Suggestions on taking a large group photo?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by fotomama, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. fotomama

    fotomama TPF Noob!

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    Hey, guys. I'm doing posed portraits at a family reunion (200 people expected). The clients want a photo taken of the entire group as well as several smaller groups. For the huge group I'm planning on utilizing bleachers (taking place at a park) and bringing myself a ladder if needed. What I'm wondering is:
    1) Any other ideas for the huge (200 people) group?
    2) Ideas on organizing the shoot so we can pound these puppies out and know what we're doing and when we're doing it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    For the group photo you might consider having the people on the ground and you can climb up the bleachers. This way you can have them all looking up...which should make it easier to get all the faces in the shot.
     
  3. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    One thing I always drive home is to tell them...."if YOU can't see the camera, then IT can't see you". If you start 'arranging' everyone you have a mess on your hands real quick.

    Also use the the old 'on-the-count-of-three' trick and start clicking on 2.
     
  4. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Use a suitable aperture to get everyone in focus. Wide angle lens and f8 should do it.
     
  5. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Try not to just put them in rows! Nothing is more boring imo. Try arranging them so they are at different heights and get them to squeeze in close to each other (hugging, arms around each other ect...) it'll make everyone fit in better as well as make it look like they really like each other which is always nice for family portraits:) Also, people LOVE to move after you tell them where to stand, so try to get the younger kids posed last if you can so they have less time to fidget and get out of position.
    Still, 200 people is a LOT so good luck! Post what you come up with!
     
  6. hudsonp

    hudsonp TPF Noob!

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    i saw a large group shot of a family like this (probably around 75-100 people) and one cool thing that i remember about the photo is that they had people in the back with children on their shoulders, it was a very interesting effect, just something to think about
     
  7. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I'm with John the elder on this, the trouble is because they see you with their eyes sometimes the rest of their mug is hidden, arrange the front row then show the next lot to stand in between heads behind that row with repetition going back, kids can line the front. Its still very hard and with a group so large getting them all eyes open and looking your way together is a nightmare. H
     
  8. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    That's why whenever I take large group shots, I try to take a lot and then find the one where the majority of the people in the shot look good, and then find other pictures where the people who didn't look good in the main shot look good and put their head in. It's time consuming, but worth it.
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Whoa. I would of turned down a 200 person shot in a second.

    First of all consider the lighting. Obviously it will have to be natural. Figure out the time of day that the large area you will be shooting in has the least shadows. Also consider that the subjects can not be squinting. Maybe around 1 or 2 pm. I would shoot high and far back with a long lens. Assistants will be key. Get at least 2 people to help. They will be your arms and legs positioning everyone. Plus they can hold up 4' x 8' bounce cards.

    For the smaller groups; put them in the shadows and hit them with a couple of strobes.

    I annually shoot 30-50 person groups. Totally unpredictable. My only saving grace has been taking total command of the situation.

    Love & Bass
     
  10. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    different scale completely but when shooting family shots for my crowd there aren't any more than about 25 people.
    I always use continuous shooting so that people blinking, or glancing to the side, scratching nose etc are all taken but with several shots a second, you increase your chances of a good shot by quite a bit.

    In a smaller group they often feel better because it's like papparazi taking their photo. I doubt that would apply to a 200person shot because they'd probably be too far to hear the camera!
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly my thought. I've been on roofs for this too.

    Pete
     
  12. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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    likewise. My high school's grad group picture was done this way... 200ish grads.
     

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