Special occasions such as weddings, sporting events and family celebrations offer great opportunities to take group portraits of friends and loved ones that will be treasured for years to come.
However, achieving a good group shot is an art – and a tricky one. When you're dealing with several people, you need to be able to think quickly about where to place them and clearly communicate what you want them to do. That means you need to have already mastered your group portrait basics.
Some advice is universal. Whatever kind of group shot you're taking, you should ensure everyone has a good expression, the shot is well composed and exposed, and the background isn't cluttered or distracting.
Lighting is also always important. For example, if you're shooting outside on a sunny day, look for an area with overhead shade so your subjects aren't squinting into the camera.
Using a camera with an electronic viewfinder, such as the Canon EOS RP or Canon EOS R6, means you can see your group shots as you take them and adjust the exposure, while a vari-angle screen will enable you to shoot from different viewpoints for creative or practical reasons.
When you're shooting indoors using natural light, it really helps to use fast lenses, such as the Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM. And if you find yourself photographing a large group in a relatively small area, you can achieve a good shot with an ultra-wide-angle Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM lens.
Here, four Canon Ambassadors, all highly experienced professionals in their fields, offer their essential tips for taking great group shots in any scenario.