Once we take into consideration weddings and why they’re vital, we usually concentrate on the newlyweds and the journey they’re starting collectively. Whereas that milestone in itself actually qualifies as “momentous,” maybe practically as vital is the truth that weddings symbolize one of many few occasions such numerous family and friends collect collectively in a single place on the similar time. As well as, everybody in attendance often clothes their greatest and comes ready to pose for footage. Because of this, wedding photographers have an ideal alternative to flex their mastery of group photograph poses for group portraits, which occur to be a number of the most shared photographs to return out of a whole wedding day. Due to that, you will need to execute group pictures nicely.

Dealing with and photographing teams can show difficult, and it requires photographers to grasp a wide range of ability units, from communication and posing to lighting and drawback fixing. To assist, we’ve compiled 10 group photograph poses and concepts for household and wedding pictures.

Let’s get began!

10 Group Picture Poses and Concepts For Household and Wedding Images

  1. Select a Posing Model
  2. Contemplate the Location
  3. Create and Comply with a Recreation Plan
  4. Begin with the Couple
  5. Carry within the Group
  6. Change into a Director
  7. Gentle Accordingly
  8. Prioritize Aperture
  9. Transfer In Shut for Candids
  10. Add Motion to the Scene

Tip 1: Select a Model for Group Picture Poses

Relating to formal group photograph poses, we’ve two primary types to select from: commonplace symmetrical (traditional or conventional) group photograph poses and editorial group photograph poses. How we construct the pose and lightweight it, particularly, will decide its type. Naturally, every type carries with it quite a few professionals and cons.

Editorial Group Picture Poses

Picture by Lin & Jirsa Images

You’ll usually discover this type of posing used on the covers and throughout spreads in vogue magazines like Vogue. It usually incorporates extra dramatic lighting and dynamic posing. Steadiness throughout the body nonetheless issues, however every topic will seemingly strike a singular pose and their expressions will fall extra on the intense facet.

Due to the added complexity by way of lighting and posing people throughout the group, becoming editorial photographs into the timeline can tack on a further 30-40 minutes, although this may be diminished relying on the group and state of affairs.


  • Manufacturing worth
  • Visible curiosity
  • Portfolio worthy
  • Impressions
  • Nice belongings for album/wall-art
  • Extra advertising and marketing/social media potential


  • Difficult
  • Require extra time to execute
  • Extra strain/stress

Mindset over Matter

I might additionally prefer to level out that our mindset can have an effect on whether or not or not we’re profitable when utilizing this type of posing. If you don’t take pleasure in it or really feel that it’s too troublesome or not well worth the effort, then you definitely’ll seemingly have a more durable time capturing editorial group portraits. As an alternative, I like to recommend taking a step again and recognizing this as a singular alternative. Our topics are dressed their greatest and the placement is probably going wonderful, assuming that you simply’re photographing a wedding or related occasion in a proper setting. Benefit from the state of affairs and attempt to create photographs with nice visible curiosity and manufacturing worth. Consider the hassle required should you have been to try to arrange one of these shot by yourself.

Symmetrical Group Picture Poses

Picture by Lin & Jirsa Images

Of the 2 group photograph posing types, symmetrical poses are the best to execute. Because of this, you will note photographers go together with this type of posing for group portraits on a extra common foundation, particularly when taking pictures in a extra shiny & ethereal type. Whereas the phrase symmetrical means that the topics within the group will mirror each other precisely on both facet of the centerpiece when posing this fashion, the truth is that we’re trying extra for stability than symmetry, particularly by way of numbers. The identical can also be true for editorial posing.

For the standard symmetrical group photograph pose, place the couple within the heart within the v-up pose (hinged within the heart and barely dealing with each other) and have the remaining topics on both facet level their toes and our bodies towards the bride and groom. You’ll wish to look ahead to top and symmetry throughout the group.


  • Simple to arrange
  • Doesn’t require a lot time
  • Minimal challenges
  • Works nicely with small teams (6 or fewer) and huge teams (20+)


  • Not as visually attention-grabbing as editorial group photograph poses
  • Much less prone to get shared on social media

Tip 2: Contemplate the Location

I point out location scouting after deciding on a mode in your group photograph poses as a result of it’s vital to scout for a location that aligns together with your consumer’s imaginative and prescient for the group portraits. That stated, I wish to stress the significance of scouting earlier than the shoot, whether or not you’re taking pictures a wedding, a household portrait session, or no matter. I contemplate scouting or pre-scouting an absolute should, even should you solely have a couple of minutes simply earlier than the shoot.

location scouting for weddingsPicture by Lin & Jirsa Images

When scouting for places, particularly for group portraits throughout a wedding, you need to search for an area near the ceremony website that may accommodate a big group of individuals. There are some situations, particularly throughout culturally particular weddings, through which the taking pictures area will already be determined based mostly on conventional norms. For instance, households at Indian weddings usually desire to shoot on the mandap whereas the Chuppah is commonly used for Jewish weddings. At all times talk together with your shoppers beforehand to know if they’ve any preferences.

