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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 10 Feb 2014 (Monday) 12:29
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My Group Shots Suck

Cream of the Crop
6,708 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
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Joined Sep 2010
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Feb 10, 2014 18:03 |  #16

SkipD wrote in post #16679517 (external link)
When I photograph large groups, I cluster my lights a few feet directly above the camera. When I'm using six monolights, each outfitted with a large umbrella, the result is a solid cluster of lighting that is about six feet high and 12 feet wide. It's like a giant softbox. I never get the shadow of a person on the people behind him/her.

When I started doing groups, I tried the two clusters of lights located right and left of the camera and got the very same horrid shadows you're seeing. Simply relocating the lights as I suggested above and using the largest umbrellas (reflective umbrellas, that is, NOT shoot-through umbrellas because they waste a lot of light) that your lights can fill on each light will solve your problem.

This!!! :D

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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
3,547 posts
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Joined Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Feb 10, 2014 18:15 |  #17

What are your settings for this shot, if you don't mind ?

christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

www.christopherstevenb​.com (external link)| Blog (external link)

grabbing their Johnson
10,978 posts
Gallery: 19 photos
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Joined Oct 2007
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
Feb 11, 2014 06:48 as a reply to  @ Christopher Steven b's post |  #18


The problem with the shot you posted is not the lighting. It is the nature of the pose itself. Sorry. You always have to be aware of people blocking the light from those near them. This shot would have worked had you had the 2nd row lean forward and down and had the 3rd row straight up behind them. Think pyramid at all times with groups.

People sitting, shorter guys to the front, taller guys to the back and have the middle row below back row height and that would have fixed the shot with the lighting you had. We do this at most weddings. I always start out by saying, "Hey guys i need to place your where the camera can see you so please help me out because i need to move you a bit and i want to get you back to your party "------they get the hint

For lighting, if i'm rushed I do it with a speedlight off the ceiling and toss light forward with a demb flip. If i'm not rushed and have time to set up, i typically use a shoot through for a main and another for a fill and tend to flat light it so i won't get shadows........but all faces in the group pose need to be is a place where the light is going to hit them and the camera is going to see them.

hope that helps.

Mike (external link)
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My Group Shots Suck
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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