How to Take Group Photos


Let’s talk about family photos - it’s something we all want! Whether it’s photos of your large family, or just the immediate you want to make sure everyone is in focus. If you are a wedding photographer, this may lean more towards those large bridal party shots!

It’s important you always scope out a park or location first! Make sure it’s what you are looking for, for your family or for your client. Sometimes it’s even best if it’s a park or beach they may have visited often as a family. Next, you want to bring a blanket or bench so everyone can be at different levels!

Now to get to our camera settings - recently at my workshop we talked about the Exposure Triangle, which consists of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. With group photos you want to make sure everyone’s faces are in focus - so aperture is key! In simple words aperture means how sharp or blurry is the area behind your subject. The lower the f/stop—the larger the opening in the lens—the less depth of field—the blurrier the background. The higher the f/stop—the smaller the opening in the lens—the greater the depth of field—the sharper the background.

For large group photos around 12 people you will want your aperture to be set at f/11. You will want to see as much detail as possible from foreground to background; you want to achieve the maximum depth of field by choosing a small aperture (higher f/stop, like f/8 or f/11). For photos with 5 or 6 people you will want your aperture to be set at f5.6. For those mommy & me photos coming up shortly you will want your aperture to be set at a f/2.8 or f/3.2. Choosing a large aperture (lower f/stop, like f2.8) creates very shallow depth of field with only the subject, or just a portion of the subject, in focus

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