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Photography Question 
Theresa A. Bish
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/26/2002
 

how to arrange a group of 40 people outdoors?


I have an assignment to photograph a reunion group of 40 people outdoors. The largest group I have done is 16 for a wedding party. Since there are many children and grandparents, also, I'm not sure what is the best way to group the families. I was going to step them off into 4 or 5 semicircle rows, parents, grandparents, greatparents, then the children sitting on the ground in front of all. I have a Nikon F5 and 35-80 and 19-35mm lens. I am at a loss. The customer said no studio will take the job. I work freelance. Thanks for any tips you can give me.


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6/15/2005 7:16:53 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  DEAR TREASA,
IT'S GOING TO BE FINE. FIRST OFF SHE HAS CHECKED AROUND AND KNOWS IT'S A TOUGH SITTING,LET HER KNOW YOU WILL DO YOUR BEST.
YOU WILL NEED A FEW THINGS: GATHER SOME STOOLS(OF COURSE POSING STOOLS THAT MOVE UP AND DOWN WOULD BE BEST)
HOPEFULLY YOU CAN COME UP WITH FOUR OR FIVE.ALLSO A POSING BENCH WOULD BE HELPFUL( ANY BACKLESS BENCH WILL DO THOUGH) AND SOME POSING BLOCKS(YOU CAN MAKE THESE AND THEN YOU HAVE THEM FOR A LIFETIME:4 SIDES AND A TOP WITH A HOLE FOR YOUR HAND MADE OUT OF STURDY WOOD3/4 INCH MAKE THESE IN DIFFERENT HIGHTHS 4",2" AND 1 INCH TALL)BOY IF YOU COULD HAVE AT LEAST 20 OF THESE IT WOULD BE HELPFUL.LET THEM KNOW THAT THEY ARE A FAMILY THAT LOOOVES EACH OTHER AND WE'RE GOING TO GET CLOSE AND LOVE EACH OTHER,LOL-MAKE IT FUN, BECAUSE THIS WILL TAKE YOU SOME TIME AND YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO GET IMPATIANT.
OK,LETS POSE: POSING BENCH USE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR FIRST LINE-ABOUT THREE OR FOUR PEOPLE ANGLES 2 TO THE RIGHT ,2 TO THE LEFT FACING EACH OTHER-
NEXT ARE THE POSING STOOLS ON EITHER ENDAND THEN WHEELCHIARS IF YOU HAVE THEM.THIS FIRST ROW SHOULD BE ALL GRANDPARENTS.THEN THE NEXT GENERATION SHOULD GO IN BEHIND THEM(NOW ALL THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE IF YOU HAVE WHEEL CHAIR OR THOSE WHO CAN NOT STAND.)TRY TO KEEP THEM IN FAMILYS OR AT LEAST COUPLES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.ALSO IF YOU HAVE THEM STAND IN FAMILYS WHILE WAITING, IT DOES HELP AND IF POSSIBLE HAVE THEM STAND ,SO AS YOU, IN A HURRY ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR NEXT VICTUM YOU CAN SEE THIER HIGHTH.OK YOUR NEXT ROW SHOULD BE THE NEXT GENERATION WITH THIER SPOUCES(IF THIER ARE NOT THAT MENY THEN OF COURSE FILL IN WITH OTHERS)AFTER THIS ROW IT'S JUST A PUZZLE. NOW ALSO , YOU WILL HAVE SOME KIDS UP FRONT AND IN THE LAPS OF GRAND PARENTS-WELL YOU CAN DO THIS WITH 1 FAMLIY ON EACH SIDE(REMEMBER BALENCE AT ALL TIMES)PUT THE DAD ON 1 KNEE BEHIND THE MOM SITTING IN A LADIES POSE WITH A CHILD IN THE BEND OF HER BODY.THIS WILL BE BEAUTIFUL.
THE BACK ROWS JUST START FILLING IN-THEN -DO YOUR ADJUSTING AND USE YOUR POSING STOOLS.REMEMBER THESE RULES: 1)SUBJECTS IN THE SAME ROW ARE 1/2 HEAD TALLER OR SHORTER THEN THE SUBJECT THEY ARE NEXT TO.2) SUBJECTS ON DIFFERENT ROWS MUST BE A FULL HEAD TALLER THEN THE ROW AHEAD(USE YOUR POSING BLOCKS AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE HIEGTH OF YOUR SUBJECTS)3) ANGLE BODIES: HALF THE GROUP TOWARD THE LEFT ,HALF TOWARD THE RIGHT.FACING THE MIDDLE.
I'M GOING TO FINISH THIS IN ANOTHER POST.