Tip 3: Create and Comply with a Recreation Plan for Group Picture Poses

variations for group photo posesGroupings – High Left: Groom’s instant household, High Proper: Bridal get together, Backside Left: Bride’s instant household, Backside Proper: Bride & Groom’s instant households. Pictures by Lin & Jirsa Images

Relying on the state of affairs, akin to once you’re attempting to place collectively group photograph poses throughout a wedding, time will not be in your facet. I like to recommend working together with your consumer forward of time, particularly for weddings, to find out which groupings of individuals you wish to put collectively. Making a recreation plan prematurely may aid you keep away from awkward moments of attempting to put folks collectively who won’t get alongside very nicely. It occurs. To be clear, you don’t have to create a bodily record (though it helps). We simply wish to keep away from getting hung up within the second, and determining groupings prematurely can assist.

Tip 4: Begin with the Couple

Wedded couple stands in v-up poseV-Up Pose | Picture by Lin & Jirsa Images

Don’t attempt to think about the place to put everyone without delay. When posing a big group throughout a wedding for a proper household portrait, begin on the heart. For weddings, you’ll usually start with the bride and groom as your centerpiece after which construct the pose outward. Equally, for non-wedding household portraits, begin with the mother and father or the grandparents, relying on the household’s choice, after which usher in further members of the family.

As for methods to pose the folks within the heart, I like to recommend the v-up, which is one in all 5 Basis Poses. Though I discussed it above, the v-up entails hinging your couple on one facet (like a door) and having them barely face each other in a v-formation. You won’t use a v-up pose for editorial type group poses.

Tip 5: Carry within the Group

The variety of folks in your group can differ dramatically, however the group measurement, whether or not massive or small, shouldn’t actually alter your method. When bringing in further topics, simply do not forget that the identical basic posing guidelines apply for people, {couples}, or complete teams. The one actual distinction between photographing {couples} or teams is the added dynamic of including a number of folks to the body. Listed below are some suggestions and issues to bear in mind when bringing within the group as you begin to design your pose.

Simply Get Began

Begin with a tough format and place group members on either side of your centerpiece. You actually simply wish to transfer folks into an approximate place whilst you put collectively the pose. Taking this method helps hold issues shifting in direction of the ultimate pose. In the event you’ve determined to go together with a symmetrical pose, this course of will transfer in a short time as you’ll be able to just about attempt to add an excellent quantity of individuals on both facet of the centerpiece after which ask them to level their toes and our bodies towards the middle.

It’s vital to notice that relationships between group members may play a task in figuring out who will stand or sit the place, so hold this in thoughts when shifting everybody into place in your group photograph poses.

Steadiness the Body

Somewhat than concentrate on creating good symmetry, attempt to create a way of stability. Some key components that may have an effect on the stability of your group portrait embrace the peak of your topics, the variety of folks on either side of your centerpiece (the quantity doesn’t have to be equal), and the colours your topics are sporting.

seated wedding partyPicture by Lin & Jirsa Images

Whereas most elements of making stability appear fairly easy, the one photographers usually wrestle with entails working with uneven numbers in teams. When you’ve got a married couple with 5 groomsmen and 5 bridesmaids, you’ll be able to merely place the couple within the heart with 5 folks on either side. What occurs, nevertheless, when the numbers don’t lend themselves to such easy balancing? That’s once we should use positioning and pose variation to make the picture seem balanced, even when it isn’t symmetrical. See the picture above for an instance.

Construct Layers

build layers with groupsPicture by Lin & Jirsa Images

When photographing bigger teams, we will use props, like chairs or stairs or no matter’s accessible, to create rows and restrict the depth of the group. It will enable us to shortly create a number of rows, together with a floor-seating row (often for kids), a second row for sitting on chairs, and extra standing rows with the tallest folks within the again.

Create Connection and Circulate for Group Picture Poses

Whatever the posing type we use, we typically wish to create connections between our group members and arrange the pose in order that the viewer’s eyes will transfer backwards and forwards throughout the group with out being led out of the body. A technique we will create a way of connection entails inserting fingers on shoulders or weaving them by way of arms. This additionally helps convey a way of familiarity and establishes relationships between the folks within the picture. The extra touchpoints we use between topics, the extra intimate they seem.

One other solution to create connection is to place our topics in order that they barely overlap each other. For many massive group portraits, every particular person within the group ought to solely barely overlap the particular person subsequent to her or him, protecting not more than 20-30% of the particular person’s physique.

Tip 6: Change into a Director

It might be troublesome to overstate the significance of clear communication when directing group photograph poses. Irrespective of how worrying the state of affairs or how brief we’re on time, we have to “hold calm and pose on.” That is usually simpler stated than completed.

