Fixing Bad Group Photos
Do your friends and family members wince or complain when they see the pictures you've taken of them? During fun times with friends and family, it's easy to forget that both camera angle and subject placement greatly affect how people will look in photos.
If you're after better-than-snapshot quality photos of the people in your life, try these techniques:
Seat subjects only when needed to keep a group from being too wide. Seated bodies are apt to look heavy.
Avoid shooting from a low camera angle if they're sitting. This emphasizes the size of their thighs and shortens their torsos and upper bodies.
Use a normal or telephoto lens instead of a wide-angle lens.
Put larger people in back to both hide and minimize their size.
Pictures of groups illuminated with flash often result in the people closest to the flash looking too bright and others appearing too dark. To avoid this, position your camera so that every member of the group is about the same distance from it. If necessary, stack some of the group between and above the others; you may have to ask the front row to sit or squat to do this. Have the back row lean forward toward the camera. This will bring them almost as close to the flash as those in the front row. It will also do a good job of getting everyone in focus and eliminate the boring composition caused when people pose in straight rows.