Photo Critique Forum

Please post no more than five images a day and respond to as many images as you post. Critics, please be constructive, specific, and nice! Moderated by gahspidy and mtbbrian.
Featured Photo
Photo by hminx

Photo by hminx
Featured Photo Archive >>
By posting on the Photo Critique forum you agree to post only your own photos, be respectful, and give back as much as you receive. This is a moderated forum and anything abusive or off-topic will be removed.
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Any tips on group portraits?

    Hey y'all. This past week I've attempted twice to take family pictures. I'm attaching two pictures. The smaller family is my cousins next door and the bigger family is my family( I am to the far right in the black turtle neck). Obviously somebody else took that picture but I had to arrange it and my friend snapped the picture while my camera was on the tripod(so I didnt have to use the self timer). Anyways...I've been asked by another family here in town to do their family picture also. I wanted to know what the rules or tips or whatever are for taking group pictures. Any help is much appreciated!!!!!! I really need to know what all is wrong or right *((if there IS anything right)* BTW...I know I know these pictures are very pixelly(is that a word? I had to lower the resolution to make it small enough to get it on this site. The pictures DO NOT look like this, they are very clear and sharp. (sorry I've tried working with the pictures for a long time to get them the right size without lowering the quality but it's not working ) ugh.

    The were takin with my D70.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any tips on group portraits?-dsc_0094.jpg   Any tips on group portraits?-pixeledpic.jpg  

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    United States

    Re: Any tips on group portraits?

    i really like the bottom one better -- it may be due to the less convention arrangement of the people, and the tree.

    as to the top one -- for some reason my eye keeps going back to the gap in the lower right, where you can see a lot of the brown sweater. it's hard to focus on any of the people.

  3. #3
    ...just believe natatbeach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Any tips on group portraits?

    My suggestion is you avoid them at all costs LOL I'm just teasing...we had a similar family situation ...I really like the placement of everyone in your second's posed but natural...well done
    "I was not trying to be shocking, or to be a pioneer.
    I wasn't trying to change society, or to be ahead of my time.
    I didn't think of myself as liberated, and I don't believe that I did anything important.
    I was just myself. I didn't know any other way to be, or any other way to live."
    Bettie Page

    My Temp site...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    The Great Northwest

    Re: Any tips on group portraits?

    Looks like you've got it down already. The bottom one, i feel, is the best. posed yet relaxed. Not the easiest thing to do with group photos.
    Things to keep an eye on:
    Distracting Gaps
    Stacked Heads
    Gapping shirts (women)

    Not that you did any of these things. These are just things I keep in mind while doing family shots.

    I like to have coordinating clothes... does NOT have to be same color, but sometimes stripes and florals next to each other are distracting. But, that is something that is totally up to the family.
    oh.. something else I like: baby feet
    Bare baby feet (or socks) always look better then the bottoms of baby shoes.

  5. #5
    Obsessive-compulsive... Steph_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cleveland, OH

    Re: Any tips on group portraits?

    I don't know what you guys think, but another trick is to have the camera sets on slow continuous shooting (Cs) and take a series of 4-5 frames. So that if someone started to close their eyes/yawn/look somewhere else/etc... at the wrong time, you have other shots with the same pose which you can use. You can also clone out the offending facial expression with a better facial expression from another shot.

    I really like your bottom pic.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Sierra Vista, AZ

    Re: Any tips on group portraits?


    I also like the bottom pic, but I'd have the lady aside of the tree move her head just a tad so she's not a bit behind it.
    The top pic is nice, but maybe crop it in a LITTLE bit tighter since there isnt a tree, rock or something to help fill it.
    I helped a friend out by taking some shots at her wedding. She asked me to do an immediate family member photo for her. I thought, ok, maybe 8 people or so. About 45 people later, thanking the stars I brought a wide angle lens and some additional equipt, I managed to get them all in on a stairwell, and somehow none of them blinked! So, BEWARE OF GROUP SHOTS! LOL..........

  7. #7
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Phoenix AZ

    Re: Any tips on group portraits?

    Hello Nikon

    I'll agree with everyone else that the lower one is the nicer one. Here's why:
    1.) Looks like your flash went off. You'll notice the first one has softer colors with a slightly green tint to the whole thing. This tint may have come from the fact that they were in the shade and colors often shift in shadows. Your fill flash in the second shot (perfect flash exposure by the way!) is daylight balanced, so the colors are brighter, poppier, and there is no (to mine eyes) visible color shift. Additional benefits of the flash: look in the eyes of everyone in the lower pic; catch lights! They all have a "gleam" in their eyes from the flash going off. Additionally. light shown directly on someone's face lights up their smile better as their teeth are better shown off.

    You know, I'm looking at your first one again and I do see a reflection in the glasses of a few people so maybe your flash did go off there but not enough?

    2.) As mentioned, the first could have a tighter crop.
    3.) The people in the second shot look like they're sitting closer together.
    4.) The camera angle is lower I think on the first shot, it perhaps lends the sense that everyone is looking "down?" As compared to the second shot where they all seem to be looking straight ahead.
    5.) Background: the background in your first shot is much more distracting than in the second. Why? There's sunlight on the trees in the background which competes with the viewer's attention for the subjects. The second image has almost no light in the background therefore the people "pop" out at you more and there is no competing between them and the trees.

    That's just a bunch of observations. There is an exception for every rule, ie there are many instance in which bright backgrounds and low camera angles work. What I would say is shoot a lot! Experience is the biggest skill builder I've found. (oh, and us on this site )

    They only 2 things I'll add is with large groups (too big for your widest angle) try getting high, ie shoot from a window or balcony down on the group as they all look up at you (also eliminates double chins;)); and finally as someone else mentioned look for matching colors in clothing or as I saw one photogrpher do it in black and white, have everyone wear black tops with white pants, or vice versa, for an interesting b+w shot. That's it!

    I would definitely take the opportunities to shoot as they come to you. Practice pays off and we want to see the results!

    Good luck!

    Walter Rick Long
    Nikon Samurai, Mamiya Master, Velvia Bandit

    Check out the Welcome Thread

    My photography on Myspace

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Saturday's Portraits...(hot girl pics included)
    By ACArmstrong in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 06-12-2005, 02:54 PM
  2. A question for the group
    By FadderUri in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-01-2004, 01:04 PM
  3. Colored Gels for Flash (portraits)
    By Trevor Ash in forum Studio & Lighting
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-29-2004, 09:12 PM
  4. Photo critique group?
    By ginsberg in forum Photo Critique
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09-29-2004, 06:58 PM
  5. How-To: Self Portraits?
    By Pose in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-16-2004, 05:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts