Taking a great group photo can be difficult at the best of times. There is often someone missing from the photo, someone blinking, some people smiling, some serious. It often doesn't turn out as you had hoped. The best thing you can do is prepare in advance. People often hate being kept waiting while you try to get your shot organised but there are a few things you can do to make things go more smoothly:
1. Prepare - decide on the location for your group photo in advance and make sure the lighting is right. You dont want people squinting into the sun while you take your photo. Also think about how you will pose people - taller people at the back, smaller people and kids in front. There may also be some people who you want to be in the middle of the photo, eg birthday person at a birthday party etc.
2. Take Lots of Shots - the best way to get a great shot is to take as many as you can. Many cameras have a continuous shooting mode where you can take many photos in just a few seconds. This is your best chance of getting a shot without someone blinking.
3. Get in Close - this applies to you and the people whose photo you are taking. When people are standing together for a group photo there is often little gaps in between people which takes away from the look of the photo. Getting people to move in close together makes it look much more like a group of people happy to be photographed together than a group of strangers standing in the same place. Get in as close as you can to take the photo without cutting anyone out, to give you as much detail as possible.
4. Use a Tripod - This is especially useful if you want to be in the shot too. Always take a few shots of the group first and check to make sure every thing looks right before you set the timer and jump in yourself.
5. SMILE - Getting everyone to smile nicely for the camera can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Using the old "Say Cheese" is a good standby for getting everyone too look at the camera and smile. And with photographing groups of kids, bribery always works well. Try offering a lolly to a group of kids who let you get some good photos of them. It works every time!