Being a Sports Photographer North-West for nearly 3 decades, I have been asked to take images of many different sports along the way. Some of these shoots involve taking shots of groups of people both in the sporting arena and in more controlled environments such as PR photography to Portrait shots.
With the world as it is right now, group shots may seem like a thing of the past, but we will be back to doing group activities like team sports and large crowds at sporting events soon hopefully.
When we are, you can be ready with some tips for Group Photography. We will concentrate on more static groups for shots of teams or competitors in a more studio environment.
Most people, especially professional sports men and women have little time to waste, being prepared for a group shot is vital to not waste time. Group shots take longer than people alone as there are more human factors to consider…
How are people going to be framed within your shot? Are the people standing or sitting or is it a more relaxed shot you are trying to take? Are people who you want in the shot being blocked by someone who is closer to the camera? A good photographer will be stern but still relaxed, no one likes being shouted at but at the same time, you need to get the images you want out of the shoot. You need to communicate effectively and directly to get the most out of your subjects. As he photographer, you should be the one in control of proceedings. Remember to be friendly and smiling yourself!
Taking multiple shots is a good way to get the exact shot you want. Taking shots in quick succession will produce better results than single attempts. The 2nd or 3rd shot might be more relaxed and natural than the first, people not used to being in this slightly more formal environment maybe nervous or unsure what they are doing and need some time to relax into the shoot.
Using a tripod will allow you to mould the group into the kind of shot you want to achieve. By having the camera setup, you can freely move about the frame. Try not to get too involved as you are not the subject of the image and you do not want to put people off by being too fussy.
Change up your lenses, a smaller group may benefit from a tighter framing dependant on what they are doing. Larger groups or groups in motion will need a larger focal range.
Having relaxed subjects in your shots will lead to much better images. Being a good photographer is more than just pointing a camera and taking a picture!