Group Photography Tips
The group photo taken of leaders of Open Government Partnership along with Barack Obama has been making waves across the blogosphere.
Allan Tannenbaum-Pool / Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama waves while standing with other leaders during the Open Government Partnership event at the United Nations September 20 in New York City. The United Nations General Assembly kicks off September 21, with leaders from around the world attending.
From a photographers standpoint, this photo represents a teachable moment in regards to group photography. Having taken numerous group photos, I find at times it to be a herculean task. The photo above demonstrates three major challenges facing any photographer responsible for a group photos.
- The joker in the middle. No matter how carefully you choreograph the group, there will always be the one person who just follows a different beat. Sadly, the individual obscured in this photo is the President of Mongolia. Due to geographic issues, it will not be an easy feat to reassemble this group for another photograph.
- An ultra wide angle lens is required gear at a group photo shoot. Note the cropped individuals at the far left of the photo. This cut off on the left may have been caused by the photographer using an inappropriate lens for the size of this group.
- A camera that can shoot minimally least 6 frames per second is a must have for group photography. Utilization of rapid frame rates in your photo shoot will minimize problem #1. While I was not present during this photo shoot, I am reluctant to believe this photographer only took one photograph of the group and that he was the only photographer present.
With proper planning and understanding of the dynamics of group photography, you can avoid the three major pitfalls highlighted in this photograph and produce dynamic group photographs.