As we head into summer and the season of family reunions and gatherings, many of you may be looking to take a group photo and want some photography tips. Read more: Simple Guide to Understanding Aperture (and How to Use it). Photography is how I interpret my world as a wife, mother of four, and artist. I have even tried setting the camera up in advance, do you have any tips to keep their attention and should they be looking at the camera? When I say further apart I mean from front to back. So crop above or below: Its really important to remember fingers and toes too. Hard lesson learned with my family this year. So, to be safe, focus on the person in the middle. Lifestyle photography is all about the connection and interactions between family members, so these posing techniques are more about arranging the group loosely in an unposed kind of pose. My lens of choice for photographing families outdoors is my 70 200mm F2.8. You will lose their attention and cooperation if you are flustered and take too long with large group photos. Everyone has different levels of flexibility for sitting on the ground, so check that everyone is comfortable. In other words if their head is in the middle their body should be going either left or right out of from, not towards the bottom of the frame. The next deciding factor on shutter speed is subject. In the studio I use more formal posing, but outdoors is perfect for incorporating movement into group photos, which little ones find it so much more enjoyable. Family photography is much more relaxed when everyone is moving. But this can be a good thing and lead to interesting composition. Where you take group portraits also impacts on the decisions you make. Metering for a portrait of one person is no different when metering for group photography, even though there are of course more faces in a group photo. In other words, if youre shooting at a focal length of 200mm, your shutter speed should be higher than 1/200. Id suggest getting the adults in place first and then get them to bring little ones in. You need to ensure that your photos are correctly exposed and this involves: Selecting the right shutter speed for outdoor portraits involves thinking through: As a rule of thumb, you should ensure that your shutter speed is higher than the focal length youre using. Further reading:What to wear to a family photoshoot how to look great. Keep them focused by being fast with the whole process. What a gift you are able to give to families with group photos! If you can, shoot from above your group (i.e. Just bear in mind that if you set the aperture to F8 you must make sure that the family group is some distance from the background to ensure that it is blurred. Tell your group to stay away from big logos and bold stripes as well. What type of lens would you use for family photos? with a ladder or chair) to make all the faces more visible. The longer focal length also allows me to occasionally step back and photograph from a distance so that it feels less intimidating and intrusive. Very useful tips. You can avoid those crazy shadows under the eyes and nose by not shooting when the sun is overhead. Well start with camera settings for group photos and then move onto group photography posing. Your subjects wont know which camera to look at, which will result in wandering eyes in your photos! Get everyone on their bellies, including you. Everyone goes crazy and suddenly becomes silly and uncooperative. Thanks! You dont need to know it inside out, but it helps to: Knowing the area will also help you think through ideal poses before the shoot. The alternative is to ensure that you photograph with a good amount of space around the family when theyre on the move. Im struggling between buying a 35mm or 85mm lens. Thanks for posting. For group family portraits Id recommend F4 as the widest aperture you should consider, especially with a zoom lens, but preferably F5.6 or F8 for large family groups. Required fields are marked *. To do this you would of course need distance so that you can stand back and get everyone in frame. Home Lifestyle 17 Dos and Donts For Your Large Group Photo.
