Photos and photography is connected with our lives lot more than we had originally imagined. I remember those good old days when owning a camera was a luxury. When events like school group photos and other parties a PHOTOGRAPHER was the most important person. Dates of his arrival were announced well in advance. Missing school on that day – no chance.
With the invention of cellphone / mobile phone and the introduction of camera soon this became a distant history. Of what I heard the latest phone comes with a dual camera and 42 MP (megapixels incase you are wondering. Soon selfie and groupie became a part of our everyday life. These picture with our near and dear ones is way to remember what a memorable time we had. Especially when you are outdoor, on an adventure, exploring, trekking. Here are few tips for a good or at least better group portraits.
As a photographer, you shall see the frame first before its being clicked. So start by aligning people. Take extra care and do not hesitate. Things like elbows inside, chin up, SMILE. Depending on the mood at the moment. If it’s an easy fun atmosphere, let the same been seen in a group portrait. As a photographer, we need to ensure that each person in the frame is photographed well.
Background is important
When outdoors, it may not always be possible to get a perfect background. But care should be taken to get a good background. Yes, I know one cannot insist on the background on AMK top (Alang, Madan and Kulang). The best background is like a clean white clean of wall, something that is not interfering with the main original subject. Meaning if you are wearing a multi-color dress then the background should not a standout or be distracting. Another trick here would be a blur the background and focus on the subject.
The best person to judge a pic is the one behind the camera. Hence, try to move closer to the subject. Unless otherwise required. If it’s a big group, then make sure that everyone is well seen. No person is overlapped or hidden. As seen in the movie vantage point. A different angle and give a new perception. As a photographer, you need to also make sure that the hands, legs, hats is not cropped. Meaning the EDES of the pic are smooth. Sometimes a little zoom out could include the surrounding (background), to send a message where you are. A central position of the subject seems boring unless otherwise.
Photography is all about LIGHT. It is and will always be an important ingredient of any photography output. We outdoors most of the times there is ample light (natural sunlight). However, sometimes when in caves or when there is an overcast during the monsoon season this could be a challenge. This can be overcome by use of appropriate flash available. Clicking against the light give a silhouette image – this is worth exploring. Seconding depending what time of the day it is when outdoors, the shadows and other factors place another important role.
Types of Flash available: Built in camera flash, flash gun (add-on), bounce flash.
Before we start to click a group portrait, start with a rough plan of action. Things like the best spot, where the background would be good. The group size. The purpose / reason for that photograph. Take charge of the group. Establish a connection with the participants. The picture should be done considering the perspective of a viewer.
Encourage moments and participant’s movements. Maybe it’s my love for candid moments. But over the years seen it move my viewer entertain and evolve. Breaking the usual stenotype still group portrait photography norm. Trying to use the background and tell a story thru a 4X6 image. Look of moments when people are in their comfort zones. Let people just talk to each other, check a message on a cell phone, read a book – movements (moments).
Of the multiple images do take a monochrome image (black and white). This is to take the original image without any post processing work in Photoshop. A black and white image helps to show the image is a different light. The fine wrinkles, the shades of grey tell you a story.