The Holidays are here!
If you’re like me, you’ll be spending time this week with family and friends. And that’s a perfect time to take some family group photos. Here are a few tips to make those family group shots shine!
Take a lot of photos. It can be notoriously difficult to capture a group shot with everyone’s eyes open, everyone smiling naturally and no one fidgeting. Taking a lot of shots increase your chances of success!
If your camera features burst mode, consider using it here. Burst mode, sometimes called Continuous Mode, allows you to take numerous, continuous shots with a single press of the shutter button. Using Burst mode lets to take extra shots of the scene, again increases the chances that you’ll catch a shot with everyone’s eyes open and looking their best.
Avoid long, single rows of people, especially if you are photographing a group of more than four. Instead, when posing your group, try to position them in a close, tight, layered cluster. Keeping the group close together gives a more intimate, friendly look and keeps the composition from becoming too wide, which can lead to a lot of empty space above the heads.
So pose people in multiple rows with the shorter folks in the front. Or arrange people around a couch, with the elderly generation sitting, and younger people standing behind or sitting on the floor in front. Ask the people positioned on the left and right of center to turn slightly, angled towards the center. This can help to make the group look more cohesive and avoids a flat look in your image.
And, don’t forget the pets! If they will sit still long enough, try to position them on the floor, lying at a friend’s feet.
If weather and lighting permit, consider moving the group outdoors to take advantage of natural lighting. If it’s too cold out but there’s still light, stay inside but open the shades and move the group close to a brightly lit window.
If you need to use your flash (and you very well may given the time of year), you’ll want to check out our tips for working with your camera’s flash:
Lastly, don’t forget to get in there with your family! The best family pictures are the ones where everyone is there! So mount your camera on a tripod or situate it on a table, set the self-timer and get in the picture!
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f you are just getting started in photography, exposure is one of the first things you need learn.
But even beyond that, getting a good handle on exposure and how the different components of exposure work together is essential if you want to take control of your photography and the images that you are creating.