Any tips on taking group photos with camera and tripod?


Last week, I took a few photos of a group of 30 adults and children (ages 4-13) with my camera and tripod. It was done in mere minutes so I didn’t have much time to prepare and shoot.

I paid attention to the built in levels of the tripod but I totally botched the alignment and height, and had to correct the perspective and rotation afterwards. My handheld shots were fine but blurry due to the camera shake from my hands and the low and mixed light situation.


‘evenin’, @afre

About 99.95 per cent of my images are shot using a tripod
(plus cable release!), simply because of my being a sharpness
freak. Levels are not that important in the moment of exposure,
since they most often can be fixed while processing.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

(Mica) #3
  1. Frame looser than you think you should
  2. Get the tripod up higher, I find that pointing slightly downward is nice
  3. Lots of depth of field (as much as possible)
  4. Pay attention to light direction
  5. Fire an external flash if you have one
  6. Take a bunch of photos, the larger the group, the less the chance of getting everyone’s eyes open and nice smile in one shot.


Thanks for your quick responses.

@Claes Conversely I use the tripod 0.1% of the time. The main problem is that I lack practice. Post-correction does weird things to people’s geometry.

@paperdigits I definitely have a problem with 1. The camera is as close to the wall as possible at the other end of the room due to the crop factor (1.6) and lens (50mm) combination. Unfortunately, that is the only gear I own. Perhaps 2 would help add distance. 6: Not if some of the youths decide to cover, cross or roll back their eyes every single time. :sweat_smile:

1. One thing I have noticed about the camera is that the focal plane mark is behind the tripod socket. Would that affect the alignment? Should I use a piece of hardware to slide the camera forward a bit?
2. If everything is level, I think the only problem that I am facing is centring and horizontally shifting the frame properly. I guess my problem is that it is more awkward to adjust the tripod than it is to move my arms and feet. Any tips on how to do this effectively and efficiently?


@afre No problems for me, since most of my objects are withered flowers!

Re your centering / horizontal shifts &c, how about a so called video head for the tripod? Much swifter to operate than a conventional head.