5 Tips for Group Posing

5 Tips for Group Posing by Dale Benfield


Guest Post from Dale Benfield, a wedding and portrait photographer from Northwest Arkansas. Capturing timeless moments that tell the story of every wedding, Dale works with his wife Meredith as well as his lovely team of photographers to create amazingly unique images for every single client.

I used to hate photographing groups of people at weddings. I even heard fantasies about photographers who adopted the “I don’t shoot group formals” policy and wondered how I could pull that off without upsetting clients.

The problem with not photographing groups is that I neglect my duty as a documentarian at the wedding, recording who was there to support the bride and groom on their big day. While it wasn’t my favorite part of the wedding day, I always felt it was too important to neglect.

So I decided to get more creative with my posing.

Changing up the poses I’d use for my groups turned this more into a special event during the day rather than something I’d normally gloss over and rush through.

Here are a few little things I did that make a big difference:

vanity-fair-bridal-party-picture-01

1. Turn it around: Instead of having everybody “just turn in toward the bride” I’ll mix it up and have 1 out of every 4 turn the opposite way

2. Bring the couple out in front, closer to the camera: This little change takes the focus away from the entire group and let’s you know who the day is about. Showcase that hottie couple!

3. Keep shooting after the “shot is done”: The best moments happen right after a group finishes a shot.  Bridesmaids relax, and often times start laughing and chatting right after I finished the formal shot.

4. Stagger heights: Arranging from tallest to shortest is so blugh. In addition to that, sitting, squatting, leaning, and standing can be used together to make a more dynamic and natural image.

5. Don’t seek perfection: The longer you hold that group together, looking at every little detail (top buttons buttoned on guys’ jackets, bouquets at the same level, boutonnieres standing upright, etc), the less relaxed the group is going to be, and the more “stiff” your image will look.  Keeping it quick, light, and fun is your key to success.

Getting good at these will not only make your group shots a little more dynamic, but it will also improve your client’s experience (and I’m all about delivering a good experience!).

9 Responses to “5 Tips for Group Posing by Dale Benfield”

  1. Rebecca says:

    great tips; could you provide more photo samples of group shots other than just the one?

  2. Dannielle says:

    Agreed! Need more photos!

  3. Colleen says:

    Love these ideas….I would also love to see more examples!!

  4. MpixPro says:

    Hi Colleen, to see more shots this particular session check out Dale’s blog- (http://benfieldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/08/kirsten-and-jordans-pre-wedding-details.html) (http://benfieldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/08/pratt-place-barn-wedding-of-kirsten-and.html). Also, his blog is loaded with other great inspiration!

  5. MpixPro says:

    Hi Dannielle, thank you for the feedback! To see more shots this particular session, check out Dale’s blog- (http://benfieldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/08/kirsten-and-jordans-pre-wedding-details.html) (http://benfieldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/08/pratt-place-barn-wedding-of-kirsten-and.html). Also, his blog is loaded with other great inspiration!

  6. MpixPro says:

    Hi Rebecca, thanks for the feedback! To see more shots this particular session, check out Dale’s blog – (http://benfieldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/08/kirsten-and-jordans-pre-wedding-details.html) (http://benfieldphotography.blogspot.com/2014/08/pratt-place-barn-wedding-of-kirsten-and.html). Also, his blog is loaded with other great inspiration for seniors, engagement and wedding shots!

  7. Mary Ella says:

    Awesome tips! About to shoot a wedding with a decently large bridal party (though, thankfully not nineteen bridesmaids…yikes!) – great work tackling such a large group and making it look flawless and fun. Cheers!

  8. Kimberly says:

    Thank you so much for these wonderful tips. 🙂 I can not wait to use them at my next wedding.

  9. Thanks so much for these great tips! I don’t shoot weddings, but I’ve been posed with the challenge of shooting large families and these tips will definitely come into use for future.