Put Down the Digital camera

photographer directs groupPicture by SLR Lounge

In actuality, dealing with massive teams whereas taking group portraits intently resembles public talking. We should entertain the group and convey our message (on this case, getting them right into a pose), all on the similar time. Doing this nicely requires focus and a little bit of finesse. Because of this, I like to recommend placing down the digicam and taking up the function of a director when posing a bunch. You must interact every topic whereas inserting them, and do what you’ll be able to to create a constructive expertise.

Direct for Expressions

It’s vital to get not solely a flattering expression out of your topics but additionally one which matches the type of the portrait you’re capturing. For instance, should you’ve positioned your group into an editorial group photograph pose, you’ll extra usually ask your topics to make a severe facial features to match the vibe of the pose (suppose Zoolander’s “Blue Metal,” however eased again a bit). Symmetrical (or extra conventional) group photograph poses work nicely with larger grins.

Both method, remember to direct your topics into quite a few completely different expressions so to add selection to the photographs you’re capturing. A straightforward solution to break this down can be asking your topics to have a look at the digicam, then take a look at one another, and so forth.

Earlier than you name it a day, zoom in to make sure everyone seems to be trying the place they’re alleged to be trying and that no person blinked. Doing this within the second can prevent from having to swap heads throughout publish.

Bonus: After capturing the primary couple frames, I like to point out the photographs to my shoppers. This accomplishes a few issues. First, we will ensure that we’re on the identical web page and that they’re glad with the course of the shoot. Assuming we’re on the identical web page, then exhibiting the photographs up entrance additionally builds belief and provides my shoppers confidence for the remainder of the session.

Tip 7: Gentle Accordingly for Group Picture Poses

lighting BTS for group photo posesPicture by Lin & Jirsa Images

Relating to lighting group pictures, simplicity and effectivity is vital. In any case, whether or not you’re attempting to keep away from a meltdown from youngsters in a household portrait setting or your chasing a rushed timeline throughout a wedding, time is of the essence. In case your shoppers desire a shiny & ethereal look and pure lighting will get the job completed with unbelievable outcomes, then don’t really feel compelled so as to add gentle. Search for open shade if doable and arrange your pose. When the event does name for added gentle, have a system in place to shortly analyze the scene and arrange your lighting. Listed below are some tips about lighting your group portraits accordingly.

Lighting Gear

Relying on the portrait type, and even the placement, you might want so as to add gentle to a scene. Right here’s a fast record of go-to lighting instruments, modifiers, and stands that may will let you create dynamic group portraits. You’ll discover a number of choices listed that cowl a spread for numerous budgets and types.


CTO Gels

Distant Set off

Gentle Stand


Lighting for Editorial Group Picture Poses

composite lightingPicture by Lin & Jirsa Images

I’ve already talked about that editorial group poses name for extra dramatic lighting. In different phrases, the sunshine tends to be extra directional and fewer delicate. The truth is, if I would like extra specular highlights for editorial type lighting, I’ll use a silver floor, like a Profoto Deep Medium Umbrella in Silver, to assist create that kind of sunshine.

Additionally, for a extra dramatic look, I’ll go together with a darker ambient gentle publicity and use the added gentle to chisel out my topics. The stability of ambient to added gentle will differ based mostly on private choice, which implies there aren’t any commonplace digicam settings to make use of. Because of this, I like to recommend experimenting with completely different settings in numerous scenes to get the look you’re after.

If I actually wish to management the lighting for these photographs, I’ll plan for a composite shot. Taking pictures for composites can show difficult, and it requires extra time in publish, but it surely additionally tends to get the most important (and greatest) response from my shoppers. To shoot a composite, have an assistant gentle small parts of the group at a time after which mix (or composite) the gathering of photographs collectively in Photoshop for the ultimate, absolutely lit group photograph. Keep in mind to take a plate shot with out the topics to make it simpler to edit out undesirable particulars or distracting objects from the shot.

Lighting for Symmetrical or Normal Group Picture Poses

bright and airy lighting for group photo posesPicture by SLR Lounge

Though lighting for symmetrical or commonplace group poses tends to fall on the flatter facet with a extra shiny & ethereal look, we will nonetheless add fill gentle and get pure trying outcomes.

Lighting set up for group photo posesPicture by SLR Lounge

To do that, I counsel inserting your group in open shade after which including a light-weight on one facet of the group, at the very least 10 toes or so from the closest topic. Angle the flash barely up with an umbrella and intention it towards the far facet of the group for softer lighting, even outdoor (see instance above).

Lighting Tip: Look ahead to Shadows

Be looking out for shadows falling throughout your group’s faces or our bodies. In the event you discover your topics (or at the very least a few of them) falling into shadows, merely reposition the lights fairly than transfer the group. Additionally, elevate your flashes in order that the sunshine hits the group from a better angle. It will assist reduce the shadows.

