Figure 11-23.Formal group photograph.
Avoid stringing out one long, narrow line of people
across the frame.
When a large group is formed into three or more
rows, you must devise some method to prevent the rear
rows from being blocked from view. Furthermore, to
compose the picture properly and fill it from top to
bottom, you should have each row higher than the
preceding one. One method is to arrange the group on
the steps of a building, bleachers or terrace, so each row
is higher than the preceding one. On level ground the
first row can be seated, the second standing, and the
third standing on benches. Another method which you
can use in combination with the first is to elevate the
camera so that it is pointing down at an angle on the
group. This method is useful as an aid in composing and
filling the picture area. A higher camera angle can be
useful in eliminating an undesirable background.
Customarily, in a formal group, the highest ranking
person is located in the center of the first row and other
members of the group arranged alternately to the right
and left, according to grade. When all members of the
group are the same grade, arrange them according to
height, with tall individuals either in the center or at the
ends, or occupying the rear rank.
The informal group is intended to depict some action or
tell a story about the individuals. Although the position
and pose of each member is carefully planned, the
results must appear casual and realistic (fig. 11-24).
Members may be seated, kneeling or standing in a
variety of positions and do not have to look in the same
One of the most important factors in group
photography is arranging people to obtain the best
PHAN K.M. OConnell
Figure 11-24.Informal group photograph.