Group Portrait Photography Tips & Techniques

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Spring vacation and the gang’s all here, so we have assembled a few best quick photo tips for group shots.

Take a great group family photo and use your surroundings to take better pictures

Depth of Field and f/8
Chances are, as the photographer creating the portrait, you will likely be fairly close to your subjects. As you get closer to your subjects, this yields a more shallow depth of field for your image, so select an aperture of at least f/8 (experiment at higher numbers, such as f/9, and also see what you get).

Amp the ISO
Is it an indoor group portrait? That probably means less light, so you should boost the ISO (for example go from ISO 100 to 200, or from ISO 200 to 400) in order to preserve that f/9 or higher aperture to still deliver ample depth of field.

Sharper Shooter
In a group, someone’s bound to move or blink an eye. Set the shutter speed for the fastest setting your environment can take. Also, place the group in as bright a location as possible, then check for shadows under eyes or from surrounding objects (such as a chandelier or tree branch if you’re outdoors). Consider turning on the flash too.

Tall Folks at the Back
When arranging a group portrait photo, it’s usually best to put tall folks at the back, shorter folks up front

Eyes See You
The eyes are the most critical element of any portrait, so either tap your focus point near an eye (if you have a camera phone or that functionality on an enthusiast camera), or position the in-camera focus point so it lines up over an eye. Remember some cameras permit Focus-Lock-Recompose for a photo you prep where you have an off-center focus point.

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