Getting a group of people to smile and look at the camera is no easy task. It’s not that they don’t want to be in the photo, it’s just that when there are so many people around, it can get chaotic.
But by following these simple steps, you’ll have your entire family looking sharp for any occasion!
First task is figuring out where you will take that perfect shot. The tablecloth from Thanksgiving dinner might be one option for the background, but there are so many other locations that might look way more natural.
For the most flattering effect, it’s best to shoot in a natural light environment. So get your group outside, maybe to the garden, or simply gather them in a room where there is the most sun and place them against the source of light.
One of the most difficult things about taking group photos is figuring out how to make sure everyone’s face fits in the frame. It’s a problem that is especially noticeable when you’re using your phone camera and trying to take a selfie. The best way to ensure nobody gets cut off at the chin or has their head cropped from behind, is by telling everyone to form an “L” shape with their bodies. This ensures that all faces are visible and fit within the boundaries of your photo!
Another very important thing is- don’t forget to compose the group of people in a way that is flattering for everyone. So don’t place the smallest person at the very end, or the biggest at the very front. Rather try to put people of similar size together and don’t forget that the closer the object is to the camera, the bigger it seems. After all, this time you have not just one but several models, so you want to be sure that everyone is happy about the way they look. It is your job as a photographer and the only person who can see how they look together from a perspective.
What can be quite tricky, is making sure everyone is looking at you and has their eyes open. It can be so annoying when you take a bunch of photos and on every one, a different person has their eyes closed! The easiest trick for that is simply saying “cheese” or counting down to when you will take a shot. However, if you notice that after you take a series of pictures and your group is not willing to gather together again, there are some simple tricks you can use while retouching the photos. For example, Photoshop made a simple tutorial on how to fix your photo shoot by swapping the faces. It is possible if you have a few pictures and you want to combine them into one with all those perfect smiles and open eyes! See this Adobe tutorial.
What is maybe the most important is not to stress out your group! While it is a very difficult task to make that perfect shot with a few people at once, the more tense they are, the worse an effect will be. So maybe instead of trying to place everyone in “perfect” positions, let them act naturally with each other. Make them laugh, or maybe look at one another and show how they feel about each other. A dynamic scene in the kitchen, garden or even in front of the fireplace could look much better than the one where you place everyone in their positions. But that is up to you and your imagination! You, as a photographer, have to decide on what you want to achieve in terms of the end result. You can also try both and after gathering everyone for a posed shoot, let them just do their thing and take a few relaxed photos. You never know, those might be the ones you like the most.
As an extra, try to take shots from different angles, and even snap a group selfie with yourself included. A selfie stick might come in handy with such a big group, so don’t forget to pack it if you want to be in the picture yourself too! Well, you can also try the autorelease function, but a good, old selfie might turn out to be a cool addition to your shoot!
Once you have this all figured out, you surely will have some good laughs with your friends or family while taking those pictures. Don’t forget to make sure that all your models received the results of your work. The easiest way to do this is using Yogile- you can simply share the link to the album with the photos in their original, and also RAW quality. Just in case anyone will want to print and frame these awesome pictures you took that day!
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