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Group Photos #16566
07/16/08 08:10 PM
07/16/08 08:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Michigan
D
Di58 Offline OP
Tracker
Di58  Offline OP
Tracker
D

Joined: Jun 2008
Michigan
I need some help with a group photo. I have the Olympus E-510 with the two kit lenses; 14-42mm and the 40-150mm. My neighbors want me to take a family picture; about 14 people, outdoors. We decided to take the pictures in the early evening in a shaded area near their house. Does anyone have any tips for me? They know I don't have much experience with group pictures and they are not paying me, but I want to do a good job for them. Thanks.

Re: Group Photos [Re: Di58] #16567
07/17/08 12:01 AM
07/17/08 12:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Montana
Tony Bynum Offline
Pooh-Bah
Tony Bynum  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Feb 2005
Montana
put them in nice warm frontal light, make sure you pose them properly, that's the key to groups, you have to "build" the group so that there's not large holes and missmatched bodies.

make sure people stand with slight angles toward you, like a slight twist, with one shoulder toward you. Stack them together so that there are few large holes. Make them fee comfortable, and then watch the reading glasses, if anyone is wearing glasses you need to have them taken off, or have them tilt their head to fend off glare. You can also put short people in front but whatever you do, close up the gaps, keep them close, or you will need to spread them out and put the parents together and other family groups together.

Use a lens that will get you as close to 50mm as you can, you can go a bit below that or as high as you want and still get them in the shot, but if you go much below 40 you will introduce too much distortion. It's okay to do if you know how to control it with poses, but since youre new to this I'd stick to 40+.

Shoot it at f8 if you can. You can use a fill flash if you like but it may be useless and not necessary. I'd keep them in full frontal or slightly off to one side light, no shade on a shot like that, unless it's a big spot.

good luck and have fun, and take lost of shots. . .

Tony

Re: Group Photos [Re: Tony Bynum] #16568
07/17/08 05:27 AM
07/17/08 05:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
North Carolina, triangle area
wallyspop Offline
Old hand
wallyspop  Offline
Old hand

Joined: Jan 2008
North Carolina, triangle area
+1 what Tony said. Let me add just a couple more tips. Use a tripod. There are a couple reasons. This will allow you to set up the camera and you can move, even if only your head. I prefer with a shot like this to bring my head up just above the camera and make eye contact with the folks without looking through the camera for the shooting. Their heads slightly tipped up to look at me vs dead on to the camera often is more appealing.The other thing with a tripod is take numerous shots of each pose in rapid succession. One thing with groups is everyone looking where you want them to, and all eyes open at the same time can be more of a challenge than you think, particularly outdoors. With multiple rapid captures you can always PP and align 2 shots and paint in a subject or 2 if needed. The other thing I would suggest is to bracket your shots. Just to be sure you get the exposure you're looking for. Hey, you could even play with some HDR effects after the fact. Good luck.

Oh one more thing on the poses. Try some different poses. Tony's tips are spot on but I would add some others with maybe them sitting in the grass etc. Just google family portraits and look at some samples or go down to the local barnes and noble and pick up a book on poses, they have some pretty good ones. The one thing I will repeat that Tony already stated is, keep them close.

Re: Group Photos [Re: wallyspop] #16569
07/18/08 06:23 AM
07/18/08 06:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Michigan
D
Di58 Offline OP
Tracker
Di58  Offline OP
Tracker
D

Joined: Jun 2008
Michigan
Thanks, Tony and Bob. I really appreciate the advice. One more question. With a group, how do I keep all of the faces in focus? I am used to focusing in on one subject.

Re: Group Photos [Re: Di58] #16570
07/18/08 07:25 AM
07/18/08 07:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
North Carolina, triangle area
wallyspop Offline
Old hand
wallyspop  Offline
Old hand

Joined: Jan 2008
North Carolina, triangle area
shoot a higher aperture setting to increase depth of field. Be careful of movement at higher settings. If at all confused try shooting at f16 and if faster shutter speed is needed open it up a stop at a time. Go out and practice on some subjects that you can shoot now. Maybe multiple trees that are different distances. Remember though you don't want the people that far apart so DOF even at F8 should be more than enough.


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