Shooting group photos is a skill all wedding photographers need to master. Here’s a 9-minute video from Shutterbug Mag filled with 7 tips for taking group photos at weddings by veteran photographer Denis Reggie.
1. Arrange the Wedding Party Properly
It’s important to think about where you are positioning different people in the wedding party for a group shot. Reggie often puts men behind the women, but some religious groups have considerations about where the groom should be standing (to the left or right of the bride).
2. Use an Off-Camera Umbrella Light
Reggie uses an off-camera umbrella light to light his group shots. He actually uses two flashes rather than one, providing a redundancy should one not recycle quick enough or choose to play up on the day.
3. Change the Color Temperature
Using color gels to adjust the temperature of the flash can make for a much more well-balanced shot. For indoor or evening weddings, the orange color gels are ideal.
4. Use the Right Gear
Reggie recommends the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera, but choosing the right pieces of gear is essential. For example, using the right master controllers for your flashes so that you can be flexible is essential. Reggie uses a 24-70mm lens for his group shots.
“Somewhere between 35mm at the absolute widest, and 40 or 50mm is a good choice,” says Reggie.
5. Use a Tripod
Reggie swears by using a tripod because of modern high-megapixel cameras. He says that the more megapixels there are, the more “sensitive” the camera is to motion.
6. Pick Your Settings
Following on from using a tripod, it may be possible to achieve a slower shutter speed to deal with indoor lighting. Reggie uses ISO 1600 for most of his group shots, with an aperture of about f/4 or at most f/5.6.
7. Shoot in Raw Format
Using raw allows you to fine-tune your white balance later, thanks to the non-destructive element of this key camera format. Shooting in JPEG limits your options, but raw gives you a massive amount of flexibility in post.