Group Tips

Today, a few group tips—an excerpt from my “Portrait Photography” book, whose thoird edition comes out soon.

Tips for posing the family and other groups.

  • Avoid straight lines: each head should be at a different vertical position.
  • Sit–stand–lean: Create a combination of sitting, standing and leaning to achieve this.
  • Avoid having people face the camera straight on; Place people at an angle.
  • Alternate those angles. See who fits with whom, both in terms of relationship and in terms of the “look” of the photo. For individuals, have them turn around and see what flatters them most.
  • Create little groups, by having people face each other, or stand back-to-back.
    “If it has a joint, it is meant to be bent”. Bend at the knees, elbows, wrists, whatever has a joint should be bent somehow,. This gives the photo a much more realistic look and feel.
  • If you have limited space, squeeze people in as much as you can.
  • If you are outside, have the sun in your group’s back, and light the front with flash or reflectors. Do not have your subjects face into the sun (wrinkles show, and people squint).
  • If at all possible, find an elevated position to shoot from. That way, you get a more dynamic picture and you get everyone in easily, without heads being hidden behind other heads.

See? Nothing to it!  🙂

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