Shooting with multiple subjects is chaotic yet extremely rewarding for a photographer. You have infinite opportunities to add creativity in the group photos you click. As a photographer, it is your responsibility to shoot in such a way that every person in the photo feels valued and looks good. It is a tough job and requires planning and preparation. You need to visit the location before and plan the shoot. It includes everyone's position, gestures, and specific expressions ( if you want them to have any, otherwise you may click their original expressions ), composition, lighting, camera settings, etc. Before clicking, make sure everyone has understood what they are supposed to do. The preparation steps might seem exhaustive, but if you are well prepared, you will click much faster, and get what you visualized easily, without making your subjects tired by posing.
Here are the top 3 tips for you to click a great group photo:-
Take as many shots as possible:-
You cannot expect that all the people present in the group will exactly do the same as you want at the same moment, in the very first shot. There will be mistakes. So be prepared to take multiple photographs. You can shoot in short bursts with continuous shooting mode. Generally, the first shot does not go well. After clicking 3-4 shots, the people will seem more natural in their expressions. You will get your desired shot only once they do not appear robotic in their gestures and smiles. So, take multiple shots. You should click some even before you officially start shooting when everyone is relaxed and just being themselves. You might get some amazing candid shots in this way.
Detailing is very important in group photos, and to enhance that in your photo, you will need enough lighting. If the group is small and you are clicking from proximity, you can use an external flash. If the group is large, you might require more than one flash to light up everyone's face. Flash on different powers will create depth in the photo. Be careful about the location of the flash. If it is too close to the group, the person closest to it will be overexposed in the image. Set it in a position from where it lights up the whole group evenly. If you are shooting in broad daylight, make sure your subjects are comfortable and are not facing the sun. You might position them beside a large wall or under a tree so that they can have some shade. If you shoot indoors, open the window to allow adequate light in the room.
Arrange the group:-
Depending on the people who you are clicking, and the occasion, you can arrange the group in several ways. But irrespective of what formation you choose for the group, there are some general rules that you should follow. Have taller subjects at the back and shorter ones at the front so that everyone is visible! You might arrange the subjects in a staggered formation and segregate the tall people equally in different directions. You can also use a staircase or chair to have the subjects positioned at different heights. It will enhance the dimensions in your photo.
Written by Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.