Home for the Holidays: Making The Group Photo Drama-Free!

It’s like a scene from a movie.  Your hard-of-hearing aunt misunderstands everything.  Your redneck cousin camps his RV on your front lawn, and grandpa is always drunk before noon. 

That’s probably why Victor Borge once said, “Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.”


Still, we always decide to get a group photo.  Gathering up family members for said photo can resemble herding cattle, and it's practically a guarantee that someone in the group will blink at the same time the shutter is pressed.  I can’t relieve family tensions but I can help make the annual group photo a little less stressful.  Here are some tips to try regardless of what camera you’re using:

1)   Put Your Camera or Phone into Burst Mode to increase the chances of getting a shot where everyone is smiling or not blinking.

2)   Now is the time for family togetherness; the closer everyone gets in the shot, the more detailed faces are.  Get as close as you can yourself either by standing closer or shooting with a zoom lens.

3)   Raise your chins to avoid a double chin but not too far; you don’t want everyone looking like a giraffe.

4)   Take the shot at the beginning of the event before anyone starts drinking and still looks they’re best.

5)   Try shooting from above.  This works especially well when you limited space to back up to try and fit everyone in and it’s a large group. 

6)   If you’re taking photographs outdoors, place friends or family with their backs to the sun.  This way, you avoid glare and squinty eyes.  If you’re indoors, find light that faces your group so you can avoid using the flash which can give a harsh look to photos.  The least flattering light comes from overhead or the side, so avoid that where you can.

Now that you're armed to take the family selfie, don't forget about yourself.  Get Your Short Guide on How to Look Gorgeous in Photos Every Time!