Photographing Semi-Large Groups

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tarpleyg, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. tarpleyg

    tarpleyg TPF Noob!

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    I may have a gig to photograph a family for the parent's 50th wedding anniversary. There are 21 people total and they would like a large group shot, a shot with the parents and their 5 children, and possibly a shot of just the parents.

    I have the lights for this (Speedotron D604 and 4 heads) so lighting "horsepower" is not a problem. This will be the first time for this sort of thing. I normally just handle the 1 or 2 person portrait.

    We will be in a tropical atrium area of a local hotel. I looked at their photos online and see that it has a lot of potential and plenty of ambient light.

    Problems I foresee and questions I have:

    1) Will the ambient light pose a problem? It's coming from a huge skylight 100 feet overhead. I figure on exposing for about f/8 with my lights and also bumping the shutter speed down to whatever meter reading I get off the camera.

    2) I need to find a place I can set up. I need power of course and probably a few chairs. The parents will be guests of the hotel. Should I contact the management or ask that the client do this and provide me with the details? I'll make sure I scope the place out earlier in the week and arrive about an hour early the day of.

    3) Poses...what do I do here? This is probably the biggest problem area of my photography. I am planning on trying to get everyone into 3 rows for the big group shot. For the 7 person shot, I think it'll be easier for mom and dad to take a seat in the middle with the 5 children stand behind and beside. Any good? What other ideas?

    4) Equipment...I have a laundry list of stuff I think I need but what do I absolutely have to have that I might overlook (looking for those that have had the experience forgetting something crucial)?

    That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure more questions will come. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Greg


     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Parents stand behind the 5 children. I have always thought it weird putting the kids behind...unless it's with a really old woman who should probably rather sit. Just my two cents.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    I believe the largest group photo ive taken was roughly about a 1000 people. So many you couldnt really tell who was there. But the static display in the bg was great.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you have a set of stairs to use, that will help with putting them in rows. I agree with Mike's recommendation...that is some good info.

    They way I learned it, you should look at how their faces are spaced out in the composition. You want it to be a nice composition of faces.

    Also, it will help if you can get high, either on a ladder or maybe a low balcony. This way, they are looking up at you and won't have to worry as much about people being hidden behind other people.
     

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