Formula for posing groups/wedding party?
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form
Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Total Posts: 3762
Country: United States

Posing groups is just one of the many things that distinguishes refined photography from work that looks unsophisticated, uneducated, etc...and I know I am not very good at this. Do you follow a formula or some kind of logic when posing groups? I often notice everyone in a formal group photo on here has their own poses, each person is doing something different or doing similar things differently, but I suspect there are some very particular rules being followed in order to make the complete composition...and I am wondering what those rules are.



ckhagen
Registered: Mar 05, 2007
Total Posts: 2132
Country: United States

Do some googling on triangle posing. I always keep the triangles in the back of my head while posing groups.

It's an old technique but still has application in today's style.



RichardLavigne
Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Total Posts: 5340
Country: United States

^^^Agreed.... I also think the longer the focal length, the better, if you can shoot the group with a 200mm lens, do it.



ckhagen
Registered: Mar 05, 2007
Total Posts: 2132
Country: United States

Definitely ^^

Compression is your friend with groups. It eases all the distractions while still allowing you enough depth of field to get everyone in focus.



dayinmay
Registered: Oct 15, 2008
Total Posts: 184
Country: Canada

For family group photos, I generally try to:

- Slightly angle everyone inwards
- Ensure suit jackets are buttoned properly (buttoning primer)
- Ask men to put their outside hand into their pant pocket
- Ask guests to put down their purses, ceremony programs, jackets, other miscellaneous stuff
- Ask taller people to stand towards the back, BUT I try to keep family units together (which can lead to unbalanced 'height' groupings, but I'd rather keep families together, y'know?)
- Position people such that the 'totem pole' effect is minimized (ie - avoid head stacking ; position heads so they are in between the two heads of the row in front of them)
- Ensure females are standing in a flattering manner (weight on back foot, push back hip away from the camera, slightly bend front knee), with special attention to the posture of those in the front row, especially if they're wearing high heels and shorter dresses/skirts

I usually don't shoot with as long a focal length as I would like -- but a wider lens gets me closer to the group so I can minimize how much I a) raise my voice to be heard, b) walk back and forth adjusting people and c) clear out other guests who have wandered into the photo area by accident.

I wouldn't say any of these are "rules" per se...but it helps me to keep things somewhat uniform.



dmacmillan
Registered: Nov 03, 2007
Total Posts: 4692
Country: United States

dayinmay wrote:
For family group photos, I generally try to:
- Ask men to put their outside hand into their pant pocket

Just a suggestion if you do this, make sure they don't cram their hand all the way in their pocket. Get them to slip their hand in to the second knuckle with their fingers flat. That looks better.

By all means keep them from the "soccor penalty kick pose". There's no need to protect the jewels from the camera flash.



form
Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Total Posts: 3762
Country: United States

About posing the bodies, like women's hips/legs/hands, and guys the same...those are some of the things I have the hardest time with. However, in general I do the first 6 things you mentioned with the exception of family units.



TAGfan
Registered: Jan 09, 2010
Total Posts: 1582
Country: United States

'Peaks and valleys' is how I do it - with a long lens.



sboerup
Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Total Posts: 9753
Country: United States

Square root of orange.