6. Carefully pick the right moment for the shot. I often find it easiest to take a group shot whenever the group happens to already be close together and if possible, when there is a lull in activiy.
Also towards the start of events can be a good time as everyone is all together, they all look their best and if there is alcohol involved no one is too under the weather yet.
7. Take Control
Some photographers fail to communicate well with the group, bridal party, etc.. It is important to let them know what you want them to do, keep talking to them and keep them motivated to smile. Tell them that they look great and communicate how much longer you’ll need them for.
Try to give the Group and Bridal party a reason to pose well for the photograph. For example at a wedding you might motivate people to pose by saying ‘((insert name of couple being married here)) have asked me to get some group shots’ or at a sporting event ‘lets take a group photo to celebrate our win’. When you give people a reason to pose for you you’ll find they are much more willing to take a few minutes to pose for you.
Another very useful line to use with group is – ‘If you can see the camera it can see you’. This one is key if you want to be able to see each person’s face in the shot.
Wait until others have finished, if there is more than one wedding photographer. Let them get their shots first and then get the attention of the full group otherwise you’ll have everyone looking in different directions.
You don’t want to come across as a dictator when posing your group or you could end up with group shots of lots of angry faces. The best photographers know how to communicate what they want and get peoples attention while keeping people feeling relaxed and like they are having fun.
8. Think about Light
You need to have sufficient light in order to get enough detail in your subjects. The way you get this varies but consider using a flash if the group is small enough and you are close enough for it to take effect – especially if the main source of light is coming from behind the group.
If it’s a bright sunny day and the sun is low in the sky try not to position it directly behind you or you’ll end up with a collection of squinting faces in your shot.
9. Large groups of people can be very difficult to photograph as even when staggering. You can also try tiering to make the back people higher. You ccould wind up standing a long way back in order to fit everyone in the frame.
One solution to this is to find a way to elevate your vantage point, yourself as the photographer. If I’m photographing a wedding and the couple wants one big group shot consider arranging for a ladder to be present, so that you may look down on the group. In doing this you can fit a lot more people in and still remain quite close to the group or wedding party. (you end up with a shot of lots of faces in focus and less bodies). It also gives an interesting perspective to your shots – especially if you have a nice wide focal length.