Holiday Photos: How to Take a Good Group Picture

Good holiday photos should evoke a sense of happiness and nostalgia. If you are planning a get together for the holidays, a few simple steps will help you capture the perfect group photo.

Prepare First

While candid photos are great, a group shot shouldn't be taken on a whim, especially if you're looking for the perfect picture. Think ahead to the event. If you are able to check out the event's location first, this will serve you well. It will allow you to get a better idea of what kind of space and lighting you are working with. Make sure you have an idea of the number of people, and exactly who will be present for the photo. Of course, make sure your camera is charged with fresh batteries as well.

Eliminate Distractions

Unnecessary distractions can cause people to turn their heads, blink, or do other small actions that can ruin a photo. If your holiday get-together is going to be held in an outdoor venue, try to find an area without a lot going on around it for the group shot. Another option is to have the photos taken just prior to the event. This will help keep guests focused on the photo, and not the entertainment or conversation around them.  

Take Multiple Shots

Never rely on the first shot taken. Instead, plan on spending a few minutes taking several shots. You can move around, get closer to capture detail, move farther back, etc. This will increase the chances of getting a shot that is spectacular. 

Take the Reins

In order to get a good group picture, you have to be able to control the scene. Don't be afraid to pose people. This will allow you to get the detail and features that are important to you. Talking to the group during the photo will also help to keep everyone focused, motivated and smiling. Be sure to keep the group in the loop, letting them know how much time you expect the shot to take. If you are taking multiple shots, you don't want the shots at the end to look tiring and bored. Communicating will help eliminate drowsy and irritable looking subjects in your photo.

Use Elevation

If the group holiday photo is a larger group, elevation can help you fit everyone in the photo. You don't have to climb to the roof of a building for this (although that could give you a great photo!), but standing on a sturdy chair or table can help to give you the lift needed to fit the whole group in the shot.

Use a Tripod

A tripod will do more than just give you a steady hand. Using a tripod will help you set up the perfect framing, focus, and settings on the camera. It also makes you look more serious, whether you are a professional photographer or not, commanding the attention of the group.

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