Photographing groups can be extremely difficult. Usually, the need for large groups occurs at important events such as weddings, awards ceremonies, and work functions, making the job of the photographer incredibly important and oftentimes stressful. Whether there are three subjects or thirty, group photography requires us to break away from what might be our normal rules of operation and think outside the box — sometimes at the spur of the moment. Though far from exhaustive, this article offers nine tips to help you keep control of your group subjects so that you can focus on taking some great shots.

1. Be confident

Further down this list is a piece of advice that says to be funny and approachable, but it’s just as important to be authoritative. If you’re photographing an especially large group, it’s up to you to keep everyone organized, focused, and cooperative, and everyone responds to a confident, authoritative person. Project your voice, speak in definitives, point into the lens to signify where everyone needs to look.

2. Make sure each subject can see the camera with both eyes

Tips For Photographing Groups (Main Image)

The last part of that sentence is important because a lot of photographers only ask if everyone can see the camera, which means that guy behind that other guy will answer ‘yes,’ even though he can only see you with one eye. If he can see you with both eyes, it means the guy in front of him isn’t blocking half of his face.

3. Have each subject adjust the person next to them

If you are working with a big group, you’re not likely to notice any crooked ties or loose strands of hair, so ask everyone to turn to the person next to them and double-check for anything that needs to be fixed.

4. Try to work with existing light

If you don’t happen to luck out with a cloudy day and the sun is overhead, stage your subjects so that the sun is behind them.

 

Group Photography

 

5. Use multiple, bouncing flashes

If you use a straight flash, it will be used up on the front row and those faces will heat up in your final frame. No one in the back row will get the flash so their faces will be shadowed by the light hitting those in front of them. Bounce multiple flashes and light will reach every face and every row, lessening the likelihood of disparities and unattractive tones.

6. Break up similar subjects

Don’t allow five people wearing the same color to stand next to each other. Mix it up and keep things irregular.


Family Combination Photography

7. Make it fun

Make it fun (even though you’re being confident and authoritative). Make a joke, pay attention to the kids, banter with someone who’s up for it. You can also end your photo session with a joke picture, asking everyone to make a crazy face or gesture.

8. Move fast

You have only a few minutes with your subjects, so make every frame count. Keep your camera clicking even if not every subject is 100% ready. And when you see a moment, take it.

9. Ask professional retoucher to improve the shot

Imperfections are natural, post-processing in the digital light room can do a lot to salvage or improve your picture. If you don’t have time or skills to edit yourself – post it up for professionals to work on.

School group picture editing contest from Phowd.

Professional Photography

 

All pictures above are courtesy of Phowd professional retouchers.

Ben Novoselsky

Ben Novoselsky

CEO and Founder at Phowd.com
Entrepreneur, geek, photo enthusiast.
Ben Novoselsky

You may also like

Rajib Mukherjee October 21, 2014

How to Get Started in Wedding Photography – Part 3

One of things that you must learn is how to use off-camera flash. Or if I may recompose that ...

Ben Novoselsky June 11, 2016

Things to Consider When Drafting the Wedding Photography Contract

About a year and a half ago I read an eye-opening article by renowned wedding photographer Gary ...

Rajib Mukherjee May 1, 2017

Wedding Photography – the History of the Genre

The history of recording a wedding dates back to a time long before photography came about. The ...

Rajib Mukherjee April 18, 2017

Checklist of Preparation for Wedding Photography

Let’ face it. Wedding photography isn’t a sort of pursuit that is for the weak heart. Wedding ...

Ben Novoselsky May 9, 2016

What Kind of Wedding Photography Lights Should You Buy?

Lighting in wedding photography is a big thing. Regardless of your budget you have a responsibility ...

Rajib Mukherjee May 8, 2017

10 Unusual Creative Ideas for Wedding Photography

These days wedding photographers do tend to have a lot of creative freedom in their hands. Thanks ...

Rajib Mukherjee June 23, 2014

Five Reasons You Should Outsource Your Photo Editing Chores

Reason 1 – Liberate the Photographer in You

As much as you love to shoot, post processing ...

Rajib Mukherjee February 23, 2017

Pricing Yourself – How Much to Charge as a Wedding Photographer?

In reality it is a question of assessing your costs and then setting a price which covers that ...

Rajib Mukherjee April 1, 2017

The Essential Guide to Posing the Groom

A ton has been written and said about the essential aspects of posing the bride. However, nobody ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 4, 2015

Some Wedding Photography Posing Tips

Wedding photographers are often hard-pressed to produce works of art standing in the midst of utter ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 16, 2014

How to Get Started in Wedding Photography – Part 2

Compositions are everything in wedding photography; at least when you are not shooting candid ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 6, 2017

What to Discuss with Client Before the Photo Shooting

A digital photographer, someone who works on assignments, his greatest friend is the agreement that ...

Kelsey Fox September 24, 2014

8 Unique Ideas for Wedding Photos

A new spouse, a new last name, and photos - the three must-have takeaways of any wedding. Though ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 14, 2014

How to Get Started in Wedding Photography – Part 1

Weddings are not only fun but they are also one of the most solemn of occasions. Two souls unite ...

Ben Novoselsky September 2, 2015

How to Shoot a Wedding in a Photojournalistic Style

Every now and then there would be a requirement for a photojournalistic style wedding photographer. ...

Ben Novoselsky February 28, 2017

A Wedding Photographer’s Guide to Photographing the Bride

The bride’s portraits on the day of her wedding is one of the most important appointments of the ...

Popular posts

Ben Novoselsky September 2, 2015

How to Shoot a Wedding in a Photojournalistic Style

Every now and then there would be a requirement for a photojournalistic style wedding photographer. ...

Ben Novoselsky February 28, 2017

A Wedding Photographer’s Guide to Photographing the Bride

The bride’s portraits on the day of her wedding is one of the most important appointments of the ...

Ben Novoselsky April 6, 2017

Correct Framing in Portrait Photography

Framing is an integral part of the whole process of image making. Be it landscapes, or portraits or ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 31, 2015

How to use the Panning mode in photography

Panning is the technique of going with the flow of a moving subject to make images. The movement of ...

Rajib Mukherjee August 4, 2015

AF Tricks and Tips for Wildlife Photography

When it comes to wildlife photography, choosing the right auto-focusing mode can often make the ...

Ben Novoselsky April 22, 2016

How to Photograph Birds in Five Easy Steps

Bird photography is a supremely satisfying pursuit if you do it the right way and get results to ...

Rajib Mukherjee March 3, 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to Shoot Environmental Portraits

As a genre, environmental portraits are a challenge of sorts for most photographers. It is because ...

Rajib Mukherjee March 20, 2017

Getting Started in Street Photography

Choose the Right Lens
The right lens is a matter of ambiguity as there are different schools of ...

Ben Novoselsky March 23, 2017

Shooting Solo vs Shooting with a Photography Assistant

Many among us have often felt the need to employ a photography assistant to help us manage a shoot ...