How to Get Sharp Focus in Large Family Photos
Are you wondering how you can get sharp focus in your photos that have 6, 7, 8…25 family members in them? Taking large family photos can be challenging and making sure you get clear focus can be another battle. But you can do it! Keep reading below for some super easy tips to help you get sharp focus before you head out to your next large family photo session.
Pose the Family
One of the easiest ways you can ensure sharp focus for those large family sessions comes down to posing. An easy pose that helps get clear pictures is to line them up. Keeping everyone on the same plane will make it much easier for you to capture a very clear family photo. By doing this, you can also open your aperture up much wider and also get a beautiful blurry background. I’ve shot large groups of 25 people with an f stop less than 3.2 because of posing this way!
(3.2 f/stop setting in the above photo of 25 people-posed on the same plane shot with 135mm 2.0 lens)
Choose Your Focal Point
Look through your viewfinder and select the middle focal point. This one will almost always give you the sharpest focus. Aim that point for the person that is closest to you. Focus falls back, so aiming at the closest family member will help ensure that everyone else will also be in focus.
(Here my focal point was aimed at the young boy in front, my f stop was 3.5 to create the blurry background, and the family was lined up! Shot with 135mm 2.0 lens)
Setting your shutter speed too slow can cause some blurriness in your large family portraits. This is especially true if you are holding the camera by hand. Make sure that your shutter speed is set to at least double the focal length of your lens. For example, if you are shooting with a 50mm lens, your shutter speed should be at least 1/100th. When I’m shooting large families, I typically even shoot faster. With my 50mm, I tend to never set my shutter slower than 1/250. You can play around with it though and see what works best for you!
(here the family is also “in motion”, so the shutter speed had to be faster- set at 1/800 on a 135mm and 3.2 f/stop)
I hope that helps you feel better prepared for your next large family photo session! Let me know in the comments below what your biggest struggle is working with large families- I just might be able to help you out with?an answer!
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