More Tips For Great Group Photos With A Digital SLR Camera

November 26, 2009

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Happy Thanksgiving!
To make the most of the holiday don’t forget to take some wonderful group photos of your family to remember this day. Read the photography tips in the first article and then keep going with these ones. And get out your digital SLR camera and enjoy recording this special occasion for your family.

6. Use a Tripod
Using a tripod frees you up a lot when taking group photographs. You can set up the camera, so that it frames the group well in the location you have chosen and is correctly focused with the aperture selected. You can do a test shot and know that everything is ready before getting everybody together. You can also look directly at the group and talk to them, releasing the shutter at just the right moment without having to check your framing and settings each time.

7. Be the Director
Taking a group photo can feel a bit like directing a movie. You have to take charge and keep communicating with everyone, coax smiles out of them, get a good vibe going, so that a happy atmosphere comes over in the finished photo. As it’s a family occasion with kids around, you also have to make it fun, as well as short and sweet, because the focus of the day is not the photo, it’s the meal and get together. So create some reasons to smile, or cheer or wave. Perhaps there are absent members of the family that you’ll send the photo too, so have everyone wave or smile at them as you take the shot.

8. Look out for the Light
If it is a sunny day avoid positioning your group so that the sun is shining in their eyes and making them squint into the light.
Flash can be harsh, especially for small children and babies, so if you have to use it, try to bounce it off a low ceiling or a white wall, and if at all possible use it as fill in combined with natural daylight. Practice using your SLR flash and these techniques beforehand, so that you feel confident on the day.

9. Position the Camera
When photographing a group, you want the camera to at least be on a level with the faces of those in the middle row if you’re creating a formal tiered group shot. You also need to make sure that it is in the middle of the group, so that the group is square to the camera. Of course you can be informal and create a fun group shot with everybody looking up at you, as you stand up on a ladder or halfway up the stairs – in that case make sure that children are standing on chairs or are lifted up in parents arms, so that their faces aren’t lost from this angle.

10. Choose the Right Lens
Avoid using an extreme wide-angle lens, or the faces at the side of the group will be distorted. The best lens for a group photo is a standard lens that gives you a reasonably small aperture, so that you can get as much in focus as possible.

Whatever you do, just make sure it’s fun. Smile lots yourself and your family will smile back at you and your camera!

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

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