How to take photo of groups

  • Very often when photographing groups of people there is always someone looking the wrong way, keeping their eyes shut or making a silly gesture or face. As a photographer it will take all your expertise as a director to get everyone to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it.

  • The knack is to strike a happy medium between a jovial atmosphere and firmness. Of course not all groups of people that you photograph are going to be under your control. If this is the case it is then up to you to find the right angle and be ready for the right moment. You will need to get yourself into a position where the light is at its best.

  • It might be advantageous in certain circumstances to photograph people unaware, but then if they discover what you are up to they may get annoyed or move away. Often if a group of people know they are being photographed they will play for the camera and probably agree to your requests. If you are shooting indoors the chances are you will be able to direct people to adopt the positions you want. Take a good look at their characteristics. Decide who is the most interesting so that they can be in the foreground or other prominent position.

  • If there are many people to fit into the group, position them or take a viewpoint so that no one is obscured by anyone else. Consider whether some would be better sitting while others stand. It would be an advantage to work with the camera on a tripod and use a cable release. In this case you can position everyone to your liking. Also when it comes to taking the actual shot, you can keep an eye on the group better from the camera viewpoint than looking through the viewfinder all the time. If you do use this method and your camera is set to auto exposure you will have to cover the viewfinder. On nearly all cameras there is a small button that brings a shield over the viewfinder. This cut out light entering the eyepiece which would affect the camera metering mechanism and result in underexposure.

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