Group Photo Ideas - How to get that Perfect Group Shot

How to get that perfect group shot these holidays

We’re finally nearing the finish line for 2020 and wow, what a crazy wild ride of a year it has been for everyone, with many being separated in different states (or even continents!) to their loved ones.

The distance has been difficult, however after a long season apart, now is the time many can come back together to embrace and enjoy one another’s company. As things settle here in Australia, we are all finding a new sense of gratitude and appreciation for just how precious our family and friends are, and how much they mean to us, now more than ever.

We want to make the most of this family time, and help you capture some precious moments and make beautiful memories, whilst your family comes together these holidays. As we know it’s now more important than ever, to cherish and appreciate this time, whilst we have it in front of us.

In this piece, we delve into some of our top professional portraiture tips, for getting gorgeous photos of your loved ones during this very special season of connection and bonding. Follow our hints and tips below, to help you create some stunning imagery that your loved ones can all enjoy for years to come!

Asking them to get into a slightly awkward pose. (Trust us!)

We know we know, this may sound like a strange directive from professional photographers, but it’s an old portrait trick that works like a charm!

Often people not familiar with getting their photo taken will be a little awkward in front of the camera, and will give you a forced, awkward smile. This is mainly due to the fact that they are simply not used to having their photo taken, so they’re not sure how to ‘act natural’, when the lens is pointing their way! If you’d love to get a group shot of family members smiling and laughing, in an authentic way, a great tip is to get everyone to get into a slightly awkward pose! Start with something a little unnatural, like hands in the air or arms crossed. This will likely get them laughing and smiling effortlessly at how silly they feel in the awkward pose, then they can begin to relax whilst still smiling, just in time for you to get a brilliant shot of everyone looking happy and at ease. Perfect!

Get Dad (or someone with a great ‘Dad joke’ sense of humour) to try and tell his best joke!

“What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.”

Sometimes, especially at the beginning of taking photos, an ice-breaker helps to quash any awkwardness and get everyone free and warmed-up. We find a great ice breaker is something silly to make everyone laugh, and what could be better than a Dad joke! Simply ask an Aunty, Uncle, Cousin or anyone in between, (with ideally a terribly funny sense of humour) to think of their very best ‘Dad’ joke to say aloud to the crowd. You’ll find some others may chime in afterwards too, and before you know it you’ll have a group of smiling people trying to hold in belly laughs! And if all else fails, during the holidays you can use the crackingly terrible jokes from the dinner table, from inside your Christmas crackers!

Choosing the right time of day, especially if there’s young children involved.

At the beginning of the day before a big holiday dinner we’re all full of beans! Bright-eyed, our makeup and hair feels fresh and we’re ready to go!

This is a perfect time during chatting and mingling to get some gorgeous shots of family members, or wrangle them for a group photo. Often, we’ll wait until things ‘die-down’ during the day, which often means after lunch and everyone is feeling tired and full. Definitely not the most flattering time to have photos taken with sleepy eyes and a full belly!

Before lunch is the best opportunity to get those gorgeous shots, and everyone will thank you for it as they will still be feeling their best selves, before accidentally spilling cranberry sauce or gravy on their Christmas day clothes!

Younger children will likely be napping later in the day as well, and adults are busy tidying up. Due to this, earlier in the day whilst they’re still bushy tailed, it’s a great chance to snap away, and capture the children when they’re still full of beans! Who knows, you may even get them to crack a smile!

Make sure you have some great equipment.

During organising the family event, if you don’t have a great digital camera of your own, maybe one of you relatives own one. Digital cameras are much more affordable these days, and it’s likely someone in the family has a brilliant one, just waiting to be brought out at the very right moment. Ask around amongst the family and partners if anyone can bring their camera along, and hey presto! You’ll have some awesome equipment to shoot with, right there at home.

If not, a smart phone can take beautiful images nowadays as well, see more details about taking gorgeous smartphone photography in our Verve blog here.

Have fun with the process!

Most importantly, we want you to just have fun! Photography is all about expressing emotions, connection, and telling a story. Enjoy yourself, and don’t be afraid to take a risk or two, as with a digital camera you can simply try again and again! Give different things a go, and have fun with it! If you are the one behind the camera, also remember to relax and smile, as your demeanour will affect how comfortable your subjects are, and you want everyone to feel at ease, and have fun!

Even if the first number of clicks result in terrible images, definitely keep on snapping! This may sound counterintuitive, however even if your family members are smiling slightly weirdly or looking uncomfortable, if you refrain from taking their photo anyway, they may become even more self-aware and ill at ease. If you keep on clicking away and telling them they look terrific, you’ll find they will soften into the moment, and start to embrace the portrait more and more.

We hope you find these tips useful and helpful this holiday season, and may they result in many gorgeous images of you and your loved ones gathered together. There is nothing we love more than telling stories of true human connection and relationships, and this is truly at the heart of every beautiful photo!

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