POSE A LARGER GROUP
Discover how to direct a group of subjects
shooting group portraits is a great way to perfect your communication skills from behind the camera. if you don’t make your voice heard and ensure that all of the subjects listen to you and understand what you are trying to achieve, you will fail.
Try to think creatively. You should always avoid trying to get all of your subjects’ heads on the same level; don’t try to perfectly align them as it will simply look unnatural and very forced. embrace the variety and go out of your way to get everyone’s heads on a different level. Your aim should be to create a pattern of faces as well as an attractive shape. posing your subjects on stairs is a great way of ensuring their heads will sit on different levels.
The most important thing about group portraits is to make sure everyone is visible and that nobody is accidentally obscured. consider where each subject is positioned. Obviously if it’s a corporate group picture the subjects should be positioned further apart than for an image of close friends or family, where you would want to keep things reasonably tight.
creating a triangle with the subjects’ faces generally works quite well. Be careful not to go too obscure and creative unless that is the goal. fashion and beauty group shots will work with a concept and flare of creativity, but if the image is a commissioned portrait you need to ensure the full focus is on the people captured.
“in a group portrait i usually want to reflect communication among models, and their attitude to each other,” explains Oleg gekman. “if it is a family portrait, then with the help of various composition devices and lighting i try to communicate their feelings in the photo. The concept of lighting is defined by using a lot of light sources with biggerdiameter softboxes. in most cases i shoot in a studio – there are mostly classic portraits on a uniform background, i hardly ever shoot in interiors or outside.”
“The most important thing is to make sure nobody is obscured”
Right ROAD TRIP make your group shots interesting and try shooting from some different, more unusual angles
Above CONNECTION Keep your compositions tight, especially when your subjects are friends or family