Learn how to do the big group shot. You never know when you might need it.

©2010 Kirk Tuck.  The Rollingwood Waves.  At the Westwood Country Club Pool.

This is a very short blog.  I have very little actual advice to give about shooting group shots.  My first piece of advice is to stop spending time fidgeting around with your gear!  This was what we call a "grab shot".  You throw out a suggestion and hope people respond.  When they do (like these young ladies instantly snapping into a line up and throwing arms around their comrades) don't waste time fooling around with how you might compose or whether the exposure is "just" right.  Just push the button a few times till they get bored and then move on.  In the tradition of Zen Buddhism there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do something.  Just decide and go.

My second piece of advice is to always take advantage of overcast days.  Groups in full sun squint, are uncomfortable and the results are way too contrasty.  If you can't wait for clouds look for shade.

My third and last piece of advice is to start with small groups and move your way up to the larger ones.  Get a feel for being in charge and then come to grips with the fact that you'll never truly be in charge.
If there's no money on the table it's a hell of a lot more important to have fun.....and be in the fun....than it is to make everybody miserable getting the  "perfect shot".

©2010 Kirk Tuck.  Practice on the smaller groups first....  If you're in the shade you don't even need fill flash.

1 comment:

John Krumm said...

Good advice Kirk. I took the group shot at my daughter's school this year, and last. Last year it was harsh sun everywhere and I ended up spending a fair amount of trying to lessen the nasty shadows on each face on the computer. This year is was perfectly overcast. Funny thing was a couple of my photography students wanted to take the shot, so we set it up together, then they used the timer so they could be in the photo, but of course that meant everyone was holding a smile for 12 seconds... pretty funny. But it turned out well, I think: group shot.