo. Be creative and don’t just direct people by height. Group everyone around the Guest of Honor.
Where you line everyone up is important. Control your background and beyond the image. You don’t want any distractions from the group. Control your Lighting as well, beware of bouncing flash off ceilings that have different heights and may cause shadows! Sometimes it’s great to place the group in
their element, such as, a gardening Club outdoors. (The Image to the right has both Shadows on the Ceiling & the 2 guests to the left are behind others!)
4. Zoom Zoom Zoom
Get in close to
the group by zooming which is why you don’t want it too large. The will help with detail in everyone’s faces. If the group is too large try to
get them to get their heads close together. You are creating
memories not just a record of an event! Fewer people but more detail is still a better idea. Also a ladder will get you a little higher and create a more stunning photo!
5. Keep Shooting!
This is important when taking shots of ANY group but essential when shooting large groups. Taking multiple shots
makes it easier to get the shot as there might only be a
second when everyone is looking at the camera & not blinking. You can use continuous mode to help if you want, Also in some instances I have had to merge photos in post processing, “borrow” a head from one photo and add it to a near perfect shot!
Don’t Be a tired,
grumpy old photographer! Be happy even if you don’t feel like it. People
feed off the energy of others & a smile or a laugh can be contagious.
A smile will relax your subjects & make them feel happier.
Engage them, tell jokes & above all find ways to put them at ease. Have them give you a thumbs up, make a funny face or Point at the Guest of Honor for some custom shots! If you
are in a bad mood don’t do the photo shoot.
No group is ever the same as the next, every group has its own energy, & personality. What drives your group??? Find this out and work that angle! Shooting groups can
be a lot of fun if you take the time to get into their world & engage
them. The more you shoot groups the
better you will become!
We Suggest doing Both a Series of Smaller Family Portraits and a Large group Photo as well! So this way your client can choose which they prefer!
One last Tip: Make sure your subjects are looking at you NOT mom, dad, or Aunt Edna Standing next to you! An easy way to fix this issue is ask all the snap-shooters to wait until you give them the green light, if not it confuses your subjects and ruins BOTH Photos!