This is a photo taken at the mall near us where you could get your picture with Santa. They created an experience that with Po and his friends you can go on adventure to see Santa. Our son loves Po so we wanted the photo with Po even more than our photo with Santa.
They had created great backgrounds and over all experience to put families with Santa.
The key to group photos is planning -- and how big you plan to use the photo can make a big difference in your planning. We don't hang wristwatches on the wall, because their faces are so small you cannot tell time with them. In most family rooms, you could have a three-inch face clock and tell the time. In a classroom, you might need a 10-inch face. The clock face size is a good rule of thumb for determining whether someone will be recognized in a wall print at a normal viewing distance.
|Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 900, ƒ/8, 1/100|
The more you show in a photograph other than people's faces, the larger the photo needs to be to recognize the people, because their face size will diminish. If your group photo is more for identification, then getting everyone close together where you can see their faces should be the primary goal. Then you can run the photo in a publication and people can tell what everyone looks like.
|Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 2000, ƒ/5.6, 1/200 – 2 Alienbees B1600 strobes in a balcony lighting the room|
|Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, 4 - Alienbees B1600, 4 - PocketWizard Plus, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/200|
If you pre-plan and have a good idea and have taken into consideration people's sizes, you will move pretty quickly through the process. If you don't, it goes slowly and your photo may fall apart -- because you will lose the attention and interest of the people in the photo.
|Nikon D4, 14-24mm ƒ/8, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/200, Off camera Alienbees B1600|
I have found that if you have done your homework, you can pretty much make any group photo in 10 to 15 minutes. You may get to the location earlier, but the people in the photo should be able to be placed into position immediately -- and then you are just looking for good expressions.
|Nikon D5, Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/125, Off camera Alienbees B1600|
One last thing that can make a great impact on the quality of your photo: either have a laptop computer or TV on location to view the images as you shoot. Virtually all digital cameras will plug into a TV and let you see the image big enough to assess the smallest details -- enabling you to move people only inches and improve the final product.