(1) If the first row has an even number of people the second should
have an odd number, one less or more then the first row. After arranging
the first row (probably seated), arrange the second with individuals looking
between the heads of the people in the first row.
(2) If you have a third row, it should contain an even number of
subjects and so on until you can see each and every face from the camera
(3) If the group is so large that the rows have 12 or more people in
them, you should arrange them in a slight semicircle to place each person
approximately the same distance from the camera.
(4) Pose the front row with hands and feet in similar positions,
check that hats are squared away, and all eyes are on the camera.
(a) If you have a gift for "gab," a little on-going chatter may
keep your subjects attention focused on you and the camera.
Always take several pictures because no matter how
hard you work, there will be someone who blinks if you only take one shot.
(5) Up to this point we have discussed strictly formal groups. What
do you think would happen if you "stylized" the shot just a bit? You could
photograph groups using photojournalist techniques.
(a) Is it always necessary to line them up shoulder to shoulder?
Try loosening the feeling; stagger the group a little on the steps. Put in
(b) Don't forget the framing technique; it can work for group
shots too. Even a member of the group (the commanding officer) can be your
foreground, with the rest of his staff scattered through out the background.
You may even want to try these ideas out with a group of buddies for
practice. Remember, the subject is the people and they are looking at the
camera. They are not involved in any action.
Now let's define and discuss informal groups.
The informal group is
intended to depict some action or tell a story about the people in the