10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups

September 2, 2010

in Amy Locurto, Family Photo Posing Ideas, Photography Posing Ideas, Photography Tips, Photography Tutorials

Post image for 10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups

Written by Amy Locurto
Co-Founder I Heart Faces

(Photo Credit:  Michael Howard)

Shooting a large group of people can be a lot less stressful if you are prepared. Planning to get shots of a group? Print some large group inspired photos to take along with you and follow these easy tips.

1. Scope out a location ahead of time.

Steps are always a good idea. Find props to use like chairs, stools or large rocks.

2. Look at the background!

You don’t want to look at the shots on your camera after everyone has dispersed and wish your background wasn’t so busy. Simple backgrounds are the best so your subjects are the focus.

3. Don’t have everyone just stand around… that’s boring!

Have some people sitting, crouching, some in front, some in back, arms around each other, kids on an adult’s shoulders, etc. Don’t be shy when it comes to posing people. Try as many different poses as you have time for. Look at the body types. You might put the taller or larger people in the center, or do just the opposite with the smaller people in the middle, taller on the sides. Mixing body types is good too. They don’t always have to be arranged by height or weight.

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups. Photography Tutorial by iHeartFaces.com

Photo by Pete Lacker

4. While posing everyone, make sure you tell them to relax, that you will be taking some test shots and will let them know when you are taking the photo for real.

It’s never fun when after you’ve done a few test shots, they walk away thinking you’re finished! No no, not after you just did all that posing!!

5. Have adults hold children who can’t be still for very long!

Recruit a helper. It wouldn’t hurt to have someone behind you doing something silly to get the kid’s attention.

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups iHeartFaces.com

Photo by Rachel

6. Make sure everyone’s eyes are open at the same time.

Try telling them all to close their eyes and on the count of three open them. If it’s really sunny outside, just have them keep their eyes open and do the counting and cross your fingers! Wait a second after counting before shooting the photo and hopefully nobody will blink.

7. Take a lot of shots.

Because you will probably not accomplish tip #6 most of the time!

8. Try different angles for a less formal shot.

Shooting from above is great for groups of 30 or more people. If you plan on shooting a super huge group. You might practice your tree climbing skills or bring a ladder.

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups. Photography Tutorial by iHeartFaces.com

Photo by Rachel

9. If you have time, shoot some close-ups.

Make sure everyone is in the photo though! Also try moving back for a long distance creative shot.

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups. Photography Tutorial by iHeartFaces.com

Photo by Susan

10. And last but not least, don’t forget to tell everyone to smile!

We’ve noticed some great discussions about shooting group photos in our Free Community Forum. Head over there to continue the discussions and find out more technical details for your specific questions.

Amy Locurto, Co-Founder of I Heart Faces
, is a mom of two, Photoshop/Mac addicted graphic designer and newborn photographer who provides free printables, recipes and DIY party ideas on Living Locurto. You can also find cute Printables by Amy in her shop. She sometimes she even gets a little sleep!

Follow Amy on Twitter here and Facebook here.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeramy January 25, 2014

Thanks , I have just been searching for info approximately this subject
for a long time and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far.
But, what about the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?


Jenny Keating February 21, 2013

found you on web liked on fb great love this
any tips on getting all peoples sharp in group shots
jyst read great article you hav ….thanx got new camera
5dmarkiii ….love it but still learning how to drive
it….. got group shots coming up soon so stressing
trying to get my head around the AF system ect any tips
wuld be great trying out,all the AF modes and points
thanks kindest regards Jen why am i so stressed
when iv always,ben the one doing the shots for all,family
events …must be new camera stress lolxx


jillyrh November 29, 2012

RT @iHeartFaces
More tips for taking photos of large groups during the holidays: http://t.co/XJDYZ68e #GiftsThatDo


Tiffany S November 29, 2012

More tips for taking photos of large groups during the holidays: http://t.co/MdKAD5mC #GiftsThatDo


Kimberly November 14, 2012

I never know what aperture to use for group shots. Someone is always out of focus in my pictures. Any tips?


Nate January 14, 2012

I tried doing the count to 3 thing at a wedding one time, but then the best man pointed out that half of the people in the photo were deaf, so I had the brilliant idea of counting to 3 on my fingers instead. Kinda hard to see with your eyes closed!


dexter superville {sirdem numspar] January 5, 2012

thank you’ll very much for tips they are very helpfull


Lindsey November 17, 2011

THANK YOU! This is perfect timing as I have to do a group of 10 next month.


Georgia McCabe September 6, 2010

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups #togs #photogs http://om.ly/tbYq


Georgia McCabe September 5, 2010

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups #togs #photogs http://om.ly/tYHw


Georgia McCabe September 4, 2010

10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups #togs #photogs http://om.ly/tVGU


Benjamin M September 5, 2010

Thank you some very important and helpful tips. But you did forget one. “Bring an assistant.”


kristin September 2, 2010

This is wonderful – I just shot a group photo with 43 people! Thank goodness I got most of your hints and tips included.



Angie September 2, 2010

RT @livinglocurto: I'm writing on IHF today: RT @iHeartFaces 10 Tips for #Photographing Large Groups: Written by @livinglocurto http://goo.gl/fb/PhGFM


Amy Locurto September 2, 2010

I'm writing on IHF today: RT @iHeartFaces 10 Tips for #Photographing Large Groups: Written by @livinglocurto http://goo.gl/fb/PhGFM


TidyMom September 2, 2010

Thanks Amy……I’m shooting a family of 11 at the end of the month, so this will help!!


Amy September 2, 2010

Oh thank you for the tips~~~ I can’t wait to try them out!!!!


jen September 2, 2010

just finished a photo shoot with 30 family members. including myself.
therefore …
tip #11. don’t be the photographer for your own family’s pictures that you have to be in too.
i would have followed that tip if the photographer hadn’t skipped out on us the day before.
tip #12. don’t use a photographer that will cancel on you the day before.
i guess it was easier to include myself than to try and reschedule all of the people that we had in the photo. (including several out-of-towners!)


Shari September 2, 2010

Thanks so much for the tips for large groups. I am getting ready to shoot a large wedding party (+40 ). I had already thought about shooting the steps. I am thinking that I need a wade angle lens? What do you think? and so you have any suggestions on a reasonably priced NIKON wide angle?


Valerie September 2, 2010

It’s funny that you just posted this. A couple of weekends ago my grandmother turned 80 and we took a family photo with everybody in it. It turned out rather funny to say the least and we didn’t really have a choice on location. Here’s the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photosyouwant/4929633070/


Shannon Gray September 2, 2010

Great tips! I once had to take a pic of about 30 police officers for an event…was not fun getting them organized and paying attention!! 🙂


Tidymom September 2, 2010

Thanks! RT @iHeartFaces: 10 Tips for Photographing Large Groups: Written by Amy Locurto Co-Founder I Heart Faces http://goo.gl/fb/PhGFM


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