Getting a great photograph when you’re working with a group of people can be tough. Learn how to get your group to stand with ease so that you can get a photograph to treasure.

1.    Get close, without the tilt
People tend to think that if they tilt their heads into each other they’ll fit into the photo better. Get them to stand at a slight angle to the camera, with their shoulders touching for that perfect touchy family shot.

2.    Smiley happy people
A natural smile looks so much better in a photograph. Tell a joke, or get them to do something different like jumping, running, dancing – guaranteed to lighten the mood and produce a genuine smile. Otherwise, get one member of the group to tell a story (this works well when it’s a child as you just can’t help yourself from smiling). This focuses attention on the person talking and gets a more natural family picture.

3.    Get some props
Props can work really well, especially for children. They form a distraction as well as bringing a bit of fun into the picture. Try a colourful beach ball, a parasol or a chair. The chair can be used for sitting or climbing on, or for positioning several children at once.  Props are great for bringing personality out into the shot.

4.    Take it outside
You can get some really imaginative photographs outside in the open air. Steps allow you to create a lovely grouping with your subjects at different heights. Bear in the mind the position of the sun: you don’t want everyone squinting. A porch or a beach umbrella can offer some shade for a summery relaxed family portrait.

5.    Try different positions
Try setting the family shot in different positions: everyone sitting, everyone standing, some sitting and some standing. Having the group at different levels offers a more dynamic shot and adds interest to the image.

6.    Keep in natural
Go for an action shot by setting up a football game to capture the children laughing and shouting. At a meal, you can hang out in the kitchen to capture the banter and preparations of the family dinner.

Once you’ve got a set of family photographs that you’re happy with, why not make a photo book to give as a present to the family? Everyone loves to see their photography published in a professionally-bound book and it’ll make sure that all the effort and patience was worth it!

Simon Lane from Indigo Plum is a commercial photographer in St Albans specialising in business and event photography.


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