Nikon School

Shooting group Photos

By : Nikon School Blog   |  6 Mar, 2017  |  209

If you are a professional photographer covering weddings, or the family photographer who is always called upon to shoot family events, you must have had the experience (and agony) of photographing groups of people.

Shooting group pictures is not as easy as it looks to the untrained eye. Taking a technically correct group picture requires careful planning as well as sound technical knowledge.

Today's wedding or event photographer gets very little time to organize and execute a group shot. As people are being photographed in various ways several times a day, making people pose for a group image has become a tough job.

Firstly, a photographer must know the maximum number of people expected at an event. The organizers should be informed well in advance what help you may need from their side to ensure everyone has a proper position in the set up.

Many photographers take the easy way out and shoot with a wide angle to cover a large group. This often results in heavily distorted figures at the edges of the frame. To avoid this, do not use a focal length shorter than 28mm. Also, avoid going too close to the group. Do your homework and try to choose a location that gives you enough space to back up to get everyone in a large group in frame.

The camera should be at around chest level. Anything too high or low may result in unwanted distortions, especially with wide angles.

The aperture can vary from f/5.6 to f/16. Generally most lenses offer best edge to edge sharpness at f/8 or f/5.6, but you have to test every lens you use to know exactly which aperture will give you the sharpest image. Considering the wide angle in use and this factor, using f/8 is probably the best option.

Where to focus for a group shot is often a mystery for many photographers. Either let the camera do it on auto area mode, or select single point AF and select a single focus point around the middle area. If there are three rows, focus on the second row, if there are more than three rows, focus around one third of the row depth. With a 24 to 28mm lens and f/8 aperture, you should be able to get good edge to edge sharpness and enough depth of field to get everyone's details.

Though aperture priority will do the job, you can use manual mode for controlled lighting situations, especially with an external flash. You can also use shutter priority if you are trying to freeze a group in action, for example, jumping together.

While making people stand, ensure a good balance on both sides. People of similar height should ideally stand together. Taller people should be placed at the last rows, preferably towards the middle. Leave some space at both edges of the frame to avoid distortion.

If you yourself want to be in the frame, use a remote device like the ML-L3, for best results. Otherwise, you will have to use the self-timer option. You can set the self-timer to shoot more than one image from the custom settings menu.

For formal group shots, make sure everyone is looking at the camera. You can take multiple shots as a safety measure to ensure this. For informal group photos, you can ask people to pose in funny ways or wait for some candid moments before and after the actual shot. You can also experiment by using high or low angles.

With these tips in mind and backed by adequate preparations, you can excel in shooting group images, and be the most popular photographer in your family or group.

Comments (102)


Mr. Mohan Vaze

Thanks for the interesting guidance. Best regards

Mr. Harsh Soni


Mr. Aryan Kumar


Mr. Aryan Kumar


Mr. Mohd Shadab

goood job

Mr. Mohd Shadab


Mr. Mohd Shadab

wow nice

Mr. Mohd Shadab

wow nive

Mr. Amitava Paira

wow the jump.

Mr. Amitava Paira


Mr. Ranjith V S

Helpful article :)

Mr. P C

A truly enlightening article. i have always had trouble shooting a group. I shall remember now to restrict my focal length to mininum 28mm. Thank you.

Mr. Debashis Jana

good read

Mr. Debashis Jana

good info

Mr. Debashis Jana


Mr. Abhishek Kumar


Mr. Manish Joshi

Your group capturing is too good nice guys

Mr. Manish Joshi

Hwll sir


Mr. Debanjan Jana

Amezing and useful info


Good Information, Thanks a lot

Mr. manoj kaswan

help full facts

Mr. Mannu Choudhary


Mr. Simon Binay Purty


Mr. Simon Binay Purty

good content

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

very informative

Mr. Simon Binay Purty


Mr. Simon Binay Purty

nice blog

Mr. Madasu Ramachandra

Best suggestions

Mr. Nirmaan Thakkar


Mr. Nirmaan Thakkar

useful tips

Mr. Nirmaan Thakkar


the experience and agony of people group photography....ahah every one who takes up the camera, go through this phase...

Mr. Huzaifa Asger ali

nice explanation

Mr. Pradip Bandyopadhyay

Well described. And helpful.

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

very nice and helpful information

Mr. Tarun Kashyap

very true and interesting blog.

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Well described blog

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Well described blog

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Well described blog

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Well described blog

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

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Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Well described blog

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

definitely helpful

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

nicely explained

Mr. Debashis Jana

Nifty ideas

Mr. Debashis Jana

Nifty ideas

Mr. Debashis Jana

Nifty ideas

Mr. Debashis Jana

Nifty ideas

Mr. Debashis Jana

Nifty ideas

Mr. Vishnu Das


Mr. kishor das

natural expressions is best tips for photography

Mr. Sarath mohan





thanks for this informative information.....

Mr. Simon Binay Purty


Mr. Ravi Raj

quite cool...useful and interesting

Mr. varun kumar


Mr. Manish Vig

Interesting reading. thanks.

Mr. Harinarayanan Sesha

thanks for sharing. very useful for beginners like me.

Mr. Mridumalay Das

nice blog it was helpful and thanks for the informations.

Mr. Sandeep Te

This info really helps thanks

Mr. Ganesh Maski

which lens is best for group photography??

Mr. Anand Jagadeesh

Thanks for explaining things I always wanted to explore. Will make use of these suggestions!

best photography

Mr. Nishanth NN

Nice info on capturing large groups

Mr. Pushpendra Yadav

Great team. Helpful also

Mr. Sourav Nandy

very helpful

Mr. Huzaifa Asger ali

very helpful to me

Mr. Ravi Raj

good... but in low light... is it necessary to use additional flashlights instead of camera flashes...

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Helpful to me

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

Helpful ????

Mr. George Jonsoi

really helpful

Mr. Ishaan Kapoor

this blog is really good. it will help me out

Mr. Soji Varghese


Mr. Deepak Kumar

i love Nikon????

Mr. Ritu Das


Mr. Hardik Oza

Thanks for sharing very useful information, Surely it will help beginners like me.

Mr. Ashish Pany


Mr. Julin Alex

Very good info :)

Mr. Dhanraj Bijarnia

Nikon d850 very good professional camera

Mr. Avinash Patnaik

is Nikon D5300 good for outshoot??

Mr. Madan Kumar

Very informative... Thanks for sharing....!!

Mrs. Kabita Pradhan


Mr. Aditya Maity

Like this

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Handy tips

Mr. Dhananjay Sen


Mr. Akshat Rathee

the aperture should be more f stops to get a better picture


Mr. imran khan

very useful information

Mr. Akshay Kumar Ghosh

awesome info....wonderful

Mr. Debpratim Dutta

yes, awsome info

Mr. Dipjyoti Bhuyan

happy to read


thanks for kind information .these tips really help me...

Mr. Ashutosh Raghuwanshi

Thank you for this really useful information. Generally opportunities of group photographs are not enough for hobby photographers to learn it from experience. These tips can really help.

Mr. Subhankar Das

Really helpful tips

Mr. Manoj Kumar

Oh so good such a nice a nice information to take group pics.....i like it.Thanks.

Mr. jatin sharma

nice one.

Mr. Parag Jadhav

Nice one...

Ms. deepika kumari gupta


Mr. Prabu Ponnusamy

Good information for a beginner like me.


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