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Rules for well-composed
group photographs for newsletters

1. There is almost no hope for a really good photograph with 10 or more people in the group. If you must take it, get as close as possible and arrange them in rows to make later identification possible.

But for the rest....

2. Shoulders should overlap.

Photographer must physically push people together so that their shoulders overlap. Relatives and friends in casual situations might move close together naturally, but most will not move that close together voluntarily. If you tell people to move closer, they will move in place rather than touch each other.

3. Heads at different levels.

Arrange your photos one person at a time so that each person's head is at a different level. Try to make one person sitting, one short person standing, one tall person standing or sitting.

4. Use odd numbers of people. (3 or 7 is more interesting than 2 or 6)

5. Strive for a an angular or triangular arrangement.

6. Take photographs eye level with your subject.

Here are some good group photographs
that work and follow most (but not all) of these rules.

In this photo of a group of friends, it's likely the photographer didn't have to physically move the people together -- one benefit of taking photographs in a casual atmosphere. Nonetheless, the photograph is a great group photo because it follows the most important rules of composition: Shoulders overlap, heads at different levels, and a triangular arrangement of subject.

This photograph of "The Reckless Ramblers" violates the last rule of group photography, but it does a nice job of violating it while capitalizing on the other rules to create a lot of interest. In a business setting, you would have to look

More photos

 

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