Improving group pictures?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by echoyjeff222, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm mostly taking pictures of nature and such, but today we went out and my mom and dad were asking me to take their pictures ... and I pretty much didn't know what to do. What part of their bodies am I supposed to be looking at? How much background should I have?

    Any tips regarding group photos would be great, as I'm not sure how to best pose my subjects to bring out their best qualities ...
     
  2. DirtyDFeckers

    DirtyDFeckers TPF Noob!

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    I don't think there is any specific way to situate everyone, as it all depends on your goals and what you want to accomplish with the photo. As far as shooting people, I find that images almost always turn out better if they are candids. I'm not a big fan of poses, unless of course you are dealing with family portraits or wedding shots, or something of that nature.
     
  3. page_tyson

    page_tyson TPF Noob!

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    Group pictures can be very tricky if you don't know what you're doing. Some things that I learned from ruining a few group pictures are:
    #1. Make sure your f-stop is set at a large enough number to keep everyone's faces in focus.
    #2. Make sure you can see everyone in the picture. In a large group it is often difficult to have everyone in the picture without cutting off someone's head or blocking somebody's face. Or my personal flaw, making it look like somebody's head is growing out of the person next/in front of them's shoulder.
    #3 Be creative, and try to show relationships (couples and families near each other) in the pictures.
     
  4. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Depends on if you want to show the background or not. If it's a portrait then you want a tight shot on the subject(s) with little background and background possibly blurry (bokeh). Usually it starts around chest area to head but it will be impossible to do this in large group shot but could be done in a couple shot. If you want to show where the group is then you need to give more background.
     
  5. Kaydub

    Kaydub TPF Noob!

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    1. Let people know they can stand where they like and you'll make sure they're in frame. Nothing looks worse than someone on the edge leaning way in.

    2. Sneak a few extra shots when they don't realize it. You'll get a more candid, less forced look. They may or may not be usable but it never hurts to try.
     
  6. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Vertical orientation pictures will have their feet included as well, correct?
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    A blurry background is not bokeh, just an efffect of controlling depth-of-field (DOF).

    Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of background blur.
    Bokeh is difficult to quantify.
    Some lenses enhance overall image quality by producing more subjectively pleasing blurry areas that are in front of and behind the range of distance that are inside the DOF.

    Bokeh characteristics may be quantified by examining the image's circle of confusion.

    Circle of confusion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Group portraits can be just heads, heads and shoulders, 3/4, or full body.
     
  8. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    is it possible for someone to post some samples that they can find and say what is good/bad about them?
     
  9. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I thought they went hand in hand ... if you blurr the background it''s called bokeh although the bokeh may not be great. Learned something.

     
  10. Corvphotography

    Corvphotography TPF Noob!

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    dude, i say dont make it harder than it is. have fun with it. make sure there is some light on their faces and your not cutting off their heads. ALSO, take as many pictures as possible. ill take 200 photos and only like 4 or 5. not saying take that many but just have fun with it.
     

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