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6/15/2005 8:04:12 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  IF YOU ARE INTRESTED: THESE GROUPINGS AND HOW TO DO THEM ARE GRAPHED OUT AND SHOWN TO YOU IN MY CD'S " THE PROFESSINAL'S GUIDE TO FAMILY POSING" AND IN T"THE ART AND FUN OF POSING CHILDREN" YOU CAN SEE THEM ON MY GALLERY.
OK LETS MOVE ON.
YOU WILL HAVE TO DO THIS SHOT AS IS THERE IS JUST NO WAY TO GIVE THEM VARIETY IN THIS SHOT. TAKE THIS SHOT A GOOD 5-8 TIMES THINK OF THINGS TO MAKE THEM LAUGH ETC. PLAY WITH THEM SO YOU DON'T LOOS THIER SMILE HAVING TO DO THIS MANY SHOTS.(YOU ARE DOING THIS SO YOU AND THEY WILL HAVE CHOISES-WHO HAS EYES SHUT-WHO'S MAKING FACES,WHO'S NOT SMILINGETC,DIFFERENT FAMILY MEMBERS WILL BUY DIFFERENT SHOT ACCORDING TO THIER FAMILIES LOOKS.
OK NOW LETS GIVE THEM THE VARIETY THEY SHOULD HAVE. THIS WILL COME IN GROUPINGS(ALWAYS START WITH THE OLDEST OR THOSE WITH PHYISICAL PROBLEMS THAT TIRER THEM EASY)
DO WHAT IS CALLED THE "APPRVALS"
THE GREAT GRANDPARENTS-THEN GR.GRANDPARENTS AND THIER ADULT KIDS- THAN SAME SHOT ADD THE ADULT KIDS SPUOSES- THEN THAT GROUP WITH THIER KIDS/
NOW TAKE OUT THIER ADULT KIDS AND SPOUCES AND DO JUST THE GR GRAND PARENTS AND GRAND KIDS- THEN ADD THE GREAT GRAND KIDS
NOW START ON EACH FAMILY AND DO 1 FAMILY SHOT , THEN MOM AND DAD ALONE, THEN KIDS ALONE.
NOW SOMETIMES YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE ALONE SHOTS FOR THE GRANDPARENTS- WELL THIS SHOT IS BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THEY STARTED,THEY ARE THE MATRIARCS- ALSO OTHER FAMILY ADULTS MAY GIVE YOU A HARD TIME JUST SIMPLY SMILE AND SAY"WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT DONE OF JUST YOU TWO, WAS IT THE YOUR WEDDING? AT THAT POINT THEY SHOULD DO IT FOR YOU.
OK I DO BELIVE YOU CAN SEE WHERE WE ARE GOING WITH THIS-
I WILL POST BACK WHEN I FIND THE THREAD WHERE I POSTED(A UN EDITED!!!LOL I WAS TO LAZY THAT MORNING TO GO TO THE OTHER COMPUTER AND FIND THE FINISHED PRODUCTS AND THE BETTER SHOTS)
A LARGE FAMILY AND ALL THE APPROVALS.
BEST OF LUCK TO YOU PLEASE DO LET ME KNOW HOW IT CAME OUT.
DEBBY


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6/15/2005 8:27:31 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  THERE YOU GO IT IS CALLED:
Family Portrait Ideas
AND I WILL TRY TO FIND THE TIME TO FIND THE FINISHED PRODUCTS
THESE LOOK TERRABLE LIKE THAT-I AM A BUMMM


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6/15/2005 8:33:38 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  it was eary when I wrote you this and I have felt all day like I was missing something.
ok,the people on the ground-you and use posing blocks for them to sit on as well ,to get the highth you need for some subjects.
stay away from going back to far or toward you to far-you need the ones on the ground to stay tightly to the first row or you will not get them in focus. same with the back- aftr the third row back you will loose some focus.
so have them lean forward , just have every one do this-once posed tell them to lean slighlt forward-this will keep everyone(hopefully )in the focal range and also, when a subject leans forward like that in tightens them up(yes ,maybe a little uncomfortable but then that IS a great pose) making them look a little thiner and drawing up any chins.
i know now you have to go sit in front of the mirror and test it. see it works.if it doesn't write back you aren't sitting right(this is a tecnique you should use every time you do a portrait of a woman especialy)
now also you will need fill light- if you don't have elec-or power supply for studio lights- then may I suggest go to ebay,look for some cheap flashes and slave them- I would use at least 4-5 at different highth-i do this for extra light around weddings.
ok, i'll email back if I think of anything else.
debby


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6/15/2005 1:42:54 PM

 
Theresa A. Bish
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/26/2002
  Thank you so much for your suggestions. They will help me quite a bit, I think. I think maybe the hardest part will be in getting everyone to smile at the same time, having eyes open and getting all the kids to co-operate! LOL!


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6/15/2005 1:48:52 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  THERESA,
BELIVE IT OR NOT I USE A CAT TOY- THAT RIGHT A CAT TOY- ONE OF THOSE FEATHERS ON A STICK-YOU TELL ALL THE ADULT TO TRY TO KEEP THERE EYES ON YOU-NOT THIER KIDS-YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH THE KIDS- AND YOU START"I'M GONNA GET YOU, WHO AM I GONNA GET AND MOVE THE FEATHER AROUND PRETENDING LIKE YOU WILL GET SOMEONE,ONCE ALL ARE WATCHING (AND THEY WILL) TO SEE WHO YOU WILL GET- THEN QUICKLY TICKLE A LITTLE ONE SAYING" I GOT YOU " PULL THE STICK BACK AND EXPOSE!! I HAVE A WIRELESS REMOTE FOR MY D70- THAT MAKES THIS EASY-YOU CAB USE A PLUNGER.
WHAT HAPPENS HERE IS EVERY ONE LAUGHS WHEN THE KIDS DO AND YOU STAND A CHANCE OF GETTING ALOT OF SMILES.
YOU WILL NOT GET EVERYONE TO SMILE!
THATS WHY I SUGGESTED TO TAKE SEVERAL EXPOSUERS.
ALSO EATING BUBBLES ID FUN FOR ALL TO WATCH-YOU BLOW ON AT A TIME(REMEMBER THEY PHOTOGRAPH) AND YOU PRETEND TO CATCH THEM AND EAT THEM. THE KIDS LOVE IT( NOW AND THEN CATCH ONE ON THE STICK AND TAKE IT TO ONE CHILD AND SAY HERE YOU GO YOU CAN EAT ONE- THEY'LL LAUGH BECAUSE THE BUBBLE POPS WHEN THEY TRY TO CATCH IT.
BEST OF LUCK.


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6/15/2005 1:59:35 PM

 
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