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Photographing Large Groups

By 30/06/2011 3 Comments

At weddings, it’s normal for the couple to request for group photographs. Most times, the group size ranges from 5-20 people. However, if you are like Ben and Angela here, you might request for ALL your guests to be in the same image. While it’s a cool idea, there are some challenges a photographer faces when shooting such a large group. How do you even organize the people? How do you see everyone in one image? How do you even light everyone properly, especially if it’s an indoor venue?

Unless you have a huge, multi step platform with about 15 steps that can comfortably fit 10 people per row without one person blocking another, there’s no way to properly achieve this shot.

Tip: So, if you plan to do a large group image like this (anything beyond 50 people)… please make sure there is a way for the photographer to be elevated above the guests.

I wish I had a behind the scenes shot to show you how we achieved this shot. The photo was taken at Zion Lutheran Church in Brickfields, and it didn’t have a 2nd floor where I could be elevated. So Ben organized a tall ladder for me, Johan placed 3 speedlights behind me and held the ladder steady while I climbed it to get this shot.

Ideally I would have liked to see everyone’s faces better without any distortion, but given the space constraints, I could not use any other lens other than a wide angle lens.

Having said that, I am quite happy with the results and I think it’s a pretty cool and unique group photo!

So, it is possible to take large group shots and also make it interesting. Hope that helps! Over time, I hope to share more tips on planning for your wedding, especially from a photographer’s point of view.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Ewe Jin says:

    We’ve done this in our church before with 600+ people in it. :)

  • Rui Di says:

    Was the church lighted up with natural light? or it is bright at the first place? 3 speedlight direct or bounce? mind to share your aperture?

  • Grace Tan says:

    Wow Ewe Jin, that’s a huge group!

    Rui Di, the church was relatively dark. We lit it up mostly with flash and a high ISO. 3 speedlights bounced towards the ceiling. My aperture setting is about 7.1.

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