How many times have you looked at your high school group portrait and smiled to yourself thinking of the many memories? Group portraits are indeed priceless and so I feel that you must pose for it in the appropriate manner, so that they become more picture perfect. I cannot wait to share these tips with you, which I learnt from a friend who is a professional photographer.

Placing heads on varied levels
Arranging the head at different levels is perhaps the best way you can enhance the composition of group photography. The main aim behind this is to ensure that no pattern of heights causes distraction for the viewer, who must view the group as a single unified unit. You might need to make slight alterations for doing this, but it will bring about a significant change in the photo quality.

Ensuring everybody is visible
Many ignore it, but mark my words, if some person or the other is covered up; it often ruins the best of the best poses. Believe me, it is often the first thing that a client, a friend, a relative, or anybody for that matter, notices in a picture. So, prior to taking the photo, have a look at each member of the group, to check that nobody is covered up. The best trick is to ask every one whether he or she can see the camera, because if a person cannot see the camera, it is obvious that the photographer cannot see that person.

Allowing natural posing
It is often difficult to pose for formal group photos because people hardly remain still. You might find it a bit weird, but if somebody shifts the weight between feet, that too alters the pose to a certain extent. I have funny experiences when a group of six friends posed for a formal school photo. The moment you thought that everyone and everything was in place, someone moved and the entire arrangement went haywire! So, if your group is keen on trying something different, go for a casual photo rather than a formal one. Engage in stuff like moving ahead towards the camera or lying on the floor or a couch.

Posing on an irregular location
This is one of the most effective ways to have all the heads at varying levels, because the location itself makes room for it. For instance, you can try out posing the group or family along a staircase so that you have persons sitting on steps at different levels. This will ensure that there is no particular pattern visible to act as distraction for the viewer. The group can also be placed on boulders or logs at varied levels.

Lighting carefully
Frankly speaking, this again can lead to a lot of mess and confusion for those trying it for the first time. Novices usually make two common mistakes (at least I made the first one!). First, they tend to use only one single light for the entire group. As a result, the person closest to the frame becomes overly bright while those who are towards the other side seem dull. The second error is to keep lights too close to axis of the persons, whereby you will get shadow of one person’s head on another. Hence, when you plan to shoot group photos, it is advisable to draw the lights closer to the camera.

Drawing things closer
Most people have some innate tendencies. If a group is asked to pose together for a snap, it is likely that they will be further apart than is expected, especially if the individuals belong to a business group. Remember, if the persons are shot considerably apart from each other, it won’t look like a group photo. So, you need to keep telling people to cuddle close together in order to get the desired result.

Using a triangle
Just when I was beginning to learn photography, I came to know this. If you are taking shots for group photos, triangles are very significant, although they are quite underused. Now, let me explain what I mean by the triangle rule. Before taking the photos, position the group in such a way that the arrangement looks like a triangle, with wider bottom and a single person at the top. This will retain the essence of a group photo by giving the impression of a single unit.