The Intentional Photo

Question of the Week

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How can I make interesting group photos?
By Slava Gurgov

There are many creative and technical elements involved in making visually interesting group photos. It is a struggle to break free of the "picket fence" composition most commonly used.

The most important factor is the distance between the subjects. There must be space between them. Certainly on the horizontal plane and hopefully on the vertical plane. The amount of vertical space depends upon the maximum focal length that you can achieve with the light that is available to you. Everybody from the nearest to the camera to the farthest should be clearly in focus.

Clothing should have contrast. The man in the brown suit should not stand in front of the man in the brown suit. Their shapes should be defined by the contrasting colors of their clothes. What is often the most boring photo in the publication can be the most interesting if you apply some creativity.

When do you need photo releases?
By April Hayward

The usual preface. I am not a lawyer nor should my advice be construed to be legalistic.

That said, here is how most professional media photographers deal with releases.

  1. Have a simple, understandable, short release form. There are many examples available in photo form books.
  2. Request that the individual sign the release before you photograph. You will be wasting your time photographing someone who refuses to sign a release.
  3. Any person who can be recognized in the photo must sign a release form.