Taking group photographs can always be a challenge. Not only do you need to perfect your camera technique, you also need to manage the pose, behaviour and interaction between a large number of people! Today we'll be looking at three tips that can help you achieve unique and interesting group photos.
1. Get High
For large groups, a wonderful technique can be to find a high vantage point and shoot down towards them. This makes it easier to get everyone in the shot, and helps avoid the problem of some people being taller than others.
Looking up is often the most flattering pose for portrait photography, so everyone will thank you for capturing their good side and avoiding any double-chins!
If you don't have anything that makes a perfect vantage point, try to find a ladder that you can climb up to reach a better height. You don't need to be fifty feet up in the air - just a slight elevation will work wonders.
2. Centre of Attention
When you have a group photo where one or two people are the main focus of attention (the bride and groom at a wedding, for instance), an interesting technique can be to have the other subjects look at the couple, rather than the camera.
This makes the viewer feel that they are joining in with the process of appreciating the couple, along with everyone else in the photo! Always be sure to take another photo with everyone looking at the camera as well, just in case the client prefers a more traditional composition.
3. Take Several Shots
With any group photo, taking multiple shots is absolutely key. You'll help to minimise the chances of someone blinking at an unfortunate second, and ensure that everyone is looking in the right direction.
That said, don't strive for perfection too much. Some of the most natural, candid shots can occur when everyone isn't perfectly posed. It's often worth letting people laugh, joke and interact while you capture the action as a bystander.
Be sure to experiment with zoom/distance as you keep pressing the shutter. Get close for a few head and shoulder shots, and step right back to fit everyone in.
It's also worth trying different apertures to bring certain member of the group into focus more than others (as seen above). This can be a great way to emphasise one particular person's activity or pose.
Share Your Techniques
Do you have any of your own techniques and suggestions for great group images? Feel free to share them in the comments!