Holidays and summer are popular times for family reunions, which means you’ll want to capture these special occasions with your camera. Here are a few tips to help you corral the gang and get some really great group photos.
Scout your location in advance.
Find the best spot and make sure there is enough room for everyone. If you are shooting indoors and need to move furniture around, do it beforehand. If there are large reflective surfaces like glass tables, remove them to avoid glare. For a large group, staggering people down a staircase can work well to fit everyone in your viewfinder.
Use your fill flash to fill in shadows on faces (for indoor as well as outdoor shots) and if shooting indoors, set your white balance for the appropriate type of indoor lighting. Let in as much sunlight as you can for improved exposure during the day. Use the redeye function on your camera if you have low light indoors.
Put tall people in the back, and shorter people and children in the front. Get your group as close together as possible to make sure you have everyone in the frame.
Timing is Everything
Grab people shortly after arrival when they are looking their best and before they’ve all gone off in different directions and you feel like you’re herding cats. Another good time is right before a meal when people are hungry and beginning to gather. It should only take about five minutes to get three or four good shots.
Make it Fun
Get people pumped. Enlist the kids to help gather people. They like to feel involved. Offer to take a photo with other people’s cameras. You can gather cameras in advance and take a shot with each camera. Be sure to tell people you’ll share your group photos with them by e-mail. If you have a computer handy, you can even upload and e-mail the photos on the spot.