View Full Version : Shooting Family Reunion of 60 people
20th of June 2007 (Wed), 13:06
I'm sorry, I do realize this is under the wedding section, but this is my first post and I didn't seem to find a particular section relating to reunions. :) Maybe the moderator will be able to place this in a more appropriate section?
I have been asked to take the pictures at my family's reunion in July. Here are some brief details about the deal:
My camera: Canon Rebel XTi w/ 18-55mm lens
Location: Most pictures will be taken in an outdoors/park setting during the afternoon
-Large photo of all 60 family members
-Photos of about 15-20 family members
-Plus normal photos of small groups chatting and stuff.
I know my current lens will be fine for the individual pics, and probably the 15-20ppl photos, but I am new to this and have no clue which lens would be good in an outdoors setting and allow for 60 people to be captured without them being far and microscopic in size!
I am also trying to keep this under $500!!
Thank you so much for anyone who can offer advice!!
20th of June 2007 (Wed), 13:27
Well Starz for the group photo and the time of the day (sunlight, skies, etc...) the kit might work... I am not sure if you need the flash (430EX or 580Ex)... I guess one of the pro will speak on that part....
I am personally doing the same thing for a sweet sixteen but I think I need a lens thats sharp and good in low light. I am going with the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and later the 17-55mm (if i seel the 17-50).
20th of June 2007 (Wed), 13:31
You can arrange your 60 people in 4 rows of 15.
Front row sitting on ground, 2nd row on one knee, 3rd row standing, 4th row standing and staggered between shoulders of 3rd row.
Your 18-55 should cover this area without making them to small to see.
Be careful with your depth of field on this large group so that all are in focus. Do you have a good flash?
21st of June 2007 (Thu), 00:07
No, I just have normal flash that's standard in the camera... no external flash. Should I look into this also??
21st of June 2007 (Thu), 00:15
Get an external flash unit for sure. Either 430ex or 580ex... You will be glad you bought it, it will help you with this assignment and you will certainly use it afterwards... I would make getting that a priority. I would buy that before I bought a lens.
You may also want to get a step ladder. I like to be high up when I do groups. I am a short chick so the ladder helps.
When I do big groups at a wedding I put my camera on a tripod as high as I can get it, and then set my ladder up behind it. That way I can walk away from the camera if I need to arrange people. Sometimes people can't follow verbal commands very well.
Make sure to take several shots of the big group. When I do these types of shots I get every set in the camera and then stand up and look at the people with my hand on the shutter and say ok everyone look at the camera... 1...2...3... click.... i keep eye contact with them and smile at them while i do it. Do that about 6 times and you should be ok.
21st of June 2007 (Thu), 00:35
With four rows a flash will illuminate the first row but not the back, you'd need two big strobes a bit of a distance back from the group - you want the relative distance between the flash and the first row/last row to be as small as possible. Ambient light is easier, put them in the shade and don't have them squinting because of the sun. Bring a ladder, and an assistant so you can be in the photo. F8 and 1/125th of faster, use whatever ISO you need to get that.
Get a lens hood for the kit lens, you can get cheap rubber ones. Photos of people talking suck, instead if a couple of people or small group are talking ask them to look over at you and scrunch together, takes 5 seconds.
21st of June 2007 (Thu), 00:36
A good flash would allow you more options. I use a 580 which costs around $450-500 and it's worth every penny.
21st of June 2007 (Thu), 02:20
I'm with Tim, the flash will make little to no difference, ensure that you get them in an open shade type setting, or with the sun to their backs. Expose for the faces, don't worry if this blows some of the background.
Getting higher than them will help both with fitting them in and removing lots of sky from the pic's.
Stop the lens down to f11 it'll be sharp enough for this job (get a hood and remove the filter - if you have one). The only way you'll get a noticeably sharper result would be to shoot it on Medium format film.
However I disagree with Tim about the candids, a well timed natural group beats half a dozen cheesy grins every time IMHO.;)
21st of June 2007 (Thu), 03:08
I think the flash will actively make things worse, by giving you a false sense of security, whereas looking at it on a monitor will probably not look so good. Now if you could be a decent distance away from the group the relative distance between the front and back row won't matter, but at that point you have to wonder if the flash will have much effect. I'm talking around the 100mm focal length range.
I agree, "a well timed natural group beats half a dozen cheesy grins every time", the problem is getting those natural shots is a lot lot lot harder than getting the cheesy grins. Get both.
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