Further reading:Cropping portraits for flattering results. The focal length you shoot at also affects the depth of field. When you involve children in the group photo they most likely want to make silly faces. You can swap heads in Photoshop if you need to, or simply to have more images to choose from. The rule of thumb is to ensure that you dont crop through a joint. Examples of Rule of Thirds in photography (and how to use it in composition). Tell them, If you cant see me, I cant see you! And make sure complete heads are showing, not just eyes. This way youll always be ready to take the shot at the perfect moment, because your camera will always be focused on the action. This might have a big impact on your choice of aperture and focal length. Consider trading a silly photo for a serious one. On the whole the family does not like their picture taken. Cropping in the wrong place is visually disturbing and unflattering. If not, it will show in the photo. Photography composition is a very deep subject and its well worth it to learn as many techniques as possible so that you can apply them in all types of photography. Obsessed with light and composition. I never handhold below 1/80, even when shooting at a focal length of 50mm. link to How to avoid shadows in indoor photography (on walls and backdrops), link to Examples of Rule of Thirds in photography (and how to use it in composition), What to wear to a family photoshoot how to look great, How to photograph groups to avoid fuzzy portrait photos, Using depth of field for gorgeous photography composition, What is focal length and how to use it in photography, How to use the sunny 16 rule for quick exposure settings outdoors, Using the zone system in photography for perfect exposure, How and when to use exposure compensation, Back button focus how to use it and why its your BFF, 7 essential elements to preparing for a photoshoot on location, Focus tips to capture moving subjects in photography, Cropping portraits for flattering results, you have to keep an eye on where everyone is, the wrong aperture setting could result in blurry people in family portraits, Exposure for the amount of light available, Know where the sun will be at the time of your shoot, Identify 3 backgrounds in close proximity for variety without taking everyone on an expedition, Know the colors of the location so that you can make sure it works with what the group will be wearing, Photograph at the childs height, holding parents hands, and crop the top half of the parents out, Photograph them walking towards or away from you holding hands, Or holding hands and walking from left to right of frame being led by a child in front, Encourage young children to run towards you while the parents hang back, then focus on the children. The worst case scenario is that you can then use different photos to create one group shot with everyone looking to camera by doing a head swap in Photoshop to ensure everyone.Try photographing your family in a more relaxed style, rather than a formal group. Over the years I have been the designated photographer for our family reunions. Its nice to have a variety of shots to choose from to find the best head or set of non-wandering eyes to use for the final image. Further reading:7 essential elements to preparing for a photoshoot on location. Make sure everyone is standing near his or her family members. As much as I love shadows in photography, there's a certain shadow that most of the time I really don't want in my photos. You dont have to have everyone standing in a line, or in rows. Jane is the founder of The Lens Lounge and a professional portrait photographer living on the sunny south coast of England. Dads and kids generally dont like family pictures (mine dont anyways!). Next, dont be afraid to take charge, communicate what you want, but remain relaxed. If its getting late or if the sun is behind your group, use a flash. I just returned from our reunion in Southern Utah and wanted to share the photography tips I learned while taking our group photos. A great family pose is to have everyone lie in a circle on their backs with their heads together. When you photograph families outdoors you have a lot more space to move in and it lends itself to a more relaxed, lifestyle approach. If you have any questions about photographing groups, let us know in the comments. Dont chop off part of the hand or foot.
So you also need to consider what aperture to use. Aside from that, though, I like the depth of field that can be achieved with a longer focal length.If had to decide between 35mm and 85mm Id definitely go for the 85mm. The most important part of a portrait is of course the face. 17 Dos and Donts For Your Large Group Photo. You can do this by pre-planning posing for the amount of people you are shooting. However, with every additional person you add to the shot you make the juggle a little more difficult, because: So deciding on what F stop to use for family photos isnt just about setting the exposure, its about controlling the depth of field and juggling the need to blur the background, but keep the family group sharp.
If a family is grouped close together in layers, your focus choice is also easy. Now that you have your depth of field figured out. Lighter skin reflects more light than darker skin. Further reading:How to photograph groups to avoid fuzzy portrait photos. Put taller people towards the back and in the center, shorter people in front and on sides, if you are doing a standing pose.
You can then photograph them from above. There are so many ways to photograph groups of people and your approach depends on the type of group photo youre taking. With family group photos that include young children, its always a good idea to set your shutter speed above 1/250th to avoid subject movement blur. Carefully move around the circle to capture them all at different angles. The longer the focal length, the more chance there is of camera shake. A remote is much easier than using your self-timer on your camera because you can take multiple images (set your camera to continuous shooting mode) one after another, rather than running back and forth and trying to time it just right.
However, when youre photographing a group of people it gets a little trickier to ensure the whole family is in focus. I put my parents in the center, since this was a shot of their posterity! Great article! For our family shot the sun had just set behind the mountain in front of us, which left us with nice open shade and indirect light as we faced the setting sun. In a more formal setting and without young children, single servo / one shot focus mode is fine, although I always have my camera set to continuous. Further reading:Using depth of field for gorgeous photography composition. I also lovedigital design, trying healthy recipes, stalking fashion blogs, attendingfitness classes, and empty laundry baskets! Further reading:Focus tips to capture moving subjects in photography. The biggest problem with taking family photographs I have is the eyes as they often close as I take the picture or one person decides to look somewhere else.