These can be very different though, if I am shooting a group or family of 5 or more I always make sure that I am at F8 at the very least, F9 or F10 would be even better. Why is this? Well, because you want all of their faces to be “sharp” of course. If you are at a lower f-stop, some faces will likely be out of focus or not quite as sharp as the other ones. Going up on your f-stop number is not hard when I am shooting in my studio, but when I am shooting outdoor using natural lighting it can be very difficult because you may not have a enough light, and at that point it is a trade off and you just have to use your best judgment. When I am shooting large groups at a wedding outside, I will often bring a flash as it is hard to get their faces lit up and sharp at the same time.
2. Faces in a Line
This step is very important, and I usually explain this to the group I am shooting before we start taking photos in the first place. If some of the group is in a line, for instance maybe there are 3 in a line in the back and then 2 in the front, you want to make sure that the 3 that are in a line are using their peripheral vision to make sure their noses are in line. What I tell my clients is to pretend that I am holding a piece of paper and that their nose is touching it, anybody else in that “line” should also be able to touch my “pretend piece of paper” with their nose as well. Have you ever seen a photo where 1 head looks really big? That’s because of this problem.
When shooting larger groups of people it also very important to have more light availability to use as it will require much more light to make sure their faces are lit up in compared to taking photos of a couple of people or a single subject.
It is hard to pose a large group of people because by the time you have posed some of them and are posing others the first group of people have fallen out of their pose anyway, so candid is usually best. Unless you are taking photos of a high school team or something, which in that case I carefully pose the shot in most cases.
With even photography this is obviously not something you have control over. But with photographing families, for instance it can be very important to make sure that the colors are coordinated but different. “Matchy, matchy is out”. Make it bold, fun and modern.
About the Author:
Amber Bauerle is considered by many as one of the best family photographers in Utah also specializing in children, commercial, fashion, newborns, and more. If you were interested in Photoshop tips and how to make your photos look better, she is a master at this, check out her website to see the results she has gotten with many of her photos. Besides being one of many Family Photographers in Utah, she spends a lot of time doing editorial and fashion photography as well as wedding photojournalism.
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