Lighting Tip: Match Present Gentle Route

In the event you discover you have to add gentle to the scene, take note of the present gentle course. If the present gentle supply is coming from a window on the left hand facet of the group, place your lights on that facet as nicely for extra pure outcomes.

Lighting Tip: Match the Coloration Temperature

To manage the colour temperature when utilizing flash, take note of the present gentle within the room and resolve whether or not or not you need to use CTO Gels (shade temperature orange). In the event you’ve posed your group underneath Tungsten lights, for instance, you’ll wish to modify your white stability in-camera (to someplace round 3200Ok) and add a CTO gel to the flash to compensate for the colour of the ambient lighting.

Lighting Tip: Don’t Go Overboard with the Flash Energy

Use your digicam settings and ambient gentle publicity to assist decide the power of your flash energy. With a better ISO (akin to ISO 3200), there is no such thing as a have to go full 1/1 energy. As a superb place to begin, start at 1/eighth energy and enhance or lower from there to yield higher outcomes by way of even gentle unfold with publicity compensation.

Tip 8: Prioritize Aperture

group photo poses and depth of field examplePicture by SLR Lounge

Aperture controls our depth of discipline, and that’s seemingly crucial component within the publicity triangle in the case of group portraits. When photographing teams, we typically use a narrower aperture (anyplace from f/2.Eight to f/8) for a wider aircraft of focus, which can enable us to cowl extra rows of individuals. I say typically as a result of this isn’t all the time the case, particularly if you already know your gear and also you’re taking pictures in a managed atmosphere. Nonetheless, I like to recommend utilizing wider apertures provided that you’re very comfy taking pictures at shallow depths of discipline. In the event you resolve to go this route, you’ll be able to comply with a pair pointers to assist guarantee everyone seems to be in focus.

Line Up on the Identical Airplane of Focus

same plane of focusPicture by SLR Lounge

Attempt to line everybody up on the identical aircraft of focus, and allow them to know why. I often clarify that I’m taking pictures with a shallow depth of discipline, which implies these in entrance of or behind the main focus level within the group might fall out of focus. Ask those that are standing farther again to lean barely ahead. Don’t be afraid to stroll round to the facet of the group to make sure they’re standing in a straight line, or as shut as they will to it.

Perceive Your Lens

If you already know your lens, then you need to know the way huge your depth of discipline will probably be with sure apertures in relation to the gap between your digicam and your topics. For instance, with a 50mm f/1.2 lens, I do know that I’ll have 1-2 toes of sharpness at f/2 once I’m 20 toes or so away from my topics. I gained’t get the identical outcomes with a 35mm or 85mm lens on the similar distance.

Tip 9: Transfer in Shut for Candid Group Picture Poses

close up from groupPicture by SLR Lounge

We begin out with the mission of capturing a bigger group photograph, however we will additionally transfer in near {photograph} smaller teams inside. I’ll usually direct the group to work together with each other whereas I work my method by way of the group and seize completely different angles of those candid interactions. By doing this, we’re including to the general story of the day and highlighting in additional element the individuals who matter most to your shoppers.

Tip 10: Add Motion to the Scene

family walks as a one of many group photo posesPicture by Lin & Jirsa Images

We’ve centered primarily on two primary types of group photograph poses, however we will additionally go one other course and introduce motion into the scene. This may embrace capturing one thing so simple as strolling in a line, like the enduring scene in Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Canine,” or contain a extra elaborate or imaginative arrange, like cueing a bunch of groomsmen to go all in on a heated poker recreation. Including motion to the scene works particularly nicely for wedding get together portraits.

Further Examples

group photo poses for new years eve

group photo poses for groomsmen game

group photo poses for groomsmen poker game


Whether or not you {photograph} weddings, household classes, or another style, alternatives abound for photographing teams. The group photograph poses and concepts we’ve shared right here additionally translate for working with companies and sports activities groups, or in every other occasion that requires you to {photograph} a number of folks without delay. It’s my hope that you may now stroll into your subsequent group photograph session with confidence and concepts for capturing persistently nice group portraits. Do not forget that communication is vital, particularly when photographing teams, and ensure you perceive your consumer’s wants and direct the session to get pictures that may exceed your consumer’s expectations.

Pye Jirsa

Pye Jirsa

Pye Jirsa is the founder and associate of SLR Lounge, Visible Circulate Presets, and Lin and Jirsa Images. Pye has taught and impressed 1000’s of photographers world wide with frameworks that make seemingly complicated and intimidating subjects easy and approachable. His frameworks have additionally helped create and scale Lin and Jirsa Images, a boutique Socal wedding and portrait pictures studio that shoots over 1,000 wedding, portrait, new child and business shoppers annually.


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