Creating High Energy Group Photos – Image of the Week #430

Group photos – I know plenty of photographers who would say that this is their least favourite part of shooting weddings – well maybe family groups in particular.

As someone who came from 10 years of shooting bands, I’ve always enjoyed shooting groups of people. The dynamic that occurs between everyone in them is always fascinating.

For me, I think of the couple as the lead singer and so will always keep them as the main element in a composition. There’s so much that you can do with groups, compared to just shooting couples. As someone who was PJ and Duncan’s official photographer, I could talk all day on this subject.

For now, let’s concentrate on this wonderful image that scoops the first Farmers Image Of The Week for the talented Hash Hart.

He brings a Northern Soul to his work and the edits are on the grittier side of the spectrum. He’s fast establishing himself as a photographer with edge who’s not afraid to get knee-deep into the action, I mean a loud speaker!! That’s commitment and his technique results in images like this one, where the energy is on full throttle.

However, Hash is still in control here, the couple is perfectly framed, and her dress is both fully in the frame and creating a leading line to the centre of the frame. Although the bridal party appear somewhat chaotic the two characters on either edge of the frame are leaning in so they also help draw the eye to the centre and the couple embracing.

It’s raucous, joyous and romantic. It’s about being young and in love and surrounded by your besties. More of This in wedding photos for this year please!

Sony A7IV | Sigma Art 35mm | f2 | ISO 1000 | 1/320
Own Preset

What Hash said…

“For my group shots I always, always have my speaker out! I’ll usually start with the separate groups to warm everyone up & that alone usually gets pretty crazy! I’ll never ask them to do something I wouldn’t do so if I’m asking them to come dance toward me I’ll be dancing with them!

For this shot specifically, I’ll tend to leave it until the final shot & it’ll usually go something like “what songs gonna’ get you hyped the f**k up” & someone without a doubt will shout out some sort of banger that I know will have some energy/drop!

I’ll ask the couple to bring each other close & have a kiss when the music starts! I’ll spread the rest of them out in a circle behind them. The way I picture it for them is, imagine that they’re that cringe couple in a club making out and y’all are about to photo bomb the moment, I want you to get under, above, wherever your ass fits I just want you to get in there, as soon as the beat drops!

Without a doubt, it’s always chaos but it’s always a genuine moment they love and looks something like that!

The Tech Talk

Burst mode, for the love of god, make sure it’s shooting as fast as it possibly can! For me it’s not about the perfect shot, my entire group sessions are messy and about adding to the party & making it memorable! The pictures aren’t always perfect but the couples ALWAYS love them. And also read the room, this specific one isn’t a go-to for all my couples, I can tell who’ll it work well with and who it won’t, like it’s perfect for the loud, extroverted, drunk and disorderly but the more introverted groups it can just be plain awkward so don’t put them through that hahaha!”