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.
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.
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.
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.
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!