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Creative Group Pictures

Updated on May 19, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.


One of the most creative and fun group photo projects is to get a group of people and set them up in creative, unusual poses preferably with a just a creative and unusual setting.

Group pictures can be common place and just as ordinary as taking a picture of a single individual but if you can come up with some unusual poses and settings the the situation becomes that much more interesting and the resulting images are just as fun to look at a it was when you were making them.

One such group idea is to do a peel shoot where the models start to disrobe or shed some articles of clothing and throw them into the air. This is can be called the "peel off".

Everything should be coordinated and the models should be ready to start shedding clothes as soon as you start to snap the shutter.

Although the photographer should leave some lag time between the start and the end, it is more fun if you capture all images; from beginning to end. The idea is not to capture images of naked people, just enough to show what the action is.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

Another good set up is to have several models; men or women or a mix and have them jump into the air or move their arms as if saying We're here! This is very similar to what many musical groups group pictures poses look like.

The background does not need to be as prevalent as the poses or the models but a good background always helps and some can add interest to the scene.

Another interesting set up is what I call the "out of place" scene. Want anything more elegant than a beautiful wedding dress? How about having a "bride" pose alongside other ladies or men that are definitely not dressed for the occasion? Even better if the backdrop is just as out of place as the rest of the ensemble.


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Another interesting idea is to set the group as if they were posing for a fashion magazine like Vogue for example.

This involves having your models pose as if they were high end fashion models and especially if they are wearing nice "high end" looking clothes.

Here the background should be as elegant as the clothes themselves but it is not as crucial if you cannot find suitable ones.

The makeup, the accessories and the fashion should go together. Pretend you are really a fashion photographer and have been commissioned to do a group shot for a well known publication.


Similar to other set ups us is what we will call the "jump off" where members of the group simply jump as high as they can while posing with exhilarating faces and gestures.

Doing this near water or in the water, snow or in the rain really adds more interest to the scene.

Let's face it, people can really be "themselves" when doing such fun activities where they can just be silly while having fun at the same time. Ever noticed how much effort is sometimes put on dressing up for a Halloween party?

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

The ever popular "role playing" set up still remains one of the most fun to do shoots. Those involved will probably have just as much fun creating and dressing up as they will while doing the shoot.

People dress up in their favorite role playing costumes as those from a movie like "Van Helsing", a show like "Game of Thrones" or video game like "World of Warcraft" and are photographed in "character" preferably with a backdrop that fits the scene or roles.

Comicon, sfi-fi and cosplay conventions are great places to find willing models or you can easily have the models make their own costumes if conducting the shoot at home.

Nothing too fancy need be done, just ask the participants to dress in somewhat realistic garbs enough so that their roles or characters can be identified by your viewers. But with that said, the fancier the costumes and location, the better the images.

CC BY-SA 4.0
CC BY-SA 4.0 | Source

Other set ups can involve people jumping in or out of a trampoline, into a pool, inside a fountain and so on.

If you're the less adventurous type then having the ground pose in a structure like the steps of a church, some ruins, abandoned locations like an old factory or empty abandoned theater can be just as good.

There are many such places and all you have to do is to look for them, and get permission to be there in the first place of course.

The trick is to do group portraits that are out of the ordinary and unusual as well as technically perfect. A blurred image, no matter how creative the scene is, will not work, nor will it work if underexposed or overexposed.

Commonality is not welcomed here. Be creative and think outside the proverbial box and your group pictures will turn out to be more exciting and innovative than ever before.

Do not be afraid to try out new things and just simply have fun. If you enjoy what you do your models and clients will feed off your enthusiasm.

CC BY-SA 3.0)
CC BY-SA 3.0) | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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