Taking a Great Group Photo: Poses, Lighting & Other Tips

(via:  There is no doubt about it, we take a lot of pictures. With billions of smartphones out there, almost everyone has a camera in their pocket. As a result, we take photos of everything from landscapes, to our pets, to our friends or literally anything else you could imagine. Many of us have […]

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There is no doubt about it, we take a lot of pictures. With billions of smartphones out there, almost everyone has a camera in their pocket. As a result, we take photos of everything from landscapes, to our pets, to our friends or literally anything else you could imagine. Many of us have taken thousands of pictures, and have mastered the art of the selfie and getting the perfect shot of our furry friend.

However, one thing often remains difficult for even the most photogenic people, and that is to take a perfect group selfie. Someone is seemingly always out of frame, blinking or the centering of the picture isn’t right. Whether it is a photo at a party or some wedding photos, there are plenty of situations where group photos may need to be taken.

Thankfully, there are some ways to improve how your group takes a photo together. With that in mind, let’s look at a few helpful tips when it comes to taking a great group photo.

Find the Right Light

As with any type of photo, finding the right lighting is crucial for a good group picture. In most cases, using natural light is the way to go. This helps everything from your skin, to your eyes, simply look better. However, be sure to watch out for shadows and make sure no one’s face is partially blocked out by a shadow. Of course, do your best to avoid having light shining in your eyes when taking a group photo. This will prevent squinting and will make sure everyone can look their best.

While artificial light can be used, it should be quite subtle. In addition to that, you should make sure the light source should cover everyone, to avoid some people from being over or underexposed. The flash on your phone or camera will work, but it can make people look washed out and the photo won’t be nearly as attractive as it would be with subtle or natural light.

Pick Your Pose Wisely


The pose that is chosen in the group photo can also have an impact on how well it turns out. While many people may simply opt for a full-frontal shot and look right into the camera, this is generally not a good idea. Instead, holding your body at a slight angle and turning your body and head just slightly will often produce the best results. 

There are dozens of poses you can do, so try a few out and see what you feel makes you look the best. Be sure that everyone can be seen, and the pose of one person isn’t blocking another. In most formal group photos, like at a wedding or team photo, everyone should be in a similar pose. But in a casual group photo at a backyard BBQ, feel free to get a little more unique with your poses when compared to the other subjects.

Find the Right Angle and Distance

Another important factor in taking a great group photo is the angle. Where a photo is taken from can have a significant impact on how it turns out. In most cases, you will want to get the picture taken from a slightly higher angle. If you shoot from above, it helps to eliminate the dreaded double chin and often looks more flattering.

In a similar vein, you also want to think about the distance that the photo is taken. The further a photo is taken, the more people can comfortably fit into it. Of course, you don’t want the photo taken from too far away, as it can take away from the details. If the photo is a selfie, you generally want the person with the longest arm to take the photo.

Arrange the Group Correctly


One of the most important, yet difficult, parts of taking a group photo is getting everyone arranged correctly. The composition of the group will have a direct impact on the quality of the photo. It can take a while to get the correct arrangement, but once you do, the photo will look that much better. Taller people should be in the back row, and in photos where there are no rows, taller people should generally be in the center.

Also, if some people are dressed more vibrantly, they should also be spread out. Having everyone wearing neutral colors on one side and then everyone in bright colors being on the others might look a little strange.

You should also think about what the focal point of the photo should be. While many group photos won’t have a specific focal point, some will. For example, if the group photo is at a wedding, the bride and/or groom should be the focus of the photo and have the most importance. Of course, when taking this photo, also think about how the setting and the background will impact the arrangement.

In conclusion, we hope this article has helped you learn how to take a great group photo.

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